The Arts

Wyatt Earp’s Jewish Wife Gets Her Due

All-female musical puts spotlight on role of women in Wild West.

05/24/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

She was the wife of one of the most famous gunslingers in the history of the Wild West, but today few have heard of her. Josephine Marcus escaped her Jewish family in San Francisco and married Wyatt Earp, whose extraordinary legend she helped to craft and perpetuate. In “I Married Wyatt Earp,” an all-female musical now running Off Broadway, she finally gets her due.

Frontier women: Scene from “I Married Wyatt Earp,” directed by Cara Reichel.  Gerry Goodstein

A Night In Tunisia

05/17/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Some wars are fought more in the bedroom than on the battlefield. In Tuvia Tenenbom’s new play, “Saida,” the aging leader of the Palestinian secret service (Robert Tekavec) and his young Israeli counterpart (Sergei Nagony) vie for the hand of Saida (Anita Clay), the most beautiful woman in Tunisia. An allegory for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “Saida” opened last weekend at the Kraine Theatre in the East Village. Jeffrey Coyne and Adam Shiri are also featured in the cast.

“Saida,” with Sergei Nagony, left, Robert Tekavec and Anita Clay, is meant as a metaphor about Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Drawing The (Green) Line

MOMA’s Francis Alÿs retrospective omits the conceptual artist’s best works.

05/17/2011
Staff Writer

Four years ago, the Belgian artist Francis Alÿs displayed one of his best works in years, “The Green Line,” at Chelsea’s David Zwirner Gallery. With a characteristically axiomatic subtitle — “Sometimes Doing Something Poetic Can Become Political, and Sometimes Doing Something Political Can Become Poetic” — it gave an artist’s askance view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and achieved that rare artistic feat: chastising the political status quo without becoming either cynical or simplistic.

An image from Alÿs’ “The Green Line,”  Courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery

Roman Holiday

Visiting Tempio Maggiore choir introduces world to the melting pot of Italian Jewish music.

05/17/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

When it was home to the greatest empire the world had yet known, it was said that all roads led to Rome. To build that empire meant sending the city’s sons across much of the known world, yet at least one group remained there unmoved, despite a history of (not always voluntary) wandering.

Claudio Maestro Di Segni, left, leads the choir at the Tempio Maggiore in its U.S. debut Sunday.

The Rabbi Was A ‘Freedom Rider’

N.J. spiritual leader, part of a new PBS documentary, looks back on his role in the civil rights struggle.

05/11/2011
Staff Writer

When Rabbi Israel S. Dresner got a call 50 years ago asking if he’d be willing to go on a Freedom Ride aimed at desegregating bus stations in the South, he did not hesitate.

“Remember, I’m a guy who grew up in the 1930s when Hitler was on the rise,” Rabbi Dresner, now 82, said in a recent interview from his home in Wayne, N.J. “How can I not be against racism?”

Rabbi Israel S. Dresner

Life-Saving Amid Bloodshed

Award-winning film about a Gaza boy and his Israeli doctor wins fans from all sides of the conflict.

05/10/2011
Staff Writer

In 2008, Shlomi Eldar, a prominent Israeli television journalist, was asked to do a segment on a baby Palestinian boy suffering from a lethal blood disease, and an Israeli doctor’s attempt to save him. But Eldar was reluctant.

Raida, right, with her 4-month-old son Mohammad, middle, in a scene from “Precious Life,” which airs on HBO this month.

Birth Pangs Of A Dad-To-Be

05/10/2011

Few things in life are more stressful than becoming a parent for the first time. In Jonathan Marc Sherman’s new play, “Knickerbocker,” a 40-year-old Jewish man, Jerry (Alexander Chaplin, who played the speechwriter James Hobert on the ABC sitcom “Spin City”) comes to grips with his own fears of impending fatherhood. Directed by Pippin Parker, who chairs the playwriting department at The New School, “Knickerbocker” opens next week at the Public Theater Lab, just a few blocks away from the eponymous restaurant where it is set.

Alexander Chaplin and Mia Barron in Jonathan Marc Sherman’s “Knickerbocker.” Carol Rosegg

Sacred Texts, Personal Connections

For Alicia Jo Rabins, bluegrass and the women of the Bible are a natural fit.

05/10/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Alicia Jo Rabins wears so many hats there are probably days when she’d like to rent a second head. Rabins is a singer-songwriter, a poet, a fiddler and a private tutor for students of Torah ranging in age from traditional b’nai mitzvah students to senior citizens.

At the moment she is speaking to a reporter, though, she is a passenger in a van heading for the Maryland suburbs of Washington, where she is playing a gig with one of her various musical aggregations, Girls in Trouble, whose second album is being released later this month.

Midrash bridges “the reality of the text … and of the person who’s alive at this moment,” says Alica Jo Rabins.

The ‘Theological Ping’

In ‘The Choosing,’ Rabbi Andrea Myers documents a coming out, a conversion, a life in Israel and much more.

05/10/2011
Jewish Week Book Critic

Rabbi Andrea Myers has many facets to her identity.

She is the daughter of a Sicilian Catholic mother and German Lutheran father; she came out as a lesbian while a student at Brandeis University, converted to Judaism in Israel and studied for the rabbinate in New York. Now 39 and married to a rabbi, she is rabbi and rebbetzin, a mother, teacher and writer.
“Any major life change should only make you more of who you are,” she says in an interview, noting these words have guided her own journey, and she uses them to help others.

Rabbi Myers’ memoir is joyful, but hers is a hard-won joy, and her brand of Judaism is embracing of all.

A ‘Prophet’ In Autumn

As Bob Dylan turns 70, even the Cantors Assembly is taking notice.

05/10/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

On May 24, Bob Dylan will turn 70. It isn’t hard to predict what this fact will trigger. There will be a spate of editorials in a bewildering range of publications. Radio stations across the country and all over the FM band will air marathon selections of his recordings. Book and DVD publishers will release (and re-release) Dylan biographies. Boomers will have to brace themselves for an extensive encomium in AARP Magazine.

How many roads: Dylan, then, in the 1967 documentary “Don’t Look Back,” and now.
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