Theater

This Land Is …

01/14/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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There may be only a handful left today, but less than a century ago, there were tens of thousands of Jewish Communists in New York who decried the gap between rich and poor in the city. Now comes Billy Yalowitz’s “East Towards Home,” a 90-minute play that uses dance, live music and animation to connect the Yiddish-speaking, left-wing Jews of New York to the music of Woody Guthrie, whose folk tunes gave voice to the parched people of the Dust Bowl during the Depression.

David Kremenitzer and Eleanor Reissa in Billy Yalowitz’s Woody Guthrie-inspired “East Towards Home.” Jonathan Slaff

She Moved The Pop Music Earth

How a Brooklyn girl named Carol Klein bridged cultures in the ’60s and rewrote American popular song.

01/08/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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She took an unconventional route to superstardom, but it was a soulful road that Carole King traveled.

Born Carol Klein in Brooklyn in 1942, she did not set out to become a performer. In “Beautiful,” the new musical about King that opens this Sunday on Broadway, King’s career as a budding songwriter comes to the fore. Starring Jessie Mueller (“On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”) as King, the musical opens a window on a pivotal 1960s era in pop music in which a group of mostly Jewish composers and lyricists wrote for mostly black performers, changing the face of American culture in the process.

King of American Pop: Play looks at her career. Getty Images

Staging Imre Kertész’s Take On Kaddish

12/31/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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Of all Jewish prayers, perhaps the best known is the Kaddish, the memorial prayer for the dead. But for the celebrated Hungarian Jewish author, Imre Kertész, who survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald, Kaddish became a way of mourning the child he never had, the child whom he refused to bring into a post-Holocaust world. Now Kertész’s celebrated stream-of-consciousness novel, “Kaddish for an Unborn Child,” has been turned into a one-man play, “Kaddish.” Starring Jake Goodman, it runs this month at the 14th Street Y.

Jake Goodman stars in the one-man play “Kaddish.” Atilla Takacs

Gained In Translation?

The new romantic comedy ‘Handle With Care’ turns on questions of language and miscommunication.

12/24/2013
Jewish Week Correspondent
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The husband-and-wife team behind the new play “Handle With Care” forged new connections with each other working on a script  about, of all things, how difficult it can be for people to forge a connection.

Jonathan Sale, Sheffield Chastain, Carole Lawrence and Charlotte Cohn in “Handle With Care.”

Imprisoned For Who She Was

Barbara Kahn fills in more of the Eve Adams story in ‘Island Girls.’

12/24/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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She paid a tremendous price for her embrace of an unconventional lifestyle. Eve Adams, the Polish Jewish, lesbian owner of a Jazz Age tearoom in Greenwich Village, ended up in a women’s penitentiary before being deported to France, and ultimately murdered in Auschwitz. New York playgoers are familiar with Adams’ arrest, as well as her forced exile in Europe, thanks to two works by prolific playwright Barbara Kahn, “The Spring and Fall of Eve Adams” and “Unreachable Eden.”

Noelle LuSane and Steph van Vlack as Eve Adams.

Gained In Translation?

The new romantic comedy ‘Handle With Care’ turns on questions of language and miscommunication.

12/18/2013
Jewish Week Correspondent
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The husband-and-wife team behind the new play “Handle With Care” connected on a script about, of all things, how difficult it can be for people to forge a connection.

Jonathan Sale, Sheffield Chastain, Carole Lawrence and Charlotte Cohnn in "Handle With Care."

A Flood Of Questions About Noah Story

12/17/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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From the medieval Shipwrights’ Guilds building boats for Bible plays to the Richard Rodgers musical, “Two By Two” (revived last Winter at the York Theatre), the story of Noah’s Ark has inspired dramatists throughout history. Now comes “At the Ark at Eight,” a multimedia black comedy about a pair of wily penguins that smuggle a third penguin on board the ark in a suitcase.

“At the Ark at Eight” is a modern look at the biblical story of Noah and the flood.

Does ‘Lies’ Stretch Folksbiene Too Thin?

Connection to Yiddish culture not seen as robust enough in new production.

12/10/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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A decade after winning an Oscar for his 1965 Holocaust masterpiece, “The Shop on Main Street,” the Hungarian Jewish director Jan Kadar filmed “Lies My Father Told Me,” a nostalgic story about an 8-year-old boy and his grandfather in 1920s Montreal. Some called Kadar the “messiah” of the Canadian film industry, propelling it to international attention and raising its standards. Indeed, “Lies,” based originally on a story by Ted Allan, went on to win major Canadian film prizes and to become a classic in its own right.

The cast of “Lies My Father Told Me.” Michael Priest Photography

Anna Sokolow, Steps Ahead

12/03/2013
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She put modern dance on a new footing by infusing it with dramatic expression and social consciousness. Now, Anna Sokolow, the revolutionary Jewish choreographer who inspired many of the leading actors and dancers of the 20th century, takes center stage again next week in two shows that commemorate her remarkable legacy. Highlights from her work will be performed in “Anna Sokolow Way,” and dancers who worked with her will recount their memories and demonstrate her techniques in “From the Horse’s Mouth.” The shows are being performed in repertory through this weekend at the 14th Street Y.

In "Anna Sokolow Way," dancers will perform highlights from the choreographer oeuvre.

When What’s Private Becomes Public

Celebrities’ complicated Jewish identities dramatized in song in thought-provoking ‘Stars of David.’

12/03/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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In a 1947 speech to a group of Jewish artists and scientists in New York, Arthur Miller decried the practice among prominent Jews of facing “away from Jewish life when one has a story to tell.” Miller insisted, “We wrong ourselves and our own art, as well as our own people, by drawing a curtain upon them.” In Abigail Pogrebin’s best-selling book of interviews, “Stars of David,” now showing, in musicalized form, at the DR2 Theater, that curtain is drawn back to permit a rare glimpse into the Jewish lives of celebrities.

Aaron Serotsky, Alan Schmuckler, Donna Vivino and Janet Metz in “Stars of David.” Carol Rosegg
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