Worth a Look

This week's A&E events


Silicon Valley: The Lure and the Legends

It wasn't so long ago that the Santa Clara Valley was known as the "Valley of Heart's Delight:" a fertile region where orchards of flowering trees stretched from the rolling hills of the west to the San Francisco Bay in the east. The story of how and why it became the epicenter of a technological revolution is the subject of a new exhibition opening Saturday, Oct. 18 at the Los Altos History Museum (51 South San Antonio Road, Los Altos).

Through photographs, ephemera, anecdotes and video interviews, "Silicon Valley: The Lure & the Legends" presents the factors that led to the transformation of the region, and the key players who made it happen. From the inventor of the microprocessor to the founders of Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe, the exhibit takes a look at the visionaries behind the companies as well as other forces at play: the brainpower of Stanford University, the draw of year-round sunshine, corporate culture, venture capital and "cowboy capitalism" -- the attitude that there is always more money to be made.

The exhibition runs through April 19. The museum is open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 4 pm. Admission is free. To learn more, go to losaltoshistory.org or call 650-948-9427.


High School One-Act Play Festival

No, it's not just a song by Michael Jackson; PYT stands for Peninsula Youth Theatre. Now in its 22nd year, PYT is launching a new endeavor to encourage budding theater directors. The Inaugural High School One-Act Play Festival debuts on Friday, Oct. 24 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts (500 Castro St.). The evening features two short plays produced, directed and acted by high school students. And don't be fooled: these are no theater lightweights. For their first-ever festival, these young thespians have chosen to pair Jean-Paul Sartre's groundbreaking existential drama "No Exit" of 1944 with a contemporary one-act: Michael Niederman's "Every Man." Both scripts call for this young cast tot tackle big themes: love, death, sin and abandonment.

Tickets are just $10. Don't be late: The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. For tickets or more information, go to pytnet.org or call 650-903-6000.


Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival

From the opening night festivities featuring Israeli pop star Rita to the closing ceremony with a live appearance by TV host Larry King, the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival lines up a full month of screen and stage entertainment. Between Oct. 18 and Nov. 16, festival-goers can choose from dramas, documentaries and comedies that explore the international Jewish experience through many lenses.

On the line-up this year is "The Zigzag Kid," an adventure story adapted from David Grossman's popular novel about a misbehaving boy on the brink of his bar mitzvah. Drama lovers will want to check out "Ida," the story of a novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who is stunned to discover her Jewish ancestry and the effect of the Nazi occupation on her family's life. Those seeking lighter entertainment can catch "Cupcakes," an Israeli musical comedy about a group of teens vying for a prize in an international singing contest.

The full schedule of films is listed on the festival's website, as are special events. SVJFF screens films in Palo Alto, Campbell and San Jose, with both opening and closing night taking place at Palo Alto's Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way.

Single tickets are $12 in advance ($14 at the door) with discounts for students, seniors and groups. Opening and closing nights are each $65 in advance, $70 at the door. For more on the festival, go to svjff.org or call 408-498-0904.


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