The Arts

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."

Joshua Nelson’s ‘Moaning And Groaning’

The black and Jewish singer brings together two musical traditions that help define his people.

12/17/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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Joshua Nelson could imagine the sound of the music he wanted to make. Growing up a Reform Jew and an African American, he imagined a music that would combine “the moaning and groaning” of two historically oppressed people in a form that would go straight to the heart.

Joshua Nelson breaks all kinds of stereotypes. Photo courtesy DZB Productions LLC

Threshold To History

An intricately carved 11th-century door highlights YU exhibit exploring the daily life of medieval Jews in Egypt.

12/17/2013
Culture Editor
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We know when the walnut tree used to build the wooden ark for the Ben Ezra synagogue in Cairo was cut down. Through carbon tracing, researchers have determined the date sometime after 1043. And researchers have also shown that the ark was first used in the 1080s and restored and redecorated over time. What remains a mystery is how this medieval carved door ended up in storeroom of a Fort Lauderdale auction house in the late 20th century.

A Mishneh Torah from Moses Maimonides, from the late 12th century. Photo courtesy Jewish Theological Seminary

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.

‘A Goyishe Christmas’

N.Y. Festival of Song program looks at relationship between Jewish composers and holiday classics.

12/11/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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I’m sitting on the downtown A train, diagonally across from a shortish guy in a Victorian-era top hat and long topcoat. He’s listening to an mp3 recorder, stopping, rewinding, repeating, singing along to a famous Jerry Herman tune from “Mame.” But the lyrics are a bit metamorphosed.

Irving Berlin, composer of "White Christmas." Getty Images

Does ‘Lies’ Stretch Folksbiene Too Thin?

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

12/10/2013
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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

A Long, Strange Trip Toward Judaism

Joshua Safran’s coming-of-age memoir suggests a dark side to the ’60s-era vision of utopia.

12/10/2013
Culture Editor
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Joshua Safran was born into a world of communes, covens and radical politics, but was too young to understand what the revolution was all about. When he was 4, his single mother took off for places far less conventional, leaving the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco for the desert and hills. They lived in an old bus, a decommissioned ice-cream truck, a teepee and abandoned shacks with no running water, hitchhiking thousands of miles, ever in search of utopia.

Haight-Ashbury and beyond: Safran chronicles a life on the road with his single mother.

Teen Sex Drama: ‘Acts’ Of Desperation

Israeli entry into Tribeca film festival is well crafted but disturbing.

12/03/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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This year’s Tribeca Film Festival included three new films from Israel, a continuation of the nation’s seeming gold rush of quality filmmaking. One of those films, “S#x Acts,” has its theatrical debut in town Friday, Dec. 6. It is deeply troubling and more than little problematic.

Sivan Levy as Gili in “S#x Acts.”
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