Your weekly guide to what's hot in New York area arts.
08/25/2014
Photo Galleria: 
Adrien Brody portrays the world’s most famous escape artist in “Houdini,” on the History Channel. Via History.com
Adrien Brody portrays the world’s most famous escape artist in “Houdini,” on the History Channel. Via History.com

THE BUZZ

KINDSIGHT®

Photographer Robert G. Zuckerman has made a name for himself in film photography and celebrity portraiture. Now, the 92nd Street Y hosts an exhibition of his “Kindsight®” series, emphasizing universal humanity and goodness in the face of an uncertain world. Zuckerman intends to add to the collection with photographs of others who, like himself, suffer from Adult Polyglucosan Body Disease, a Jewish genetic condition for which he hopes to raise awareness and research money with this exhibit.

—Opening reception Thurs., Sept. 4, 5 to 7 p.m. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., (212) 415-5500, 92y.org/Exhibits. Exhibit open Sept. 3 to Oct. 20.

WAITING FOR GODOT

After performing in Ireland, The New Yiddish Rep brings its recent production of “Waiting for Godot (Vartan af Godot)” in Yiddish back to New York as part of the seventh annual Origin Theatre Company’s 1st Irish Festival. In a cultural mash-up, the play, which was originally written in French by the Irish Samuel Beckett, will be performed in Yiddish at an Irish festival. Existential angst, after all, is universal.

—Sept. 4 through 21. Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow St. Tickets from $35, (212) 868-4444, smarttix.com.

HOUDINI

Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody joins the list of Jewish actors like Harvey Keitel and Tony Curtis who have played the most famous escape artist in history. Airing over the course of two nights, “Houdini” tells the story of Erik Weisz, the immigrant son of a rabbi who discovers illusion and stunts, and becomes a legend as Harry Houdini.

—Mon. and Tues., Sept. 1 and 2, 9 to 11 p.m., History Channel, history.com/shows/Houdini.

FILM

SHADOWS FROM MY PAST

In the new documentary “Shadows From My Past,” Gita Kaufman returns to Vienna, the city she fled as a child at the outset of World War II. While there, she and her husband and co-director Curt Kaufman explore the themes of guilt through the generations.

—Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., (212) 255-8800, quadcinema.com. Through Sept. 4.

LE GRAND CAHIERS (THE NOTEBOOK)

This 2013 Hungarian film based on the Agota Kristof novel tells the story of twin boys during World War II, and how the incessant violence around them, anti-Semitic and otherwise, shapes, hardens, and perhaps corrupts them.

—Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., (212) 255-8800, quadcinema.com.

KABBALAH ME

This documentary explores the world of Jewish spirituality and mysticism through director Steven Bram’s personal journey — don’t come expecting Hollywood-appropriated faux Kabbalah.

—Opens Fri., Aug. 22. Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., (212) 255-8800, kabbalahme.com. Through Aug. 28.

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) and Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, [718] 384-3980).

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

SONG OF SOLOMON

The Song of Songs is one of the most lyrical books of the Bible. So it’s fitting that it is the inspiration for a new musical. “Song of Solomon” tells the tragic love story of King Solomon and a young woman who is not in the original text.

—Fri., Aug. 29 at 9 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 31 at 4:30 p.m., $20. The Actor’s Temple, 339 W. 47th St., (212) 245-6975, solomonthemusical.com.

OLYMPIC UBER ALLES

“Olympic Uber Alles,” examines a dark time in sports history, telling the story of Jewish sprinters Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, who were banned from running on the U.S. track team in the 1936 Olympics, the so-called Hitler Games. The play also follows historians as they explore the incident.

—Performances Wed. at 2 p.m., Thurs. at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 1 p.m. St. Luke’s Theater, 308 W. 46th St., stlukestheatre.com. (212) 248-8140, Through Sept. 21.

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

BEN PLATT: I’M HERE

Actor Ben Platt may currently be starring in “The Book of Mormon,” but he has a decidedly more Semitic background. In his solo concert at 54 Below, this Nice Jewish Boy will perform everything from pop to musical theater, and especially tales and songs of his musical Jewish family.

—Mon., Sept. 1 at 7 p.m., tickets from $40. 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., Cellar, (646) 476-3551, 54below.com/artist/benplatt.

KLAZZ MA TAZZ

Violinist Ben Sutin’s Klazz Ma Tazz is a NYC-based ensemble fusing elements of jazz with Middle Eastern and Eastern European music, specifically focused on the klezmer tradition.

—Tea Lounge, 837 Union St., Brooklyn, (718) 789-2762, bensutinmusic.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.

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.

BE! (H’VEI)

Sara Erenthal was raised ultra-Orthodox in a Neturei Karta-affiliated family, but she escaped an arranged marriage as a teenager and today works as an artist. Her solo exhibition, “BE! (H’Vei),” includes sculptures, video and installations that reflect her journey.

—Gallery hours Thurs. and Fri. from 5 to 7 p.m., Sat. from 2 to 8 p.m. and Sun. from 3 to 6 p.m. Soapbox Gallery, 636 Dean St., Brooklyn, soapboxgallery.com. Through Sept. 13.

TALK

ISIS AND ISRAEL: WHY THE FUTURE OF IRAQ MATTERS FOR THE JEWISH STATE

AJC ACCESS, the committee’s program for young professionals, hosts this lecture from KCPS Clarity analyst Sam Chester about how Syria and Iraq affect the Jewish state. With light dinner.

—Wed., Sept. 3, 7 to 8:30 p.m., $15/$10 members. AJC NY Offices, 165 E. 56th St., ajc.org/isisandisrael2014.

TELEVISION

THE HONOURABLE WOMAN

Jewish-American actor Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in this dramatic, eight-part TV miniseries as the heir to a British-Israeli company, whose efforts to promote peace between Palestinians and Israelis get her embroiled in the conflict in a way that will put her in grave danger.

—New episodes Thurs. at 10 p.m. on SundanceTV.

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