Bungle in the Jungle

Photo by Martin Goddard
It’s beginning to look a lot like . . . Jethro Tull and lesbian comics?

FRIDAY, November 11
UniverSoul Circus adds hip-hop to the big top. Along with the circus staples of aerial acts and clowns, there are Caribbean Flava’s Stiltwalkers and Limbo Mamas, and Lunga the contortionist. And, in a first for this column, no angry letters about animal abuse! The Forum, Manchester & Prairie aves., Inglewood; Tues.-Fri., 10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sat., noon, 4:30 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 1, 4 & 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 20; $10-$27. (800) 316-7439.

A few of us here at the Weekly were thinking that now may be a good time to look into other avenues of employment. Is the world waiting for a movie about a feisty blurbologist dealing with the wacky but lovable misfits of alternative journalism? Too dated? We’re thinking Citizen Kane meets Porky’s. What about Good Night, and Good Luck meets Trainspotting? This weekend’s Screenwriting Expo 4 “offers aspiring scriptwriters an opportunity to network with producers, executives, agents, managers and other writers.” How about All the President’s Men meets Rock & Roll High School? Los Angeles Convention Center, Figueroa & 11th sts., downtown; Nov. 11-13; $74.95 three-day pass. (800) 727-6978 or www.screenwritingexpo.com.

SATURDAY, November 12
Maybe our next act is in front of cameras. Starting Over, the reality series about women “looking to make an extraordinary change in their life . . . all while living under the same roof,” holds an open casting call. Can you feel the extraordinary change coming? Hilton Long Beach, 701 W. Ocean Blvd.; Sat., Nov. 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (888) 633-8149.

According to her press clips, comic Suzanne Westenhoefer is not only “straight about being gay,” but she’s “out for comedy.” But how does she feel about lame headlines? She was one of Sally Jessy Raphael’s “Lesbians Who Don’t Look Like Lesbians” a few years ago when the whole “lesbian chic” thing was happening. Bet she’s glad that’s over. The Wilshire Ebell Theater, 4401 W. Eighth St.; Sat., Nov. 12, 8 p.m.; $25 & $35. (323) 939-0126, Ext. 2.

SUNDAY, November 13
Can Ian Anderson still stand on one leg and play the flute? If so, please don’t make any sudden noises while he’s balancing and blowing in that precarious position. One day my co-workers will come to appreciate Jethro Tull’s genius songs, like “Aqualung,” and stop mocking me like it’s 1979 all over again. Why can’t you see how great they are? Have Beck or Franz Ferdinand or 50 Cent ever written a lyric as great as “He feels the piston scraping/steam breaking on his brow”? And Anderson not only plays the flute on one leg, he has the best hum in rock! Kodak Theater, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Nov. 13, 8 p.m.; $50-$130. (323) 480-3232.

Warning: Book Soup is charging for this event at Sinai Temple. We’re supposed to pay $20 to hear Rabbi David Wolpe in dialogue with authors Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated) and Nicole Krauss (Man Walks Into a Room) “on their remarkable success and how it’s showered them both with Hollywood kisses and praise.” Come to think of it: Screw this whole thing. I’m going to stay home and write a short story. About being bitter, old and jealous. Then I’m going to pay myself $20. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., West L.A.; Sun., Nov. 13, 11 a.m.; $20. (310) 474-1518.

MONDAY, November 14
Um, there’s a football game on TV tonight. And the Eagles (the band, not the football team) are yet again at the Staples Center, where they perform every Monday until they die.

TUESDAY, November 15
New Yorker drama critic John Lahr (son of the late, great Bert Lahr) gives a talk on “Comedy and Revenge,” where he expounds on “the great clowns of the early 20th century — Keaton, Chaplin, Lahr (dad) — and traces their influences . . . and argues for the importance of aggression in humor.” Might I suggest clips from America’s Funniest Home Videos? Part of “The Open Mind” lecture series. Semel Institute Auditorium, UCLA, Westwood; Tues., Nov. 15, 7 p.m.; $20. (310) 825-8871.

 Ice-skating is not a crime.
See Thursday.
Photo by Juan Carlos Chan
WEDNESDAY, November 16


J. Keith Van Straaten

— the best-dressed man in L.A. comedy — continues to keep his

What’s My Line?

show the freshest thing on La Brea since that bakery. For his one-year anniversary show last week, rather than the usual guess-this-regular-person’s-job, he brought in celebrities who also have regular jobs, like actress Kate Linder, the 25-year veteran of The Young & the Restless, who still works as a flight attendant. And the Mystery Guest was Paul Williams! Acme Comedy Theater, 135 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood; Wed., Nov. 16, 8 p.m.; $15. (323) 525-0202.

THURSDAY, November 17
It’s 85 degrees outside as I write this, but Downtown on Ice kicks off today. That’s right: Polish your blades and grab your mittens — it’s time to ice skate and pretend we live in a real city. Recommended: whatever drug you take to facilitate unrealistic fantasies of Rockefeller Center or some lake in the frozen woods. Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., downtown; Mon.-Thurs., noon-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Nov. 17-Jan. 16; $6 for one hour, $2 skate rental. (213) 847-4970.

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