Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-winning ‘Disgraced’ asks broad questions about the interplay between the two faiths.
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‘Islam comes from the desert,” says the character Amir over dinner at his lavish Manhattan apartment. “From a group of tough- minded, tough-living people who saw life as something … to be suffered. Jews reacted to the situation differently. They turned it over and over and over. I mean look at the Talmud. They’re looking at things from a hundred different angles. … Muslims don’t think about it. They submit.”
Fed up with decades of slaving away at Lindy’s, waiters at that iconic Jewish eatery used to joke about writing a tell-all memoir, “I’ve Waited Long Enough.” Brad Zimmerman knows the feeling. After 29 years of waiting tables as an unemployed actor, he finally has his own one-man stand-up show, “My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy,” in which he chronicles his agonizing odyssey to the stage. When it ran in June in Southern California, critic Pam Kragen of the San Diego Union-Tribune called the show “witty and deeply personal … part confessional, part therapy session and part black comedy.” It opens this Sunday on the Upper West Side.
NYU student’s play takes edgy approach to life in a death camp.
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Jake Rosenberg, a young playwright from San Francisco whose “Holocaust comedy” set in Auschwitz makes its New York premiere next week, says his biggest bout of nerves came when the play was performed for the first time in his hometown last year.
Welcoming guests is a time-honored Jewish custom; we keep our wedding canopies open on all sides, invite others to share our Sabbath and holiday meals, and even set out a cup of wine for Elijah at our seders. On Sukkot, we extend our hospitality even to the dead, making room for our patriarchs, matriarchs, ancient leaders and kings through the joyful ritual known as ushpizin.
Paris in the early-20th century was a hotbed of artistic and sexual experimentation. Even so, the expatriate American writer Gertrude Stein stood out as a gay Jewish woman whose art was as uncompromising and unconventional as her lifestyle. Stein’s book of prose poetry, “Tender Buttons,” comes to the stage this month in an epic production by the Van Reipen Collective that promises to shed new light on one of Stein’s most challenging and influential works. It starts this week in the East Village.
Exiled from their land for more than 350 years, English Jews have always led a somewhat marginalized existence, even though many of the have risen to positions of great prominence and prestige. In Daniel Cainer’s one-man show, “Jewish Chronicles,” the contradictions of Jewish life in England come both bruisingly and enchantingly to the fore. When he performed in Sydney, Australia, in 2010, critic Lloyd Bradford of Australian Stage Online found that Cainer’s songs forge “deep connections” between his own chaotic personal experiences and the colorful life of his people. “Jewish Chronicles” opens downtown in early October for a five-and-a-half-week run.
According to Jewish tradition, the most important book in the history of the world came from his hand, but most of us think of him more as a prince and prophet than as a writer. In Andrew Heinze’s new comedy, “Moses, the Author,” the leader of the Israelites comes back to life as a struggling wordsmith facing a plethora of perplexing personal problems. The play, which was performed at the Fringe Festival in August, will return as part of the Fringe Encores series. It runs at the Soho Playhouse over the last weekend of September and the first weekend of October.
How much suffering can a person bear? Suzanne Tanner’s “Beyond Me: A Song Cycle in the Key of Survival” is a one-woman multimedia show based on the tragic experiences of Rachel Goldman Miller, a Parisian Jewish Holocaust survivor who lost her parents, sister and two brothers to the Nazis, and then, after coming to America and starting a new life, lost a son to AIDS. The play runs next Saturday evening at the United Solo Festival in Midtown.
It was the disappointment of a lifetime. Two Jewish sprinters, Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, were suddenly dropped from the U.S. track team at the 1936 Summer Olympics (known as the “Nazi Olympics”) in Berlin in favor of two African-American athletes, Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. In “Olympics Über Alles,” a play by Samuel J. Bernstein and Marguerite Krupp, the incident becomes the catalyst for a controversial contemporary museum exhibit in New York. The play began performances last week in Midtown.