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Pencil This In: Shakespearian Fundraiser and REDCAT's Spring Studio

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Sunrise / Photo by alexbcthompson via LAist's flickr pool.

Sunrise / Photo by alexbcthompson via LAist's flickr pool.
Every spring, to support and raise funds for the Shakespeare Festival LA, a few famous names donate their time to participate in a staged reading of a Shakespearean comedy. Co-chaired by Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, this year's performace is The Comedy of Errors and features Hanks, Wilson, Christina Applegate, Martin Short, Shirley Jones and Peter Graves. The show starts at 7:30 pm at the Geffen Playhouse. Tickets are available to the public.

Tonight Zócalo welcomes Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars, who'll talk about his experience as a senior-level strategist during both Iraq wars to explain the lessons these wars have taught us, and how we can increase American military and diplomatic readiness for the next conflict. "As the world struggles to cope with the dangers posed by failed states, internecine conflicts, and religious extremism, the question of when the U.S. should go to war grows ever more urgent." The event begins at 7:30 pm tonight at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica.

REDCAT and CalArts present Studio: Spring 2009, a curated program of six new works and works-in-progress by Los Angeles dance, theater, music and multimedia artists. The studio presents six original works, including Bethany Ward-Lawe's "Color Me Purple." It's a work that focuses on the boundary-blurring sexual appeal of recording artist Prince and mixes elements of contemporary dance, burlesque, drag and video to examine art and the art of arousal. The event begins at 8:30 pm and tickets are $15.

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The "Reel Talk" program with Stephen Farber takes place at the Wadsworth Theatre tonight at 7 pm, and includes a film screening followed by a Q&A. Tonight he presents, My Life in Ruins, a new comedy from Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), as a bedraggled tour guide trying to to introduce a group of spoiled international travelers to the glories of Greece. Vardalos will be in attendance at the screening. Tickets are $20.

*Pencil pick of the day