Your weekly guide to what's hot in New York area arts.
07/30/2014
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THE BUZZ

THE SWAY MACHINERY

The JCC in Manhattan continues its “Up on the Roof” series next Thursday with The Sway Machinery. The quintet, led by guitarist-singer Jeremiah Lockwood, fuses Latin jazz with the cantorial tradition (Lockwood is the grandson of a noted cantor) to create a world-music mix that The New Yorker calls a “dance-friendly, at times ecstatic sound.” Before and during the show, kosher drinks will be available through local wine bar Vino Levantino.

—Thurs., Aug. 7, 7 p.m. happy hour, 8 to 10 p.m. concert, $15 in advance/$20 at the door. JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-5708, jccmanhattan.org.

EXQUISITE POTENTIAL

Completing its run on Sunday is one of the Project Rushmore Theatre Company’s repertory plays, “Exquisite Potential.” Stephen Kaplan’s comedy is about parents so devoted to their son that they are convinced he is the Messiah. As Monty Python would likely wonder, is he the Messiah, or just a very naughty boy? Come see the play to find out.

—Fri., Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Sat., Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m., $18. Arclight Theatre, 152 W. 71st St., (212) 927-6403, projectrushmorenyc.org.

THE HONOURABLE WOMAN

Jewish-American actor Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in this dramatic, eight-part TV miniseries, the premiere of which airs Thursday, July 31. Gyllenhaal plays Nessa Stein, the heir to a British-Israeli arms-making company, whose efforts to use her position to promote peace between Palestinians and Israelis earn her a spot in the House of Lords. However, she finds herself embroiled in the conflict in a way that will put her in grave danger. Stephen Rea and Janet McTeer also star.

—First airing Thurs., July 31, 10 p.m. New episodes Thurs. at 10 p.m. on SundanceTV.

FILM

OBVIOUS CHILD

Gillian Robespierre’s funny, emotional new film, “Obvious Child,” tells the story of Donna Stern (Jenny Slate), an aspiring comedian who faces several life changes, including an unexpected pregnancy that leads for a rare on-screen, realistic portrayal of abortion.

Angelika Film Center New York (18 W. Houston St., [800] 326-3264), BAM Rose Cinemas (30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, [718] 636-4100 x 545) and Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, [718] 384-3980).

THE IMMIGRANT

James Gray’s new film features Marion Cotillard as a Polish-Catholic woman who must make her way through the corrupt streets of Manhattan, dealing with a range of Jewish characters, including Joaquin Phoenix as a not-so-noble pimp.

City Cinemas Village East Cinema, 181-189 Second Ave., (800) 326-3264 x 2708.

IDA

Pawel Pawlikowski’s award-winning film takes place in Poland in the 1960s, a time when the country was still reeling from the aftermath of the WWII. The titular heroine, readying herself to take her vows to become a nun, discovers that she is Jewish, and that her parents were murdered in the Holocaust.

Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., (212) 924-3363.

JERUSALEM

The new documentary “Jerusalem” seeks to reveal life in Israel by focusing on three local teenage girls from different religions, each giving a tour of her home city from a unique perspective. The film plays in IMAX in limited release.

—Cradle of Aviation Museum-National Geographic Theater, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City, (516) 572-4111, jerusalemthemovie.com.

THEATRE

HI, HITLER (CHRONICLES OF A GERMAN-JEW)

“Hi, Hitler” tries New York before opening in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe next month. Lucie Pohl’s one-woman comedy show about her experiences immigrating to the United States as a child from Germany, her whacky family and her lifelong obsession with Hitler — despite her Jewish faith.

—Through Aug. 24, $70. 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59 St., (212) 279-4200, 59E59.org.

THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE

Lisa Jura was a burgeoning Jewish pianist in Vienna in the 1930s, until the Nazis put her dreams on hold. Now, her daughter Mona Golabek (also a pianist) tells her story in a play with music based on Jura’s escape from Europe.

—Through Aug. 24, $70. 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59 St., (212) 279-4200, 59E59.org.

THE RELIGION THING

In Renee Calarco’s high-powered play, a sudden conversion to born-again Christianity triggers two married couples, including one secular Jewish man, to clash as they explore the nature of spirituality, religious culture and interfaith relationships. Directed by Douglas Hall.

—Shows Wed. through Fri. at 8 p.m., though Aug. 1. Project Y at the Cell Theatre, 338 W. 23rd St., projectytheatre.org.

GREED: A MUSICAL FOR OUR TIMES

This new musical comedy features several prominent corrupt bigwigs who fell from grace — including one Bernard Lawrence Madoff.

—Wednesdays 7 p.m., and Thursdays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., $40-$65, New World Stages, Stage 2, 340 W. 50th St., (212) 239-6200, www.telecharge.com. Open run.

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. Jessie Mueller and Jake Epstein star.

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

MUSIC

SETH KIBEL TRIO

On Sunday mornings, City Winery adds a Jewish spin with music and nosh at its Klezmer Brunch. This weekend it’s the Seth Kibel Trio, featuring the jazz and klezmer clarinetist, composer and bandleader.

—City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555. Sun., Aug. 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., $10/children under 14 free. citywinery.com.

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.

MASTERPIECES AND CURIOSITIES: DIANE ARBUS’ JEWISH GIANT

Jewish-American photographer Diane Arbus was known for capturing the visually eerie, or even repulsive. One of her last works, now on display at The Jewish Museum, was documenting a Coney Island sideshow performer known as “The World’s Tallest Man.” Eddie Carmel, said to stand around 8 feet tall, was the son of Israeli immigrants to the United States.

—The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org. Through Aug. 3.

MEL BOCHNER: STRONG LANGUAGE

Mel Bochner’s first job in New York was as a guard at The Jewish Museum. Now, it  is the artist’s conceptual paintings that will be stationed uptown, in an exhibit that explores the use of text and wordplay, and its intersection with Jewish tradition.

—The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org. Through Sept. 21.

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.

TALK

GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH IN GALICIA (POLAND AND UKRAINE)

Genealogist Tomasz Jankowski leads a presentation on obstacles facing those researching their family histories, and how best to navigate Polish and Ukrainian legal systems.

—Wed., Aug. 6, 6:30 p.m., free, RSVP suggested, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (2120 294-8301, cjh.org.

 

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