Theater

‘The Religion Of Art’ On The Lower East Side

04/28/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

With the passing earlier this month of Judith Malina, the co-founder of the Living Theatre, the Lower East Side lost one of its true artistic pioneers. But while Malina was associated with the heyday of the counterculture in the 1960s, the neighborhood has continued to support a vibrant experimental theater scene until the present day, and to nurture the careers of a plethora of Jewish artists.

Clove Galilee is the subject of new one-woman play. Quincy Stamper

‘The Religion Of Art’ On The Lower East Side

04/28/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

With the passing earlier this month of Judith Malina, the co-founder of the Living Theatre, the Lower East Side lost one of its true artistic pioneers. But while Malina was associated with the heyday of the counterculture in the 1960s, the neighborhood has continued to support a vibrant experimental theater scene until the present day, and to nurture the careers of a plethora of Jewish artists.

Clove Galilee is the subject of new one-woman play. Quincy Stamper

‘The Religion Of Art’ On The Lower East Side

One-woman show explores life of daughter of Mabou Mines founders.

04/23/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

With the passing earlier this month of Judith Malina, the co-founder of the Living Theatre, the Lower East Side lost one of its true artistic pioneers. But while Malina was associated with the counter-culture’s heyday in the 1960s, the neighborhood has continued to support a vibrant experimental theater scene until the present day, and to nurture the careers of a plethora of Jewish artists.

Clove Galilee, the focus of “Because You Were Good.” Quincy Stamper

A Stage For Compassion

04/14/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Often maligned as a singular stereotype in pop culture, in real life the Jewish mother comes in all shapes, sizes and personalities. In Deb Margolin’s new solo work, “8 Stops,” the performance artist copes with her own potentially fatal illness, her son’s terror of death and her sudden impulse to provide succor to a Scottish immigrant boy she meets on the subway. The play opens this week in the West Village and runs until the last weekend of April — just two weeks before Mother’s Day.

Deb Margolin in scene from her one-woman show, “8 Stops.”  Raymond Reilly

Heidi’s Struggles Still Relevant

03/31/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

When Wendy Wasserstein won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for “The Heidi Chronicles,” her overbearing mother, Lola, is said to have boasted that the prize was a Nobel — even the Pulitzer represented a falling short. Little wonder that the play, which is now back on Broadway, centers on a woman who is deeply conflicted about her own professional success, even as she attempts to balance the competing demands of work and family. Charles Isherwood of the New York Times lauded the revival, which opened in mid-March, as “vibrant,” with a “softly radiant” lead performance by Elizabeth Moss (“Mad Men”) as Heidi.

Elizabeth Moss and Jason Biggs in "The Heidi Chronicles." Joan Marcus

Beefing Up The Backstory Of ‘An American In Paris’

Creators of revival seeking to convey the emotional toll of the occupation and the Holocaust.

03/24/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

For Broadway producer Stuart Oken, there are few career moments as transformative as receiving an invitation from the Gershwin family. A lifelong fan of Gershwin’s standards and symphonic works, Oken jumped at the opportunity for a meeting where he was asked to adapt the 1951 film, “An American in Paris,” into a Broadway musical. However, as a producer specifically of new musicals, Oken was hesitant about developing a show that “felt like a revival”; in other words, that it felt old. Adding to that was the film’s vague storyline and tenuous historical context.

The cast of “An American in Paris.” The new script is rewritten “as a more complex narrative.” Angela Sterling

Two Brothers, One Bomb

03/17/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

While Iran’s nuclear ambitions weighed heavily on the minds of many Israeli voters as they went to the polls this week, a play opened in New York that asks whether or not two wealthy Jewish brothers from the Upper West Side should have invented the atom bomb in the first place. Jack Karp’s new drama, “Irreversible,” centers on J. Robert Oppenheimer (Jordan Kaplan) and his younger brother, Frank (Josh Doucette) who beat out the Nazis in the race to build the atom bomb only to be staggered by its power of destruction and to oppose the creation of the even more powerful hydrogen bomb. The play, which is directed by Melanie Moyer Williams, runs through March 29 at the 14th Street Y.

Jordan Kaplan, Amelia Matthews and Josh Doucette in “Irreversible.” Bruce Cohen

KulturfestNYC Is Folksbiene’s ‘Gift To The City’

Yiddish theater marks 100th anniversary with international Jewish performing arts festival, set for June.

03/10/2015
Culture Editor

It’s like the Summer Olympics of Yiddish, without the competition.

In a week of back-to-back performances, Yiddish will be heard in multi-accented songs, shouts and whispers on stages throughout the city, when the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene presents KulturfestNYC, an ambitious celebration of its 100th anniversary being billed as a major international Jewish performing arts festival.

The Folksbiene’s Bryna Wasserman, left, and Zalmen Mlotek, right, with lyricist Sheldon Harnick. Michael Priest

The Handwriting On The Wall

03/10/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Hindsight may be 20-20, but for the Jewish Berliners in Iddo Netanyahu’s Off-Broadway play, “A Happy End,” set just after the fateful 1932 elections that solidified the power of the Third Reich, the decision about whether or not to leave Germany is both irrevocable and monumental. As a Jewish physicist and his wife, Mark Erdmann (Curzon Dobell) and Leah (Carmit Levite), struggle with the prospect of giving up the life that they know in exchange for a safe haven abroad, they are forced to confront their Jewish identity in ways that they had never anticipated. The production, which is currently in previews, runs through March 29 at the Abingdon Theatre Company in Midtown.

Cast of “A Happy End,” with playwright Iddo Netanyahu, seated at left.  Nicole Rollo

Curb Your Expectations

Larry David’s ‘Fish in the Dark’ doesn’t move swimmingly along.

03/10/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

A swaggering, self-centered, utterly unsympathetic “hero.” An awkward social situation in which said character displays how greedy, grasping and manipulative he can be. A series of comic reversals in which the character receives his comeuppance and must decide whether or not to repair the relationships he has so heedlessly destroyed.

Rosie Perez and Larry David in “Fish in the Dark,” David’s play about death and dysfunctional family dynamics. Joan Marcus
Syndicate content