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Pencil This In: LA Women's Theatre Festival Begins, The Fonz @ Paley Center

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Photo of downtown LA by Manny! via LAist's flickr pool.

Photo of downtown LA by Manny! via LAist's flickr pool.
The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival opens tonight at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica with its Champagne Gala and Awards Ceremony at 7 pm. The festival will also present the Integrity, Eternity, Rainbow and Maverick Awards to five distinguished women for their contributions to theatre and the performing arts by Honorary Co-Chair Hattie Winston (of the TV series Becker and Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps. Entertainment for the evening will include two excerpted theatre pieces: Angela Dean-Baham in “The Unsung Diva” that explores the life of 19th Century opera singer Matilda Sissieretta Jones, known as “The Black Patti” (a comparison to the celebrated Sicilian soprano Adelina Patti. That piece will be followed up by Rose Weaver in “The Incomparable Ethel Waters: A Night of Stormy Weather.” Waters was the first African American Broadway star as well as the first Black actress to star in a television series. “A celebrated singer, she was a favorite of composer Harold Arlen, who wrote the song “Stormy Weather” explicitly for her.” Champagne gala tickets are $60.

As part of Tubefilter's Web Television Week, “The New Media Vault: A Streamys Celebration” doles out its Craft Awards tonight. The awards recognize and honor excellence in the craft categories of web television production in the following categories: Best Cinematography in a Web Series, Best Editing for a Web Series, Best Original Music in a Web Series, Best Art Direction in a Web Series, Best Visual Effects in a Web Series and Best Artistic Concept in a Web Series. The awards program begins promptly at 8:30 pm. Nominees should arrive at 7:30 pm for the pre-reception.

The Paley Center screens the LA Premiere of Sit Down, Shut Up tonight at 7:30 in Beverly Hills. The FOX TV show, which debuts later this spring, reunites Arrested Development's Mitchell Hurwitz (producer), Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Henry Winkler against the setting of the teaching profession. Tonight, the Paley center welcomes in person Henry Winkler, joined by costars Cheri Oteri and Tom Kenny, along with Hurwitz and other members of the show's cast and creative team.

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RELAUNCH is holding a relaunch party tonight at 8 pm at LIVE! On Sunset. Cocktails and other surprises will be provided. Girls in Tech is joining the party, holding a panel discussion to examine the current state and future of the fashion industries as they pertain to the web. Guest Speakers include: Chris Elia (founder of, Patricia Handschiegel (founder of 9 Group), and Catherine Hickland (Founder of Cat Cosmetics) Macala Wright (founder Vanity Girl Hollywood).Tickets are $20.

The Timothy Yarger Fine Art Gallery in Beverly Hills hosts a reception tonight at 7 pm for Don Simon’s fine art exhibition “Nature 2.0.” Simon is an artist with an environmental slant. He mixes environmental awareness, community action and art. His current work explores a world after our worst fears about global warming are realized. Proceeds from the exhibition will benefit Million Trees LA.

Filmmaker C. Thomas Lewis has collaborated with his daughter to create two films lyrically exploring history, time, space and place in Hawaii and the American southwest. Corridors and Factories (2005) and Gotland (2007) are the first a planned trilogy and will be screened publicly tonight at 8 pm at the Echo Park Film Center. He’ll be there in person to show a sneak peek of his nearly completed experimental film Of Fire and Water as well as a special showing of the late Elizabeth Wiatr’s Chapbook of the Non-Eminent (1993). Tickets are $5.

The UCLA Film & Television Archive’s 14th Festival of Preservation continues tonight at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theatre. Up first at 7:30 is the 1957 film The Naked Eye, directed by Louis Clyde Stoumen. The documentary on the art and history of photography “begins with a quote from Ecclesiastes--"Truly the light is sweet..."--before a quick recounting of the medium's 100-year technical development. From there, Stoumen sharpens focus with extended narrative sequences on key artists. Alfred Eisenstaedt and Weegee are each featured while the second half is largely devoted to Edward Weston.” Tonight will also feature two other short, dramatic films by co-directed by Stoumen: The Bridge: A True Story of a Troubled Child (1958) and Wedlock (1950).

As part of the “Masters in the Chapel Concert - Masters At Play” Los Angeles Philharmonic Principal concertmaster Martin Chalifour and Keyboardist Joanne Pearce Martin will perform an intimate piano and violin duo recital including performances of Beethoven's Sonata in F major, Opus 24 ("Spring") and a transcription of Poulenc's Flute Sonata tonight from 7-8 pm at the First Lutheran Church of Venice. The free performance is funded in part by Community Improvement funds from the Venice Neighborhood Council.

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Tonight, the Sherry Frumkin Gallery in Santa Monica hosts the opening reception for Doni Silver Simons’ exhibit “…lines…” which examines the painter’s “epic and lyrical documentation of time.” She uses tiny marks to express the passage of her daily life. The reception will be held from 6-9 p.m.

*Pencil pick of the day