The Arts

Art Hidden In Plain Sight

‘Desert of Forbidden Art’ tells the compelling story of art scavenger/savior Igor Savitsky.
03/08/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It wasn’t safe to be a Jew or an Uzbeki or a Karakalpak or an artist of any ethnicity under Joseph Stalin. You could go from being a great, grand and glorious Hero of the Revolution to being a fascist stooge in the time it took the Leader to smoke his pipe. If Stalin and his toadies were willing to make an artist disappear, then how much less thought would they giving to destroying art?

The poster for "Desert of Forbidden Art," with photo of Igor Savitsky.

In Praise Of Ronit Elkabetz

The great Israeli actress is a featured guest at this year’s Sephardic Film Festival.
03/07/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Let us sing the praises of Ronit Elkabetz.

The actress, writer and director is one of the featured guests at this year’s Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, which opens on March 10, and her presence onscreen gives considerable life to several of the films in this year’s event.

Ronit Elkabetz

Total Recall

Joshua Foer’s journalistic journey down memory lane.
03/07/2011 - 19:00
Jewish Week Book Critic

Back in 2006, journalist Joshua Foer found himself seated on a stage in the Con Ed headquarters in New York City, wearing earmuffs over earplugs, sweating as he flipped through two decks of shuffled playing cards in order to memorize their order.

Like a marathoner, Foer kept to a strict memory training regimen.

Putting A Face On Triangle Victims

03/07/2011 - 19:00

It happened a century ago, but the terrible memories remain seared into our collective consciousness. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire on the Lower East Side, in which 146 Jewish and Italian garment workers died, was a defining event in the history of immigrant life — and death — in New York.

Gusta Johnson and Amanda Yachechak in scene from Barbara Kahn’s “Birds on Fire.”

Guess Who’s Coming To (Shabbos) Dinner?

02/28/2011 - 19:00

The question of whether people can escape their fate is at the center of Chana Porter’s new play, “Besharet” (the Yiddish word for destiny). In the play, the inaugural production of AliveWire Theatrics, an encounter with the supernatural upends the lives of a Jewish attorney and his wife, causing deeply submerged memories and feelings to erupt. “Besharet” opens this weekend at P.S. 122 in the East Village.

Olivia Rorick, MacLeod Andrews and William Green in scene from “Besharet.”

The Art Of ‘Sisterhood’

Israeli artist Ofri Cnaani challenges the Talmudic Sota story.
02/28/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

There is not much ambiguity in the 14-line Talmudic story known as “Sota.” As a parable about adultery, the tale is pretty straightforward: a husband accuses his wife of cheating on him, and then orders her to drink from a special fountain with “bitter water.” If she’s guilty, she’ll die; if she’s innocent she’ll be blessed with fertility.

The Talmudic story called “Sota” focuses on two sisters.

Eran Riklis’ New Role Player

In Eran Riklis’ ‘Human Resources Manager,’ the bakery-employee protagonist struggles to transcend a mere job.
02/28/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

At the heart of Eran Riklis’ last three films — “The Syrian Bride” (2004), “Lemon Tree” (2008) and “The Human Rights Manager” (2010), which opens here on March 4 — are protagonists who have been so crushed by daily routine and pressure that they can only be brought back to real life by being shaken and stirred by circumstance.

Mark Ivanir as the human resources manager in Eran Riklis’ “The Human Resources Manager.”

Anne, With Strings Attached

Puppets are moving, but ‘Compulsion,’Patinkin are less so.
02/28/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

She seems both alive and dead at the same time, a plucky, precocious girl whose life was tragically cut short at 15. How perfectly appropriate then, that Anne Frank is played by an amazingly life-like marionette in Rinne Groff’s “Compulsion,” a play about the Jewish writer Meyer Levin’s obsession with Anne Frank’s diary.

Hannah Cabell, Mandy Patinkin and the life-like marionette portraying Anne Frank in “Compulsion.” Joan Marcus

Claude Lanzmann, Briefly

Rare screening of three of the ‘Shoah’ director’s more recent short films at Film Comment Select series.
02/21/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In the death camp at Treblinka there was a fake railroad station that included a clock on which the painted hands always read 6 o’clock. The entire construction was a grotesque joke perpetrated by the camp’s commandant Fritz Stangl; in Treblinka, time stood still because all those brought there were dead from the moment they entered.

A scene from Lanzmann's "Sobibor."

Symphony For King Solomon

In his ambitious new work, ‘Shlomo,’ young composer Judd Greenstein grapples with a biblical giant.
02/21/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

For a long time, the composer Judd Greenstein kept a wall between his interest in Judaism and his passion for music. Though he was raised in a secular Greenwich Village home and is still not observant, for at least the past decade he’s cultivated a deep knowledge of Jewish history, literature and law.

“It’s interesting that my music has been divorced from my interest in Jewish texts and Jewish learning,” Greenstein said in an interview last week, sitting in his Brooklyn studio.

Greenstein, 31, is trying to synthesize Jewish and classical music traditions. Michael Datikash
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