The Arts

An Edgy ‘Hannah’ Finally Makes It To N.Y.

Modernist opera on a Chanukah theme has been a long time coming.

Special To The Jewish Week

He has waited almost 35 years to see it on a New York stage, but Leonard Lehrman is remarkably sanguine as the two semi-staged performances of his opera “Hannah” are approaching.

Poster for Leonard Lehrman and Orel Odinov Protopopescu’s “Hannah.”

A New York Chanukah

Special To The Jewish Week

Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, seems tailor-made for a city known for its luminous skyscrapers that glitter and sparkle in the night. For Sean Hartley, the creator of the Chanukah-themed children’s show, “Latkes and Applesauce,” the winter holiday can inspire a new generation of Jewish New Yorkers to connect to their heritage. His show runs for one performance only on Dec. 14 at the Merkin Concert Hall on the Upper West Side.

Scene from Sean Hartley’s children’s show, “Latkes and Applesauce.”  Joan Jastrebski

‘Zero Motivation’ Director Surprised By Reaction Here

Talya Lavie’s debut feature about life in the IDF, which opens here this week, has reach far beyond Israel.

Special To The Jewish Week

Comedy is serious business.

Consider the new Israeli film “Zero Motivation,” which has its U.S. theatrical premiere here this week at Film Forum. A debut feature for writer-director Talya Lavie, it focuses on three hapless female members of the Israel Defense Forces stationed in a dead-end army camp in the middle of nowhere. They encounter everything from a glass ceiling for woman officers to sexual frustration, from date rape and the generally vile behavior of their male counterparts to the soul-grinding boredom of utterly pointless office work.

‘Zero Motivation’ writer-director Talya Lavie. Wikimedia Commons

A Flood Of Anxiety

Special To The Jewish Week

Growing up may be especially difficult these days, but it was probably never a piece of cake. For Mir’l, an adolescent orphan girl in Peretz Hirshbein’s harrowing early-20th-century Yiddish play, “On the Other Side of the River,” (Oyf Yener Zayt Taykh), coming of age means coping with death, natural disaster and sexual violence. Little wonder that she dreams of love and a better life, even in the midst of utter chaos and confusion. The play begins previews this weekend in Soho.

David Greenspan and Jane Cortney in Peretz Hirshbein’s “On the Other Side of the River.” Hunter Canning

Perlman’s Back, Solo That Is

After a seven-year absence, the acclaimed violinist is out front in a recital.

Special To The Jewish Week

When Itzhak Perlman takes the stage at Avery Fisher Hall next week, it will mark his first solo recital in New York City in seven years.

Itzhak Perlman

Audiences School ‘The Sturgeon Queens’ Director

Instead of answering questions about her film, documentarian chats about brisket and babka.

Special To The Jewish Week

An independent filmmaker relishes the chance to present a new film to large, live audiences, so I was excited as I set off this year for Jewish Film Festivals and JCCs all over the country with “The Sturgeon Queens,” my documentary about the century-long history of the iconic Lower East Side smoked fish store Russ & Daughters.

Narrators for “The Sturgeon Queens.”  Rich White

The Heart Of The Shoah

Staging Hanna Krall’s ‘Chasing the King of Hearts.’

Special To The Jewish Week

Unsung, for the most part, in this country, Hanna Krall is a literary titan in Europe, where her stories are renowned for their fairy tale-like evocation both of the Shoah and of prewar Jewish life in her native Poland. Now comes “The King of Hearts is Off Again,” a Polish stage adaptation of her 2007 bestselling novel, “Chasing the King of Hearts,” which opens next week in the East Village. When it ran in 2012 in Los Angeles, critic Steven Leigh Morris of the L.A. Weekly called it “thrilling physical theater.”

Magda Czarny, and Danny Kearns in “The King of Hearts is Off Again.” Paweł Wilewski

Israelis Playing Klez — With Cello?

Welcome to the 12th Night Klezmer collective.

Special To The Jewish Week

In the world of Jewish roots music — that is, music that originated in the shtetls of Eastern Europe — Elad Kabilio has two strikes against him: he’s Israeli and he’s a cellist.

“We wanted to reintroduce klezmer from an angle” listeners might not be familiar with. Courtesy of 12th Night Klezmer

What Lurks Beneath

A powerful but flawed ‘Disgraced’ touches on Muslim rage, Jewish success and being a minority in America

Special To The Jewish Week

Rude awakenings are the raw material of drama. Ever since the unfortunate King Oedipus, characters have been jolted to realize that their self-image is colossally, and, ultimately, catastrophically different from the ways in which others have perceived them.

Hari Dhillon, second from left, as the Muslim-American Amir, with Gretchen Mol, Karen Pittman and Josh Radnor. Joan Marcus

‘Fortress Of Solitude,’ The Musical

Special To The Jewish Week

Music runs like a river through Jonathan Lethem’s best-selling 2003 novel, “The Fortress of Solitude,” set in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The work centers on the unlikely friendship between two boys, one Jewish and the other African American, as both navigate a world being turned upside down by drugs and economic inequality,

Adam Chanler-Berat in “Fortress of Solitude,” based on Jonathan Lethem’s novel.  Joan Marcus
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