Theater

Paradise Lost

02/14/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

When last we saw Eve Adams, the intrepid Jewish bookseller at the center of Barbara Kahn’s play, “The Spring and Fall of Eve Adams,” she was under arrest. The charge was selling “obscene” novels by Henry Miller and Anais Nin, from her Jazz Age lesbian speakeasy and tearoom in Greenwich Village.

Jessica Lurie and her klez-tinged ensemble play 92YTribeca this weekend. Joe Mabel

Making It In America?

‘Russian Transport’ brings the immigrant experience to modern-day Brooklyn, complete with a relative’s shady business.

02/08/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

A working-class Jewish family struggling to make ends meet. A gangster uncle newly arrived from Russia. Conflicts between immigrant parents and their more Americanized children. It all sounds a lot like the early-20th century world of Samson Raphaelson’s “The Jazz Singer” or Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers.”

Morgan Spector and Sarah Steele in “Russian Transport.” Monique Carboni

Schnitzler’s ‘Masterpiece’

01/31/2012
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’

01/24/2012
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

Somebody’s Done Them Wrong

01/17/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Beware a woman with a past! Such is the lesson of a double bill of plays arriving downtown from Israel this week, based on a pair of classic short stories from Jewish tradition by Nobel Prize-winning authors. In the first, a dramatization of I. B. Singer’s “Gimpel the Fool,” a credulous orphan is persuaded by his wife, the town prostitute, that he is the father of her children by other men. In the second, a dance-theater piece inspired by S.Y.

Victor Attar and Ilana Cohen in “The Lady and the Peddler.” Photo by Rami Katza

Sontag’s ‘Lush Life’

01/10/2012

She called for an “erotics of art” that would transcend interpretation and pave the way to unmediated aesthetic experience. When Susan Sontag died of cancer in 2004, America lost one its most brilliant philosophers and artists. “Sontag: Reborn,” a one-woman multimedia show by Moe Angelos that runs through this weekend at the Public Theater, seeks to juxtapose Sontag’s youth with the wisdom of her later years.

Moe Angelos in her one-woman show “Sontag: Reborn,” which features projections of an older Sontag on video screens. James Gibbs

Classic Israeli Children’s Tale At Y

Musical based on ‘Hanna and the Moonlit Dress,’ a PJ Library selection, debuts this weekend.

01/03/2012
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.

12/27/2011
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

12/20/2011
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".

‘Shlemiel’ As ‘Post-Modern Farce’

David Gordon brings new movement, literally, to the Folksbiene’s production of the iconic Yiddish tale.

12/13/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

A shlemiel is defined, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, as a “habitual bungler, a dolt.” In the hands of the creators of the rousing klezmer musical, “Shlemiel the First,” which is being revived this month by the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre, we are all shlemiels in our fumbling attempts at knowledge of each other and ourselves. The tuneful, exuberant show began performances this week at the Skirball Center of NYU.

Michael Iannucci as Shlemiel, spreading the “wisdom” of the Wise Men of Chelm in “Shlemiel the First.” Gerry Goodstein
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