Theater

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Mash-up Of The Holidays

11/26/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

If there is a single lesson to be learned from both the story of the Chanukah oil and the tale of the birth of Jesus, it is that when all else fails, expect the unexpected. Little wonder, then, that winter holiday shows often take a zany, unpredictable approach to the mash-up of Chanukah and Christmas. Less Than Rent’s first annual holiday pageant, “How LTR Stole Christmas,” combines elf choirs, holiday sweater stripteases, and an unorthodox retelling of the Chanukah story in a broad satire of the holiday season. The show runs for three performances on Tuesday nights in December in the East Village.

Brandon Zelman’s “A Blue Christmas Without Jew” is part of Less Than Rent’s holiday offerings. Peter Konerko

Chanukah Story As Anti-Bullying Message

11/19/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

Of all the holidays in the Jewish calendar, Chanukah may be the one most beloved by children. It also provides one of the best opportunities for teaching children valuable lessons. Just ask Karin Hershkovitz-Kochavi, an immigrant from Israel, who, along with Denise Kornitz, founded the Yeladudes Theater last year to produce bilingual English-Hebrew shows for youth. Their new show, “The Chanukah Miracle,” helps children to draw from Jewish tradition in order to take charge of their own lives.

A scene from "The Chanukah Miracle." Adam Cohen

Fertile Fields Of Song

11/12/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

She may not have the name recognition of some of her male peers, but Dorothy Fields was one of the most successful Broadway lyricists of the 20th century. Now she returns for one night only in Pippa White’s one-woman cabaret show, “I Can’t Give You Anything but Songs,” a loving tribute to a remarkably talented and prolific, yet relatively unsung, Jewish songwriter. White, who is accompanied by Vince Learned, will appear next Thursday, Nov. 21 at 9 p.m. on Theatre Row.

Music director Vince Learned with Pippa White as Dorothy Fields in “I Can’t Give You Anything but Songs.”

Folksbiene Tackles Big ‘Lies’

Largest cast ever for Yiddish theater’s musical adaptation of ‘Lies My Father Told Me.’

11/12/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

It was a kind of Canadian spin-off of “Fiddler on the Roof.” When Jan Kadar’s cinematic classic, “Lies My Father Told Me,” premiered in 1975, it was hailed as a stunning evocation of Jewish life in Montreal in the 1920s, as the older immigrant generation and its ways began to fade into obsolescence. The tale of a 6-year- old boy caught between his Tevye-like grandfather and his ambitious, money-hungry father, the film rode the wave of multiculturalism that had engulfed North America, and focused new attention on Jewish ethnicity.

Alex Dreier as David, left, and Chuck Karel as Zayda in “Lies My Father Told Me.” Crystal Arnette
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