Is your teen a budding filmmaker? The Santa Monica International Teen Film Festival is now accepting submissions for the 11th annual festival to be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5, 2016. Films made by youth ages 12 to18, from anywhere in the world, in any genre between 60 seconds to 30 minutes in length are accepted; it’s free to submit and you can submit multiple films.

Enter online at “Without A Box”; this is the preferred method, and setting up an account and uploading are both free. Or download an entry form after reading the guidelines and send films in by mail, or in person, details at Teens have till March 4 next year to enter and chances look pretty good – last year 14 of the 350 short films selected were from Santa Monica and the Westside.

Dark side of Jacaranda

Halloween’s over but Jacaranda, our renowned local concert series that champions new and rarely-heard classical music, presents “Dark Covenant,” featuring the music of the Hungarian-born 19th Century Romantic composer and rock star pianist Franz Liszt and Thomas Adès, a British composer, conductor and pianist born in the 20th century who’s writing new music today.

The architecturally stunning First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica is the venue for the wild and mind-blowing “Faust Symphony in Three Character Pictures,” arranged for two pianos and joined by an ardent tenor and ecstatic male chorus. The concert opens withGefriolsae Me” by Adès, described as an “ancient blast from the future,” with male voices singing “a harmonically jagged and rhythmically free” take on an “upward springing medieval motet.”

Performed by Mark Robson and Steven Vanhauwaert on piano, with tenor Todd Strange, the Jacaranda Chamber Singers, with Mark Alan Hilt conducting, “Dark Covenant” takes place Sunday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. at 1220 Second Street in Santa Monica.

Tickets and details at

Hamlet and the Arab Spring

Once again, one of the more intellectually challenging theatre companies in LA, Santa Monica’s own City Garage, is creating a new work as part of their project, “The Winter of Our Discontent: Shakespeare in The Digital Age.”

Part One is “Hamletmachine: The Arab Spring,” the world premiere of a new version of Heiner Müller’s seminal post-modern text and re-interpretation of “Hamlet.”

City Garage’s Charles Duncombe adapted and produces Müller’s “Hamletmachine” and Frédérique Michel directs this jagged, non-linear text that breaks open the iconography of Hamlet to re-examine the blood-soaked heritage of the 20th century, in light of Mideast turmoil, global terrorism, and the rise of ISIS.

Part Two of this ambitious project will be based on “Lear” by Young Jean Lee, in February 2016, and Part Three will be “Othello” by City Garage’s Charles A. Duncombe, coming in April.

Opening night is Friday, Nov. 13 and the performances run through Dec. 20, with Pay What You Can days (at the door) on Sundays. Visit for reservations.

City Garage is located near the end of the parking lot and 26th Street exit in the T1 building at Bergamot Art Station.

The wisdom of elders

Original memoir writing and watercolor art by seniors attending Santa Monica College’s Emeritus College will be showcased at an exhibition that runs Nov. 12 through Jan. 6 in the Emeritus College Art Gallery. You’re invited to tonight’s opening reception featuring a special reading, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

“The Ongoing Moment” features writing by seniors who are students in the memoir writing class led by author Monona Wali and the watercolors studio class taught by artist Catherine Tirr.

“The ongoing moment becomes a touchstone for the past; memory begets story and story begets personal history,” writes Wali in the journal’s introduction. “Over the years the students gain courage and trust; they reveal themselves in their most vulnerable states: bullied, heartbroken, depressed, grieving, joyous, grateful, in love, facing death, choosing life. In so doing, they share with us stories that speak the universal language of the human experience.”

Copies of “The Ongoing Moment” will be available for purchase at the reception, $10 per copy.

Emeritus College Art Gallery is located at 1227 Second St. in downtown Santa Monica with parking in the public lot next door. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibit, reception, and reading are free For details call (310) 434-4306.

21st Century Jew

Last year I wrote about Daniel Cainer, the London-based singer/songwriter/performer whose work I discovered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he is a perennial favorite and Festival award-winner.

He began to explore his Jewish roots in song and created the show “Daniel Cainer’s Jewish Chronicles.” It was a sweet, funny, poignant look at his family history that ran at Santa Monica Playhouse for a limited run.

Cainer has created a new show with an even shorter run at the Playhouse, returning for two performances only and focusing on life as a “21st Century Jew.” He’s written brand new stories-in-song that describe the challenges and contradictions of being Jewish in 21st Century Britain. Lots of word play, puns and rhymes that take us on a journey through history, heritage, heart and home make this a touching and humorous night out.

Find out more and get tickets to this very limited run at Santa Monica Playhouse  – Nov. 22 and Nov. 29 only-here: