The Arts

A Note Of Thanks

Help from South Orange synagogue helped launch Russian pianist’s career. Now, she’s a staple on the classical scene.
02/07/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It was the death threats that forced a decision.

Up to that point, Irina Nuzova says, her father Vladimir had accepted the restrictions and minor humiliations of being a Jew in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia with understandable reluctance and stoicism. He had grudgingly resigned himself to being barred from the literary institute to which he had applied, and not being permitted to travel abroad. He had shrugged off having his “nationality” listed as “Jewish.”

Irina Nuzova will perform next week in the Concerts in the Heights series, and her new CD.

Freedom Seder?

‘The Whipping Man,’ with Passover at its center, revisits the horror of slavery in the South.
01/31/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

With its overarching message of freedom and redemption, Passover seems better suited to America than any other Jewish holiday. And one of the most striking aspects of Passover in this country is the appeal that it has for non-Jews, especially African-Americans

Jay Wilkison, André Braugher and André Holland in Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man.”

For Young Musicians, The Reich Stuff

Playing celebrated composer’s ‘Tehillim’ is close encounter with a classic of modern music and Jewish culture.
01/31/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

‘Do it again! Kol han-sha ma ta-ha lail!” thundered Alan Pierson, conductor of the new music classical group Alarm Will Sound, at a rehearsal last week with the teenage ensemble Face the Music.

They were rehearsing Steve Reich’s seminal chorale piece, “Tehillim,” from 1981, which both ensembles performed together on Sunday at Merkin Concert Hall. Face the Music will continue to perform the piece throughout the city in upcoming weeks.

Student group Face the Music performed alongside the professional ensemble Alarm Will Sound Sunday. Photo:Meg Goldman

‘Confidence’ Man

Hungarian filmmaker Istvan Szabo and the nature of trust.
01/24/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

More than many filmmakers, Istvan Szabo understands issues of fear and trust viscerally. He and his parents, both of them Jewish doctors, survived the Holocaust in Hungary because friends hid them.

Scene from Istvan Szabo’s “Mephisto.”

Moses, The Indie Opera

01/24/2011 - 19:00

Some are born great, Shakespeare wrote, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. The prophet Moses almost certainly falls into the last category — a reluctant, stammering leader who nevertheless played a starring role in his people’s ultimate redemption.

Kissinger, On Stage And Off

Reassessing the diplomat’s legacy, from ‘Nixon in China’ to the real world of politics.
01/24/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

In John Adams’ 1987 opera “Nixon in China,” which has its premiere with the Metropolitan Opera next week, Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s national security adviser and secretary of state, has an important part. His most famous scene comes in the second act, when Madame Mao, Chairman Mao’s wife, stages a propagandist ballet for the visiting American dignitaries.

A recent performance of “Nixon in China,” the 1987 John Adams opera that has its debut with the Metropolitan Opera on Feb. 2.

The Road Back To Haiti

New story in 'Haiti Noir' collection brings Mark Kurlansky back to the island nation.
01/18/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Nearly all of the 18 short stories in the new "Haiti Noir" collection are written by Haitians. The book's editor, the prominent Haitian writer Edwidge Danticat, made an exception, however, for Mark Kurlansky.

A 62-year-old Jewish writer who lives in New York City, Kurlansky is well known for his best-selling histories of food - on salt, on cod, on oysters. But writers that know him well, like Danticat, are well aware of his longtime involvement with Haiti.

Mark Kurlansky

A Gentler Richler In ‘Barney’s Version?’

01/18/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Published four years before his death at 70, Mordecai Richler’s last novel, “Barney’s Version,” has a certain valedictory feeling, a summing-up at the end of the journey that is uncharacteristically devoid of the nasty edge of early works like “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.”

“Barney’s Version," a film adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s last novel

Realistically Speaking

Four documentaries at NY Jewish Film Festival — from a look at haredi bus lines to a hip-hop deejay — approach reality on film very differently.
01/17/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

 Sometimes, after watching a really good documentary, I find myself wondering why anyone would want to make a fiction film when reality is so much more compelling, frightening, entertaining, funny and so on. I had that feeling several times while watching films from the last week of the New York Jewish Film Festival, and never more so than after viewing “Crime After Crime,” “The ‘Socalled’ Movie” and “Black Bus,” three of the strongest non-fiction films to turn up at this event in many years.

Josh Dolgin, aka Socalled, top, in “The ‘Socalled’ Movie.” A blogger named Shira models a sheitel for riding on the “Black Bus.”

Judith Malina’s ‘Jewish Anarchist Play’

In retelling the biblical Korach story, the actor, director and theater co-founder brings together a lifetime of lessons in experimental drama and politics.
01/17/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It wasn’t Judith Malina who made one of the Bible’s most notorious villains into the unlikeliest hero of this theatrical season.

It was the Mishna.

Poster for Malina’s “Korach.” Biblical figure is “history’s first recognized anarchist.”
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