Theater

‘No Exit’ For Yiddish Poets

Englander’s debut as playwright crackles with observations about artists in repressive regime but lacks emotional punch.
11/19/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

For the ancient Romans, life was short but art endured — “vita brevis, ars longa,” as the Latin saying goes. Alas, the helpless Yiddish writers in Nathan Englander’s first play, “The Twenty-Seventh Man,” directed by Barry Edelstein, can count on neither, as they face the extinction of both their earthly existences and the entire Jewish cultural life of Russia. 

Daniel Oreskes, Ron Rifkin and Noah Robbins in “The Twenty-Seventh Man.” Joan Marcus

Streamlining The Double Life Of ‘Asher Lev’

In the battle for the painter’s soul, Aaron Posner’s new production leaves out the art but not the war within.
11/19/2012 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Does an artist have a responsibility to anything other than his or her art? In Chaim Potok’s novel, “My Name is Asher Lev,” a young chasidic painter in Brooklyn discovers that his artistic talent clashes irreconcilably with the dictates of his family and community.

Ari Brand as Asher Lev: Caught between art and family. Photos by Joan Marcus

Godfather Meets Fiddler

11/12/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Call him the Jewish Mack the Knife. Benya Krik, the corrupt but compelling anti-hero of Isaac Babel’s Odessa stories, springs back to life in Denis Woychuk and Stephen Brennan’s new musical, “Isaac Babel and the Gangster King.” 

A scene from “Isaac Babel and the Gangster King,” at the Kraine Theater.

A Storyteller Turned Playwright

Nathan Englander on going from page to stage with his short story, ‘The 27th Man.’
11/12/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Nathan Englander’s first play, “The Twenty-Seventh Man,” is about a struggling, unknown Jewish writer named Pinchas Pelovits apprehended by Stalin’s secret police along with prominent Yiddish poets slated for execution. Englander talked to The Jewish Week about the experience of becoming a playwright.

Nathan Englander.

Losing Yourself, Finding Yourself

11/05/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

No one has articulated the plight of the immigrant better than Moses, who dolefully called himself a “stranger in a strange land.” That description would undoubtedly resonate with the characters in Sophia Romma’s absurdist new play, “Cabaret Émigré.” 

L-R: Carolyn Seiff, Grant Morenz, Allan Mirchin. Gestapo general trapped in Hell with grandparents of Jewish WWII soldier. Adele

Yiddish Theater, On The Margin

10/31/2012 - 20:00

Little did the theater director David Herskovitz know, when he caught The Jewish Museum’s 2008 exhibit on Marc Chagall and the Russian Jewish Theater, that he would end up spending the next stage of his career staging forgotten Yiddish works. Herskovitz’s theater company, Target Margin, is discovering that rescuing Yiddish plays from oblivion can transform audiences’ expectations.

David Herskovitz

The Jewish Immigrant Experience, In Song

The tunes in the musical ‘The Golden Land’ are ‘living documents of Jewish life in America.’
10/15/2012 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Of all the enticing myths about America that drove Eastern European Jews to uproot themselves and immigrate to these shores, perhaps the most seductive was that the streets were paved with gold. Nor was it just the streets — America itself was known as the “goldene medina.”

The original 1982 cast of “The Golden Land,” starring Molly Picon, center.

Can’t Buy Me Love

10/09/2012 - 20:00

It scandalized audiences with its lurid tale of greed and forbidden love. When Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance” opened on Broadway In 1923, it caused such a furor that the entire cast was thrown in jail. Now the play returns in a new production at the Marvell Rep, as part of a series of plays that were “banned or burned” at some point in their production history. Directed by Lenny Leibowitz, the play runs through the end of the month in Midtown.

Joy Franz, Leanne Agmon and Molly Stroller in “God of Vengeance.” Jill Usdan

Searching For Himself, And His Birth Mother

10/02/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Is any human need deeper than the need to know where we came from? In Rock Wilk’s one-man show, “Broke Wide Open,” directed by Stephen Bishop Seely, the poet and performance artist explores his conflicted identity about the time he was given away at birth and then adopted by Jewish parents. The play opens this weekend at the 45th Street Theatre for a month-long run.

Rock Wilk in a scene from “Broke Wide Open”  Serge Cashman

Sign Of The Times

09/24/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Communication between parents and children is often fraught with misunderstanding. But few children are frustrated even by the simple mechanics of relating to their parents. Gloria Rosen’s one-woman show, “Listen … Can You Hear Me Now?,” is the autobiographical tale of a hearing child with two deaf parents. When it ran on the West Coast, the Santa Monica Mirror hailed the show as “amazingly funny,” adding that “audience members, regardless of their backgrounds, identified with it.”

Gloria Rosen’s one-woman show “Listen … Can You Hear Me Now” depicts life as the hearing child of deaf parents.
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