It's In The Cards
nlike the actors who've waited tables or
parked cars to support themselves
between roles, Jewish performer Josh Malina
employed a different cash-making method:
"It carried me through
some rough times," says the
West Wing star. Now, in a
way, he's paying back, via a
six-week showcase on the
Bravo cable network.
Malina, along with co-
executive producer Andrew
Celebrity Poker Showdown,
which will award $250,000
in prize money to the play-
ers' favorite charities.
Malina enlisted West Wing cohorts, includ-
ing Martin Sheen, Richard Schiff and Timothy
Busfield; friends and poker buddies David
Schwimmer and Hank Azaria; and used con-
nections to snag stars like Ben Affleck, while
talent bookers signed up the rest.
Poker expert Phil Gordon and host and
"chief tummler" Kevin Pollak give the play-by-
play on the No Limit Texas Hold 'Ern games,
which were taped at the Palms Resort in Las
"You play until you either lose all your chips or
win everyone else's. The winners of the first five
compete in the sixth, final episode," says Malina.
Eliminated players are banished to the
Losers' Lounge, to watch the rest of the game
on closed circuit TV and root for — or taunt
— those who remain.
While comedians like Sarah Silverman, Tom
Green and David Cross (who plays his first
hour wearing a yarmulke) keep the proceed-
ings lively, the stars quite seriously came to
win," says Malina, citing the participants'
competitive natures and the fact that the home
audience can see their cards.
Malina isn't in the tournament (he was a
backup in case anyone scratched), but still
plays occasionally in Azaria's weekly game.
"Poker has been very good to me," says
Malina, noting his significant poker-table
friendships — most notably one with West
Wing creator Aaron Sorkin that "led to a mil-
He's already thinking about a second
— Gerri Miller
Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 28-Dec. 27,
at Ann Arbor's Performance Network.
Acclaimed U-M pianist/professor Arthur
Directed by Isaac Ellis, the cast features,
Greene presents a Russian piano music
among others, Gary Lehman and Kate
concert, featuring works by some of St.
Orr. $15. Reservations: (734) 663-0681.
Petersburg's and Russia's great 19th-century
The National Foundation for Jewish
composers, 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at
Culture presents the Fifth Annual Alan
Rackham Auditorium in Ann Arbor. Free
King Award in American Jewish Humor
and open to the public.
to social and political satirist Mort Sahl 6
p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at a dinner at the
Belarus native Polina Khatsko, a student
Mandarin Oriental New York in New
Arts c.", Entertainment
of Professor Greene at U-M and winner of
York City. Alan King is master of cere-
the School of Music Concerto
monies, and Al Franken and others are
Competition, performs works by
scheduled to perform. Tickets begin at
Beethoven, Balakirev and Prokofiev during a
$600. For more information, call (212) 629-0500.
Cranbrook Music Guild concert 8 p.m. Tuesday,
Dec. 2, in the sanctuary of Christ Church
Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills. $30/$15 students.
THE BIG SCREEN
The Anti-Defamation League presents Arabs,
Muslims and Islam, a documentary film about four
teenage Muslims from various regions of the world,
including Dearborn, Mich., who explore what it is
The Ark in Ann Arbor hosts WDET DJ Matt
like to be Muslim in the current world climate, 7
Watroba, who performs songs and ballads accompa-
p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, at the Emagine Theatre in
nying himself on guitar, 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28,
Novi. A talkback with Sophia Begg, a political sci-
$13.50; and blues duo Madcat and Kane, 8 p.m.
ence major at the University of Michigan, and
Thursday, Dec. 4, $11. (248) 761-1451.
Wendy Wagenheim, director of communications for
The Palace of Auburn Hills presents Grammy-
the ACLU, follows. Free/donations to the ADL will
nominated Best New Artist singer-songwriter John
be accepted. (248) 646-2440.
Mayer, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, $35.50; and
The Girl with the Pearl Earring, a story set in
veteran rockers Aerosmith and Kiss, 7 p.m. Sunday,
17th-century Holland about one of the painter
Nov. 30, $55-$150. (248) 645-6666.
Vermeer's most enigmatic paintings (scheduled to
The three Jewish musicians who comprise the
open in Detroit theaters in January) gets an advance
alternative rock band Guster take the stage at
screening 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Detroit
Detroit's State Theatre Friday, Dec. 5. Doors at 6:30
Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
p.m. $21.75. (248) 645-6666.
Proceeds from this special benefit screening go
toward the purchase of new seats for the DFT. $10.
ON THE STAGE
Yes, it's called Forbidden Christmas, but the folks
behind Forbidden Broadway and Forbidden
Hollywood couldn't create a production about show
. biz without a few Jewish faces, including Jewish pro-
ducer John Freedson and Jewish performer Kate
Willinger. The musical spoof includes actors imper-
sonating co-host Barbra Streisand and singers Steve
Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. The cast's Tevye does a
rendition of "If I Were a Gentile." Running at
Detroit's Century Theatre 8 p.m. Wednesdays, 2 and
8 p.m. Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 8:30
p.m. Saturdays and 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays,
through Jan. 4. $28.50-$37.50. (313) 963-9800.
Wayne State University's Bonstelle Theatre pres-
ents a production of It a Wonderful Life, a play by
James W. Rodgers adapted from the Frank Capra
film by Jewish screenwriters Frances Goodrich and
Albert Hackett, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2
p.m. Sundays, Dec. 5-14. $8-$10. (313) 577-2960.
Celebrity Poker Showdown premieres on Bravo
9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2.
Project Pangea "messes with the holidays" in
Improv to Eggnog, a late-night comedy show incor-
porating games, skits and other zaniness, 11 p.m.
Gemini, the acoustic duo of brothers Sandor and
Laszlo Slomovits, performs a family show, with sing-
alongs, hand motion tunes, folktales and music from
around the world, 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, at
The Ark in Ann Arbor. $7. (734) 761-1451.
THE ART SCENE
Lawrence St. Gallery, now located at 22620
Woodward Ave., in Ferndale, presents Celebrate
Clay 2003, a juried exhibit of one-of-a-kind clay
works by more than 50 area artists, Dec. 2-26.
Opening reception: 7-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5.
Ann Arbor's Washington Street Gallery hosts
Lynda Cole: Silver and Water, featuring the artist's
clear acrylic sheets painted or worked with silver gilt,
Dec. 2-24. Opening reception: 7-10 p.m. Friday, Dec.
5; artist's gallery talk: "Alternative Art Processes and
Media," 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11. (734) 761-2287.
Oakland Community College holds its 28th
Annual Potters Market 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Dec 4
($10 preview and advance sale), with free admission
FYI: For Arts and Entertainment related events that you wish to have considered for Out & About, please send the item, with a detailed description of the event, times, dates, place, ticket prices and publishable phone number,
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least three weeks before the scheduled event. Photos are appreciated but cannot be returned. All events and dates listed in the Out & About column are subject to change.