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What Religion Will The Kid Be?

06/18/2014
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Our relationship to our religion changes at different stages in our lives. In Renee Calarco’s new play, “The Religion Thing,” a Jewish man married to a Catholic woman finds himself at both a religious and emotional crossroads when his wife wants to get pregnant. When it premiered in 2012 at Theater J in Washington, D.C., critic Peter Marks of the Washington Post said that the playwright is astute in observing that America’s “biggest taboo isn’t talking about sex … it’s talking about faith.” The New York production, with a new cast and director, began previews this week in Chelsea.

Renee Calarco’s “The Religion Thing” turns on couples’ religious inclinations.  Teresa Castracane

Hitler And His Niece: Abuse Of Power

05/27/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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http://www.3vtheater.comShe was the niece of the most evil man who ever lived — and he was in love with her.

Aliza Shane’s new play, “Mein Uncle,” is loosely based on the relationship between Hitler and Geli Raubal, his half-niece, with whom he was sexually obsessed. The play, which is more fantasy than history, asks whether the abuse of power in a relationship can have repercussions that extend into the wider world. “Mein Uncle,” which began performances this week, runs through June 8 in the East Village.

Eric Percival, as the Hitler figure, and Amanda Marikar as his niece Geli in “Mein Uncle.” Jenn Tufaro

Dr. Ruth, The Play

10/22/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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One of the most extraordinary women of our time, Dr. Ruth Westheimer almost single-handedly brought a frank discussion of sexuality to a society largely governed by Puritanical, and then Victorian, ideas about erotic pleasure. Now the compelling life history of the diminutive, German-accented powerhouse comes to the stage in Mark St. Germain’s one-woman show, “Becoming Dr. Ruth: The Unexpected Journey,” starring Debra Jo Rupp. The play, which is currently in previews, opens next week at the Westside Theatre in Midtown.

Debra Jo Rupp portrays legendary sex therapist in “Becoming Dr. Ruth.” Carol Rosegg

Terezin Show Makes It To N.Y.

05/21/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

It was the show that wouldn’t die.

Karel Švenk’s “The Last Cyclist,” written and performed in the “model” concentration camp of Terezin, comes to the Upper West Side this weekend after a circuitous route to the New York stage.  The cabaret-style play, which is a farcical allegory of the genocide of the Jews, was banned by the Jewish Council in the camp, for fear of reprisals from the Nazis. Adapted by Naomi Patz, it has its New York premiere at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew after productions in St. Paul, Chicago, and other cities.

Naomi Patz adapted the wartime play, “The Last Cyclist,” which will be staged at the West End Theater.

Too Little Revealed In ‘Assembled Parties’

Richard Greenberg’s Upper West Side drama turns on the idea of hiddenness.

04/30/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

Long one of the most Jewish neighborhoods in New York, the Upper West Side is often said to have lost much of its ethnic Jewish flavor.

Jessica Hecht, far left, Jeremy Shamos and Judith Light. Joan Marcus

Why Is This Night Different...

12/04/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Leading the Passover seder each year is, for many Jewish men, a sign of their continuing vigor and prominence within the family. In Jennifer Maisel’s Off-Broadway play, “The Last Seder,” directed by Jessica Bauman, a patriarch’s impending slide into dementia signals that nothing, including their Passover observances, will ever be the same.

Scene from “The Last Seder,” about family strains and Jewish ritual. Richard Termine

Have I Got A Job For You?

What happens when an aspiring musical theater performer takes over an escort service.

09/11/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

It may be the world’s oldest profession, but it was the last place that a nice Jewish boy from Dix Hills, L.I., expected to land a job after college. In Josh Mesnik’s autobiographical new comedy, “Have I Got a Girl For You,” directed by Sara Sahin, the playwright stars as the manager of one of the largest escort agencies on the East Coast, a job that taught him the ins and outs of the business of prostitution.

Playwright Josh Mesnik portrays himself in autobiographical “Have I Got a Girl For You.”

Simmering On The West Bank

In ‘Food and Fadwa,’ a Palestinian family has a lot to digest.

05/29/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Food sums up the culture and history of a people. Just ask the Palestinian family in Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader’s seriocomic new play, “Food and Fadwa,” which opens Off-Broadway in the East Village next week. Even as they struggle with life in the West Bank under the Israeli occupation, the family remains bound together by the food that they prepare and eat together. The groundbreaking production is the first by the Noor Theatre Company, an Arab-American collective sponsored by the New York Theatre Workshop.

Issaq with co-author Jacob Kader. Joan Marcus

Kill The Jews — Satirically Speaking

05/01/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Hannah Arendt was deadly serious when she coined the term “the banality of evil” to refer to the matter-of-factness with which the Nazis committed genocide. But in the hands of playwright Ken Kaissar, the contemplation of the mass murder of the Jews becomes a springboard for outrageous satire. His play, “A Modest Suggestion,” opens next week in Midtown, and it features Jeff Auer, Bob Greenberg, Ethan Hova, Russell Jordan, Jonathan Marballi and Robert W. Smith.

Scene from “A Modest Suggestion,” a satire of Swiftian proportions about the Holocaust.

The Shoah, Then And Now

04/24/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Even as the Holocaust recedes into the distant past, its effects are as potent as ever. So suggests Rivka Bekerman-Greenberg in her new play, “Eavesdropping on Dreams,” in which a survivor’s toxic trauma is passed along not just to her daughter, but to her granddaughter as well. Produced by the Barefoot Theatre Company, the play is running through mid-May at the Cherry Lane’s Studio Theatre.

Lynn Cohen as Rose, a Holocaust survivor, in Rivka Bekerman-Greenberg “Eavesdropping on Dreams.” Francisco Solorzano
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