Plays

Tara’s Minorities

‘Women of the Wind’ looks at two secondary characters in the Civil War drama and their Russian-Jewish acting coach.

02/02/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Nothing marked the end of an era in American history as spectacularly as “Gone With the Wind,” the film that displayed the crumbling of the Southern aristocratic way of life in the years following the Civil War. But as Barbara Kahn shows in her new play, “Women of the Wind,” the movie ironically truncated the careers of some of the women who worked on it — women who could not overcome intolerance in American society. “Women of the Wind” opens this week at the Theater for the New City, 75 years after the premiere of Victor Fleming’s cinematic masterpiece in December 1939.

Butterfly McQueen (Adrienne Powell), Alla Nazimova (Steph Van Vlack) and Ona Munson (Reanna Armellino). Robert Gonzales, Jr.

On Borrowed Time

01/19/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Money is such a taboo subject that discussing our sex lives is more comfortable for many of us than revealing our income. For playwright Ben Rimalower, who performs his own one-man show, “Bad With Money,” spending money is a way to avoid dealing with debilitating emotional problems. Jenna Scherer of Time Out New York raves that Rimalower “exorcises his financial demons” in a “purgative hour-long monologue in which he entertainingly (and excruciatingly) itemizes his monetary sins.” The show continues through the end of February in the West Village.

Ben Rimalower stars in one-man show about his abusive relationship with money.  Allison Michael Orenstein

A Curtain Call For Paddy Chayefsky

A new production of ‘Middle of the Night’ and a new biography fueling a reassessment of the screenwriter-playwright’s emotionally charged work.

03/03/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Mention the name of Jewish screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, and most people think of “Marty,” the path-breaking 1950s teleplay turned film about a lonely Italian-American butcher in the Bronx. Or they think of the electrifying scene in the 1976 Sidney Lumet film, “Network,” in which a TV anchorman demands that all New Yorkers throw open their windows and shout, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this any more!”

Nicole Lowrance and Jonathan Hadary, left, star in a revival of “Middle of the Night” by Paddy Chayefsky, right.  Carol Rosegg

THEATER Englander On Stage:

‘The Twenty Seventh Man’ at the Public.
09/03/2012 - 20:00

It may be less well known than the massacres perpetrated by the Nazis, but the secret mass murder by Stalin of more than a dozen prominent Yiddish writers in 1952 surely stands as one of the most horrific crimes against humanity ever committed. This fall, Nathan Englander’s dramatized version of his chilling short story, “The Twenty Seventh Man,” which addresses the killings, comes to the Public Theater. While the cast has not yet been announced, rumors have it that at least one household name will appear in the production.

Nathan Englander: The “power of art to defeat tyranny.” Juliana Sohn

Schnitzler’s ‘Masterpiece’

01/30/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Fin de siècle Vienna was, in the words of Jewish satirist Karl Kraus, a “research laboratory for world destruction.” Viennese playwright Arthur Schnitzler agreed; his play, “Professor Bernhardi,” was one of the first plays in German to confront the rising tide of anti-Semitism in early 20th-century Central Europe. Translated by C.J. Weinberger, “Professor Bernhardi” opened in Midtown this week at the TBG Theatre as part of a series of works that were “banned and burned” at some point in their history.

Sam L. Tsoutsouvas as Dr. Bernhardi in Alfred Schnitzler’s “Professor Bernhardi.” Jill Usdan

‘Marx Brothers Meet Ionesco’

01/23/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Given the vicissitudes of Jewish history, it is no wonder that Jews developed a bleakly comic vision, a sense of life as teetering awkwardly on the edge of an abyss. Such a philosophy is amply on display in Lazarre Seymour Simckes’ absurdist new play, “Open Rehearsal,” in which a troupe of actors who are members of the same family rehearse a bizarre drama that enfolds with the fractured logic of a variety show. As the play-within-a-play keeps turning itself inside out, the characters finally find security only by clinging to one another.

The cast of Lazar Seymour Simckes’ absurdist play “Open Rehearsal.” Jonathan Slaff

Classic Israeli Children’s Tale At Y

Musical based on ‘Hanna and the Moonlit Dress,’ a PJ Library selection, debuts this weekend.
01/02/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

With their creativity and spirit, children have the power to remake the world. In the new musical play, “Hanna and the Moonlit Dress,” based on a classic Israeli children’s tale by Itzhak Schweiger-Dmi’el, a girl learns that her good heart can make everything holy and new. Produced and directed by Ronit Muszkatblit, the production opens this weekend at the 14th Street Y.

“Hanna and the Moonlit Dress,” a musical at the 14th Street Y, is based on an uplifting children’s story.

Freud, Schmeud

The iconic psychoanalyst is a hot cultural property, but his theories and views on Judaism are coming under attack.
12/26/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

If you were to take a cultural tour of New York today, you’d think Sigmund Freud were as relevant to society now as Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. Everywhere you’d turn, from Broadway to the movies, you’d find the father of psychoanalysis holding a prominent place.

The new film “A Dangerous Method” focuses on Sigmund Freud, above.

Hypnotic Effect

12/19/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

He was a Jewish astrologer and hypnotist who purportedly taught Hitler how to control the masses. Erik Jan Hanussen, whose performances of occult magic were the talk of Weimar Berlin, was credited with foretelling the Reichstag fire and the rise of the Nazis. In Ildiko Nemeth’s new play, “Hypnotik: The Seer Will Doctor You Now,” Hanussen (Peter B. Schmitz) returns to life in all his mesmerizing glory. The play opens Dec. 28 at the Theater for the New City in the East Village.

Sarah Lemp as the Baroness in “Hypnotik".

Burns, Baby, Burns

A double dose of the iconic straight man, in the same weekend.
10/24/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

With the decline of the comedy duo, the straight man no longer plays a prominent role in our culture. But in Rupert Holmes’ “Say Goodnight, Gracie,” the revival of the one-man show that opens Sunday afternoon starring Joel Rooks as funnyman George Burns, the king of straight men gets his due.

A cigar and a one-liner: Joel Rooks as George Burns in “Say Goodnight, Gracie.” Scott Myers
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