SUN NOV 26
Scientist, engineer, comedian, author and inventor Bill Nye appears in Beverly Hills as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series of Southern California. Nye, who currently can be seen on Netflix’s “Bill Nye Saves the World,” discusses his fascination with how things work, his celebrated career — he began as a comedy writer and performer on a Seattle ensemble comedy show and broke through with his Emmy-winning “Bill Nye the Science Guy” — and inspiring life lessons on the importance of education. 7 p.m. Tickets start at $260. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 546-6222. sabantheatre.org.
THU NOV 30
100 YEARS OF BUDDY RICH
The Grammy Museum commemorates the life and legacy of Jewish-American jazz drumming legend Buddy Rich, who was born in 1917 and collaborated with towering talents ranging from Frank Sinatra to Thelonious Monk. The evening features a Q-and-A with his only child, Cathy Rich; Gregg Potter, the drummer for the current incarnation of the Buddy Rich Band; and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, whose playing has been influenced by Rich. A special live performance follows the conversation. 7 p.m. (doors), 7:30 p.m. (show). $20. Grammy Museum L.A., 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 765-6800. grammymuseum.org.
MICHAEL CHABON AND ZADIE SMITH
The two literary heavyweights participate in a conversation. Chabon is a Jewish author known for the Pulitzer-winning “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,” and Smith is an Brit of Jamaican descent whose debut novel, “White Teeth,” garnered critical acclaim. They may not seem as if they have much in common, but the novelists’ latest works — “Moonglow” and “Swing Time,” respectively — explore the influence of family, cultural heritage and politics in shaping identity. 8 p.m. $15 students; $29-$59 general. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 825-4401. cap.ucla.edu.
FRI DEC 1
Writer-director Woody Allen’s latest film is set in Coney Island in the 1950s, following a lifeguard, played by Justin Timberlake, who tells the story of a middle-aged carousel operator and his beleaguered wife. When the wife and the operator’s estranged daughter fall in love with the lifeguard, problems ensue. Jim Belushi, Juno Temple and Kate Winslet co-star. Various theaters. wonderwheelmovie.com.
“THE DISASTER ARTIST”
James Franco directs and stars in this acclaimed look at the making of Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room,” the real-life cult classic considered the “Citizen Kane” of bad movies. An adaptation of a nonfiction book of the same name, “The Disaster Artist” follows Wiseau, an aspiring filmmaker who pursued his dream of making it big in Hollywood against insurmountable odds. Franco’s younger brother Dave; Seth Rogen; Alison Brie and Ari Graynor co-star. Various theaters. a24films.com/films/the-disaster-artist.
SAT DEC 2
Funky hip-hop grooves with rock, reggae and Middle Eastern flavors set apart Hadag Nahash in the crowded Israeli music scene. The group features a full electric band, turntables, samples and lyrics about ending corruption and racism in Israeli society. The group performs at American Jewish University with Mizrahi artist Hanan Ben Ari. 8:30 p.m. $45-$75. American Jewish University, Gindi Auditorium, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (818) 483-8818. teevtix.com.
THU DEC 7
Stand-up comedian and best-selling author Rita Rudner often alludes to her Jewish upbringing in her act. Don’t miss an evening with the funny lady who claims to have the longest-running solo comedy show in Las Vegas’ history. 8 p.m. $40-$75. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 506-4522. arts.pepperdine.edu/events/rita-rudner.htm.
FRI DEC 8
Holocaust survivor. Grandma. Diva. Big Sonia. Director Leah Warshawski’s documentary film follows her octogenarian grandmother, Sonia Warshawski, a Holocaust survivor who runs the last store in a defunct shopping mall, a tailor shop she’s owned for more than 30 years. When Sonia, one of the last remaining survivors in Kansas City, is given an eviction notice, the specter of retirement forces her to confront her harrowing past, which includes concentration camps and death marches. The film weaves Sonia’s current conflict with stories about her diva-like personality from family and friends. Various times. Laemmle Music Hall, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. Laemmle Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (310) 478-3836. laemmle.com.
A MICHAEL FEINSTEIN HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
Five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein performs holiday classics from his album “A Michael Feinstein Christmas.” Feinstein has been called the “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook” for preserving and presenting the meld of old and new vocals. The crooner will belt out holiday classics including “Sleigh Ride,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” 8 p.m. $38-$98. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. (818) 677-8800. valleyperformingartscenter.org.
SUN DEC 10
HANUKKAH FESTIVAL: LA/LA
All ages enjoy live music, dance, art and food at the Skirball Center. Latin-Jewish bands Klezmer Juice and Pan Felipe perform; dance ensembles Versa-Style and Mambo Inc. teach attendees salsa, cumbia, mambo and hip-hop moves; visual artist Sandy Rodriguez leads attendees in creating a visual art installation; Maite Gomez-Rejon, founder of Art Bites, teaches about Mexican chocolate and decorating chocolate gelt; and storytellers Mario Ibarra and Julia Garcia-Combs recount the age-old story of Chanukah in English and Spanish. The museum’s current exhibitions, “Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner’s Mexico” and “Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day: Murals, Signs and Mark-Making in L.A.” will be open. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $12 (general), $9 (seniors, full-time students and children older than 12), $7 (children 2-12). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
WED DEC 13
Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, a study of government decisions related to the Vietnam War, to the media when he was an analyst for the Rand Corp., discusses his new book, “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner,” a nonfiction account of the nuclear arms race. The event takes place in a run-up to the January release of Steven Spielberg’s new film, “The Post,” in which Ellsberg is a key figure. 8 p.m. $20 (general admission), $30 (reserved seat), $45 (reserve seat plus book). William Turner Gallery, Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. livetalksla.org.
SAT DEC 16
Renowned klezmer band the Klezmatics perform a “Happy Joyous Hanukkah” concert at the Valley Performing Arts Center. The evening is a celebration of Yiddish culture at a time of year when candles and family warm the dark nights. The event embraces audiences of all cultures and backgrounds. 8 p.m. $33-$68. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. (818) 677-8800. valleyperformingartscenter.org.
WED DEC 20
American singer-songwriter Barry Manilow, whose more than five-decade career has spanned hits including “Mandy,” “Can’t Smile Without You” and “Copacabana,” performs “A Very Barry Christmas.” He will sing holiday standards, including “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” 7:30 p.m. $39-$216. The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood. ticketmaster.com.