The Arts

Art Spiegelman Draws A Dance

Collaboration with Pilobolus has famed illustrator working — in his own dimension — with live dancers.

07/06/2010
Staff Writer

About a year ago, Pilobolus, the renowned dance troupe that arrives at New York’s Joyce Theater next week, contacted Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist of the Holocaust-themed book “Maus.”  The troupe’s members wanted Spiegelman to make a dance with them, and were even willing to give him creative carte-blanche.  No questions asked. 

Famed illustrator working with live dancers

Copland’s Journey From Brooklyn To The Prairie

Composer’s little-performed opera ‘The Tender Land’ gets a new life at Glimmerglass.

07/06/2010
Managing Editor

Aaron Copland grew up in the cramped quarters of Brooklyn, the child of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, but in his music he lit out for the territory. The architecture of city life — Deco skyscrapers and imposing Beaux-Arts museums — defined his early life, but in his music he sought sanctuary in the prairie.

In “The Tender Land,” Aaron Copland was influenced by Walker Evans’ photographs of the American South.

A Holocaust Documentary With A Difference

Intelligently structured, ‘Street Of Our Lady’ is a tribute to a Polish mother and daughter who saved 15 Jews

06/30/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

When the Second World War broke out, the town of Sokal, then in Poland, had a population that included 6,000 Jews. By 1944, only 30 were still alive. Fifteen of them were being hidden in an attic and a hayloft over a pigsty by Francisca Halamajowa and her daughter Helena.

Chaim Maltz reflects at the Sokal train station

The Jews Of ‘Restrepo’

06/30/2010

 His parents gave Misha Pemble-Belkin a pacifist, “hippie” upbringing, forbidding him and his two brothers from playing with toy guns or watching violent films.

But both of them, including his Jewish father, were “very proud” that he enlisted in the Army, says their son, now a sergeant at Fort Polk, La., and one of 11 soldiers interviewed in “Restrepo,” a new documentary about one company’s grueling tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Misha Pemble-Belkin, left, is one of 11 soldiers featured in the new film “Restrepo,” about U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

‘Can You Talk Like That With A Yarmulke On?’

06/29/2010
Editorial Intern

Jokes about JDate, Hebrew school, tefillin and “making aliyah to Florida” abounded at the 11th Annual Funniest Jewish Comedian Contest Monday night. 

More than 100 people packed the basement of the Broadway Comedy Club on the West Side for The Jewish Week-sponsored event, produced by actor and comedian Geoff Kole. 

Eric Fier took top honors at the Funniest Jewish Comedian competition this week,Michael Datikash

Pacino’s Ounce Of Flesh

His Shylock comes up thin in the Park.

06/29/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

He has been played for laughs and played for chills, but the soon-to-be homeless Shylock who has taken up residence in Central Park in the Public Theater’s new production of “The Merchant of Venice,” directed by Daniel Sullivan, is played purely for pity. That it is Al Pacino, of all actors, who fails to give the Jewish moneylender a menacing edge, is surprising beyond measure.

Al Pacino’s Shylock is wounded and bitter, but never particularly malevolent. Joan Marcus

Israel’s Black Panthers Remembered

BAM film documents Mizrahi civil rights movement of the ‘70s, though inequities still resonate for Jews from Arab countries.

06/29/2010
Staff Writer

Shortly after Israel’s victory in the War of Independence, the Jewish state took in a mass exodus of Jews from Arab lands, first in 1949, and then again in 1956. 

Jews from Arab lands, called Mizrahim, came to Israel not because they were ardent Zionists, but because their host Arab countries, angered by the establishment of the State of Israel, had turned against them. 

A scene from “The Black Panthers (In Israel) Speak” shows a Mizrahi protest from the early ‘70s.

Israeli Jazzman’s Southern Swing

From Houston to Hattiesburg, saxophonist Amir Gwirtzman’s four-month tour in the American South was ‘highlight of my career.’

06/28/2010
Staff Writer

Growing up along the shores of the Mediterranean, where a football is round and the sport is played by men in shorts on a grass-covered pitch, you don’t learn much about the huddling, helmeted brand of the NFL game beloved on the bayou.

But Amir Gwirtzman is a quick learner.

Amir Gwirtzman

Clash Of Zionisms In Academia

Group of scholars pressing idea of cultural Zionism, amid pushback.

06/23/2010
Staff Writer

 From the United Nations to the capitals of Europe to the pages of the New York Review of Books, Zionism — and the Israeli policies that undergird it — have lately come under withering attack.

Israel is reeling from the international condemnation following the failed flotilla attack. And Peter Beinart’s essay in the NYRB — which attacked Jewish leaders for failing to inspire a new generation of Jews committed to Israel — urged a more liberal Zionism as a way to get young Jews back in the fold.

Noam Pianko’s new book  focuses on forgotten cultural Zionists.

Between Oy Vey And Fuhgeddaboudit

06/22/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

In American stage and film comedy, there used to be a sure-fire formula for success: take a Jewish boy and an Irish girl, make them fall in love with each other, and then watch the sparks fly as the immigrant parents get into all sorts of conflict with each other over the impending match.

Jennifer Leigh Cohen and Peter Marinaro in the interfaith comedy “Spaghetti and Matzo Balls — Fuhgeddaboudit!”
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