Your weekly guide to what's hot in New York area arts.
10/22/2014
Calendars Editor
Photo Galleria: 
Image of Helena Rubinstein, from exhibit at The Jewish Museum.
Image of Helena Rubinstein, from exhibit at The Jewish Museum.

THE BUZZ

SHULAMIT

For the second time this year, a musical takes as its inspiration the biblical “Song of Songs.” “Shulamit,” a Hebrew-language drama (with English supertitles), is the brainchild of Dina Pruzhansky. (It follows Andrew Beall and Neil Van Leeuwen’s “Song of Solomon” this summer.) Pruzhansky is a COJECO BluePrint Fellow (the program facilitates projects from young Jewish adults of Russian origin). Radio broadcaster Robert Sherman hosts the opening night event.

—Thurs., Oct. 30, 7 p.m. and Sat., Nov. 1, 8 p.m., $25/$20 members. JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-5708, jccmanhattan.org.

UNITED SOLO FESTIVAL

The United Solo Festival’s fifth season is underway, celebrating (as its name implies) theatrical works with one performer. The lineup includes at least three works with Jewish themes. Pippa White performs both “Voices from the Resistance” and “Voices from Ellis Island,” telling stories from two chapters of history (see box on this page). And Anna Fishbeyn performs, “My Stubborn Tongue,” about her experiences as a Russian-Jewish-American immigrant.

—“Voices from the Resistance” on Oct. 27, 9 p.m., “Voices from Ellis Island,” on Oct. 30, 9 p.m. “My Stubborn Tongue” on Oct. 28th, 9 p.m. $19.25. Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St., (212) 239-6200, telecharge.com.

HELENA RUBINSTEIN: BEAUTY IS POWER

Helena Rubinstein is more than a name announced before PBS specials (her foundation is a key sponsor); the philanthropist was a Jewish immigrant, self-made cosmetics tycoon, patron of the arts — and a fabulous dresser. The Jewish Museum hosts a new exhibit of her art collection (including words by Picasso, Frida Kahlo and others), as well as artifacts relating to her life and progressive social and aesthetics sensibilities.

—Opens Fri., Oct. 31. The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejm.org. Through March 22, 2015.

FILM

DIPLOMACY

“Diplomacy,” a new film by Volker Schlondorff, re-examines the struggle to save Paris from the retreating Nazis. It pits a Nazi general (Niels Arestrup) against the Swedish ambassador (Andre Dussolier) in a hotel-room debate with vast consequences. Expect some bravura acting from two old foxes.

—Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., (212) 727-8110, filmforum.org/diplomacy-film-page. Through Oct. 28.

THE GREEN PRINCE

This documentary follows the story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas leader who turned against the terrorist group and became a spy for Israel, and his unlikely friendship with his Shin-Bet handler.

—Check local listings.

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU

Jonathan Tropper’s 2010 novel gets the big-screen treatment in “This is Where I Leave You,” a dark comedy of family dysfunction as can only happen during the forced prolonged interaction of shiva. (Tropper wrote the screenplay.) The all-star cast includes Tina Fey, Jane Fonda and Adam Driver.

—Check local listings.

THEATRE

WIESENTHAL

Tom Dugan’s one-man play about Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal shows how the “Jewish James Bond” brought more than 1,100 Nazis to justice.

—Opens Fri., Oct. 24, $60. Acorn Theatre, 410 W. 42nd St. (212) 239-6200, telecharge.com. Through Nov. 30.

MY SON, THE WAITER: A JEWISH TRAGEDY

Brad Zimmerman’s new show, “My Son, the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy,” is an autobiographical comedy about two journeys- one through show business, as is his dream, and the other through the service industry, as is his necessity.

—$25-$60, plus a two-drink minimum. The Triad Theater, 158 W. 72nd St., (212) 868-4444, playhouseinfo.com. Through Dec. 31.

JEWISH CHRONICLES

Daniel Cainer had a mystical vision of a rabbi telling him to “write a Jewish musical,” so he obeyed. “Jewish Chronicles” weaves together stories as different (yet uniquely Jewish) as that of a Jewish woman in the 1950s who joins a Christian cult and a rabbi addicted to cocaine.

—Performances Wednesdays and Saturdays at 3 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m. and Mondays at 7:30 p.m., $45. SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam St., (212) 691-1555, sohoplayhouse.com. Through Nov. 16.

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL

“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” traces the iconic singer/songwriter’s life and career, from her hits like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” to her relationship with Gerry Goffin, her songwriting partner and husband. Starring the Tony-winning Jessie Mueller.

—The Stephen Sondheim, 124 W. 43rd St., (212) 719-1300, beautifulonbroadway.com. Open run.

MUSIC

IL MANTOVANO HEBREO

Violinist and composer Salomone Rossi’s work included putting music to Hebrew psalms and prayers. Rossi mostly fell into obscurity, but the Israeli male vocal quintet Profeti della Quinta performs “Il Montavano Hebreo”(“The Mantuan Jew”) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in a concert celebrating Rossi’s work and life.

—Sat., Oct. 25, 7 p.m., tickets from $50/$1 children. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, (212) 570-3949, metmuseum.org/tickets.

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE

Against the Odds: American Jews & the Rescue of Europe’s Refugees, 1933-1941 presents both individual stories and a portrait of the collective experience of American Jews trying to help relatives, friends or even just strangers thousands of miles away, linked by the shared bond of religion. In particular, the exhibit explores how American immigration laws limited the power of those trying to assist, and how Jews overcame tremendous obstacles to help those in need.

—Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl. (646) 437-4202. $7-$12.

A Town Known as Auschwitz: The Life and Death of a Jewish Community”: This exhibit explores the vibrancy, peacefulness and Jewish history of the town of Oswiecim, otherwise known as Auschwitz, emphasizing images of the day-to-day life and people that comprised this town before the Holocaust.

—Museum of Jewish Heritage, Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.

THE JEWISH MUSEUM

From the Margins: Lee Krasner | Norman Lewis, 1945-1952: As a Jewish woman and African-American man, respectively, Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis were painters who let their “otherness” show in their art. They are the joint subjects of a new Abstract Expressionist exhibit at the Jewish Museum.

—Through Feb. 1, 2015.

Dani Gal: As From Afar: “As From Afar” is a short film by Israeli artist Dani Gal, playing twice an hour at the Jewish museum. The piece is a dramatic enactment of the relationship between Simon Wiesenthal and once high-ranking Nazi official Albert Speer.

The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org. Through Feb. 15, 2015.

THE GREENHOUSE OF EIN SHEMER

In time for the biblical Shmitah year is “Incubating Ideas and Cultivating Connections: The Greenhouse of Ein Shemer.” The installation is a fusion of science and art, with plants and photographs allowing viewers to explore a universal bond with nature and Israel’s unique relationship with its land.

—JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4414, jccmanhattan.org. Through Oct. 31.

ADELE BLOCH-BAUER II

Gustav Klimt’s portraits of Jewish socialite Adele Bloch-Bauer was looted by the Nazis, but eventually returned to the family. Now, one of the portraits has made its way to MoMA, where it is currently on view.

—MoMA, 11 W. 53rd St., (212) 708-9400, moma.org.

ECHOES OF THE BORSCHT BELT

Marisa Scheinfeld’s photographs reveal the eerie beauty in the decrepit remains of Catskills resorts.

—YU Museum, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8330, yumuseum.org. Through April 12, 2015.

ONCE EVERYTHING WAS MUCH BETTER EVEN THE FUTURE

Nir Hod, the New York-based Israeli artist, returns with an exhibit of stylized and provocative works.

—Paul Kasmin Gallery, 293 10th Ave., (212) 563-4474, paulkasmingallery.com. Through Oct. 25, 2014.

BARBARA NESSIM: AN ARTFUL LIFE

Bard Graduate Center opens its retrospective of the work of Barbara Nessim. The artist, who hails from a Sephardic New York family, has not only made a career in drawing and textile art, but also was innovative in her early recognition of the potential of computer graphics.

—Bard Graduate Center, 38 W. 86th St., (212) 501-3000, bgc.bard.edu/gallery. Through Jan. 11, 2015.

WHEN THE GREEKS RULED EGYPT

NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World’s exhibit, “When the Greeks Ruled Egypt: From Alexander the Great to Cleopatra,” includes manuscripts revealing the family life and legal contracts of Egyptian Jews.

—Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 15 E. 84th St., (212) 992-7800, isaw.nyu.edu. Through Jan. 4, 2015.

HASIDIM OF CROWN HEIGHTS: A COMMUNITY STUDY

84-year-old Japanese Artist Chie Nishio has a photography exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library, in which she documents her interactions with the Brooklyn Orthodox community that began twenty years ago.

—Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, (718) 230-2100, bklynpubliclibrary.org. Through Feb. 1, 2015.

AMEN – A PRAYER FOR THE WORLD

This exhibit invites 48 artists to paint life-size sculptures of Amun, an ancient, proto-monotheistic deity. The artists hail from Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions. Amun sounds like “Amen,” a sign of agreement, and here, a metaphor linking the three faiths.

—The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave., (212) 316-7540, oncaravan.org. Suggested donation $10 for entrance to the cathedral. Through Nov. 23.

LETTERS TO AFAR

YIVO and the Museum of the City of New York present “Letters to Afar.” Péter Forgács and the Klezmatics have collaborated on a video installation with new music; included are home movies of Jewish immigrants who traveled back to their cities and shtetls for visits.

—Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., (917) 492-3414, mcny.org. Through March 22, 2015.

TALK

A WONDERFUL USE OF SUMMER: THE ORIGINS OF JEWISH CAMPING

Brandeis University professor Dr. Jonathan Krasner speaks about the origins of Jewish camping in North America, beginning with the first two culture camps in New York and Maine. Light breakfast will be served.

—Sun., Oct. 26, 10 a.m., $40. 92Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., (212) 415-5500, 92y.org.

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