The Arts

Madoff, The Farce

04/08/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

Five years after Bernie Madoff’s conviction and sentencing, the Ponzi schemer is as visible as ever in our popular culture. But after many plays and films that treated him with utmost seriousness, Madoff also became a target of satire, beginning with the 2011 comedy film, “Tower Heist,” in which Alan Alda played a Jewish financial whiz who robbed working people of their pension money. And then there was Lee Blessing’s 2013 darkly comic play, “A User’s Guide to Hell, Featuring Bernard Madoff.”

“Greed,” at New World Stages, is a satirical look at the life of Bernard Madoff. Celeste Muniz

For Single-Mom Clergy, Public Role, Private Path

New documentary chronicles stories of four women and their non-traditional choices.

04/08/2014
Culture Editor

While davening in her parlor office one sunlit morning several years ago, Rabbi Felicia Sol had a revelation: If she were to pursue her dream of becoming a mother even though she was single, she would still have the possibility of finding a husband — she might just be shifting the order around. The notion that pursuing parenthood on her own wasn’t all about loss proved to be liberating. Soon after, she went to see a doctor to explore possibilities. Rabbi Sol, one of the spiritual leaders of B’nai Jeshurun and one of the most prominent women rabbis in New York City, is now the single mother of a son and daughter.

Rabbi Felicia Sol, with her daughter in scenes from “All of the Above.” Courtesy of Diva Communications

The Dance Of Coexistence

Teaching ballroom dancing (and perhaps larger lessons) to Israeli Jewish and Arab pre-teens in Jaffa.

04/08/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

There is very little that a couple can do together in public that is more intimate than ballroom dancing. Even in its most chaste form, it requires two people to place one hand in the other’s hand, and one hand on the partner’s shoulder or waist. To do it really successfully, they have to look into one another’s eyes, and, in a sense, think as one.

Pierre Dulaine, instructs his young charges in “Dancing in Jaffa.”  IFC Films

Menzel Is Marvelous in ‘If/Then’

04/07/2014
Jewish Week Correspondent

Idina Menzel, whose most recent triumph is singing the Oscar-winning song “Let It Go,” in the Disney movie “Frozen,” has made a triumphant return to Broadway in the new musical “If/Then” at the Richard Rodgers Theater on West 46th Street.

Playing a single woman in the city, Menzel owns the role.

Musical Mixing And Matching

Isle of Klezbos and the Klezmer/Jazz Alliance have more in common than you might think.

04/01/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

One band is celebrating its second album and 16 years of existence.

The other is brand new and hoping to get into the studio soon.

One leader has been at the head of two of New York’s longest running klezmer bands since their inceptions.

Brian Glassman’s ensemble moves effortlessly between musical genres. Glory Yew.

Malamud’s Magic

Re-evaluating the great (but underappreciated) novelist as the Library of America enshrines his deeply humanistic works.

04/01/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

Finally: with the publication of two handsome volumes (and a third in the works) of the novels and short stories of Bernard Malamud (1914-1986), the Library of America has at long last welcomed into its pantheon of American literary greats the Brooklyn-born author of such well-known works of fiction as “The Natural” (yup, the source for the blockbuster baseball movie starring Robert Redford), “The Fixer” (which won the Pulitzer Prize and also spawned a movie, this one starring Alan Bates), “The Assistant,” and others. 

With two new editions, Malamud belatedly takes his place among fellow, lauded 20th-century Jewish writers S. Bellow and P. Roth

Staging Kertész’s ‘Fatelessness’

04/01/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

Some experiences are so traumatic that the mind refuses to believe that they are happening. In Imre Kertész’s “Fatelessness,” the Nobel Prize-winning novel based on the Hungarian author’s boyhood experiences during the Holocaust, a matter-of-fact tone bridges a yawning chasm of despair. Adam Boncz’s one-man stage version of the novel, adapted by Andras Visky, debuts next week in Soho; it arrives just as Hungary marks the 70th anniversary of the Nazi occupation.

Adam Boncz stars in a one-man show based on Imre Kertesz’s boyhood experiences during the Holocaust. Celeste Muniz

‘Noah’ Co-Writer Stands Up For His Story speaks

Neuroscientist Ari Handel switched fields to write with former suitemate Darren Aronofsky.

04/01/2014
Jewish Week Correspondent

Ari Handel on set. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

A ‘Threepenny Opera’ For The 99 Percent

Martha Clarke and the Atlantic Theater Company team up on a classic play with rich contemporary overtones.

03/25/2014
Jewish Week Correspondent

The acclaimed dance-theater artist Martha Clarke says she has, for “some unknown reason,” always been “drawn to the historical.”

Maybe Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s “The Threepenny Opera” is the reason. She certainly has some history with the classic theater work about criminality and corruption set during the waning days of the pre-World War II Weimar Republic in Germany.

Michael Park and Laura Osnes, foreground, in scene from “A Threepenny Opera,” directed by Martha Clarke. Kevin Thomas Garcia

How The Nazis Defiled Art, Then Lives

A cruel connection between artwork and the artists who made it lies at the heart of ‘Degenerate Art’ show.

03/25/2014
Culture Editor

From the very beginning of the exhibition “Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937,” the connection is made, and underscored, between the Nazis identifying artists whose work was unacceptable, destroying their art and wrecking their careers, and the Nazis (later) identifying people whose very being was unacceptable and murdering them. 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s “A Group of Artists." Courtesy of MoMA/SCALA/Art Resource, NY
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