The Arts

Hitler And His Niece: Abuse Of Power

05/27/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

http://www.3vtheater.comShe was the niece of the most evil man who ever lived — and he was in love with her.

Aliza Shane’s new play, “Mein Uncle,” is loosely based on the relationship between Hitler and Geli Raubal, his half-niece, with whom he was sexually obsessed. The play, which is more fantasy than history, asks whether the abuse of power in a relationship can have repercussions that extend into the wider world. “Mein Uncle,” which began performances this week, runs through June 8 in the East Village.

Eric Percival, as the Hitler figure, and Amanda Marikar as his niece Geli in “Mein Uncle.” Jenn Tufaro

Ayn Rand, With A Rock Beat

Her post-apocalyptic novella ‘Anthem’ gets a high-tech, sci-fi reworking.

05/27/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

If anyone believed in the power of freedom, it was Ayn Rand. In her best-selling novels, “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged,” Rand, an atheist Jewish immigrant from Russia, articulated an ideology of individualism that still holds sway in American political and economic life, particularly among conservatives whose faith in the free market is absolute.

Randy Jones and Remy Zaken, in “Anthem.” Michael Blase

There Goes The Neighborhood

Barry Frydlender documents the view outside his studio at the border of Tel Aviv and Jaffa, and offers a comment on gentrification.

05/27/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

‘Yaffo-Tel Aviv,” the latest exhibit of work by the contemporary Israeli photographer Barry Frydlender, is comprised of only eight photographs taken from only one vantage point — his studio’s window.

“Flood,” 2003. Barry Frydlender

Precious Stones

A Holocaust-themed play, with diamonds.

05/22/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

Many Holocaust survivors have harrowing tales of persevering against the odds. But in few such stories does courage shine through in quite the same way as in Carrie Robbins’ multifaceted play, “The Diamond Eater,” about a jeweler who swallows his precious stones in order to retrieve them later for barter.  

A darkly funny Holocaust play is based on a true story. Fotolia

Words Matter, A Lot

Mel Bochner’s ‘Strong Language’ show challenges our notions about reading and seeing.

05/20/2014
Culture Editor

Mel Bochner’s new show at The Jewish Museum involves a lot of reading. The more than 70 drawings and paintings are lists of synonyms, portraits conveyed with words, texts with philosophical leanings and emoticons, too.

Bochner’s “Language is Not Transparent.” Will Ragozzinno/The Jewish Museum

Golem’s Back, With A Bang

The klez-punk returns after a five-year hiatus with a set of originals, thanks to a noted world music label.

05/20/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

The new album by Golem, “Tanz,” opens with a veritable explosion of energy, a burst of rocket-fuel-fed klez-punk that reminds listeners that the band hasn’t released an album since 2009. That’s five years’ worth of frustration you hear being blown away in those opening bars of the title cut.

Recent events in Ukraine color new album by Golem. Pascal Perich

Seniors In The Promised Land

David Gaynes’ ‘Next Year Jerusalem’ chronicles the journey to Israel of eight residents of a Connecticut nursing home.

05/20/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

 “Next Year Jerusalem” is something of an oddity. The non-fiction film, which opened May 16, is a gentle film, almost placid in its understated serenity, a quiet portrait of a group of eight residents of the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield, Conn., who undertake a weeklong tour of Israel. As a subject for a feature film, this excursion is almost as improbable as the trip it documents.

Residents of a Connecticut nursing home tour Israel in "Next Year Jerusalem." Courtesy of First Run Features

Immigrant Tales Hit The Streets

05/14/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

Inspired by immigrant-themed stories from The New York Times from a century ago, Ryan Gilliam and Michael Hickey’s new site-specific musical, “The News,” is running on street corners, parks, and other venues on the Lower East Side. As the audience members, who are wearing special MP3 players, move from one place to the next, the youthful 31-member company (ages 12 to 16) dances to pre-recorded music that only the audience can hear.

A scene from the site-specific immigrant-themed play “The News.”  Michael Hickey

Ellis Island’s Haunted Side

Finding beauty (and buried memories) in the abandoned buildings on the south side of the island.

05/13/2014
Culture Editor

In February 2002, Paul Margolis traveled to the south side of Ellis Island — not to the restored main buildings that now serve as a museum of immigration but to the abandoned site of hospital wards, quarantine quarters and the morgue. A documentary photographer, he found quiet beauty and powerful imagery amid the abundant decay and buried memories. 

Paul Margolis’ images provide a haunting reminder of the dark side of immigration history. Paul Margolis

What American Dream?

James Gray returns to themes of acculturation in ‘The Immigrant,’ this time drawing on his grandparents’ experiences.

05/13/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

James Gray announces his intentions boldly with the very first image of his new film, “The Immigrant,” which opens theatrically on May 16. As you might expect from the title, the first shot of the film is of the Statue of Liberty. But Gray stands the cliché on its head, showing us not the iconic picture of welcome but the back of the statue.

Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard in “The Immigrant.” Courtesy of The Weinstein Company
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