The Arts

Poodle Skirts And Prejudice

Martha Mendelsohn’s first novel looks at the subtle anti-Semitism at an Upper East Side girls school in the ’50s.

07/13/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

Martha Mendelsohn’s first novel conjures up a time in New York when a handful of nickels could bring forth a generous slice of lemon meringue pie and steaming strong coffee at the Automat.

In “Bromley Girls,” Mendelsohn draws on her own years at a prestigious Manhattan school. Courtesy Texas Tech University Pres

Drawing The Tradition

In his ‘Visualizing the Bible’ show, David Wander makes the Torah his own.

07/07/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

David Wander makes books that might be 50 feet long, illustrating biblical and other stories with great artistic skill, creativity and appreciation of the text and its layers of meaning. One page leads to the next, and the handmade books fold up like accordians.

Wander in his studio: “Writing, burning, writing it again.” Courtesy of David Wander

Joshua Cohen’s Circuit Overload

‘Book of Numbers’ can be dazzling, but his long meditation on being human in the age of computers bogs down.

06/23/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

“Ulysses,” it ain’t. And why, you may ask, do I start by saying what this book is not? Because Joshua Cohen’s startling new 580-page novel, “Book of Numbers” (Random House), reads like James Joyce’s giant classic — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Wordy, to a fault — yes, and dense. But Cohen’s prose is dazzling, often magical. It’s not just the polymathic command of his subject matter — and Cohen is a polymath of art history, and computers, and comparative religion, and seemingly everything else. He is a master wordsmith of wordplay.

The cover of Joshua Cohen’s startling new 580-page novel, “Book of Numbers”.

Becoming Golda

The transformation of Tovah Feldshuh.

06/15/2015 - 20:00

While many Israelis express dissatisfaction with the country’s current crop of political leaders, Golda Meir’s reputation continues to grow — 37 years after she died. Kiev-born Meir (nee Meyerson), who served as prime minister from 1969-’74, is the subject of “Golda’s Balcony,” a one-woman show in which actress Tovah Feldshuh has starred for a dozen years.

Photo by Michael Datikash

Michele Lee remembers the great composer Cy Coleman.

06/09/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

“I remember him with a kind of combination laugh and giggle,” actress Michele Lee mused recently, thinking of the Jewish composer Cy Coleman. “He was always smiling.” Her tribute to a beloved mentor, “Nobody Does It Like Me: The Music of Cy Coleman,” runs this Thursday through Saturday at 54 Below ($45-$95; [646] 476-3551). On the program are some of Coleman’s best-known hits, including “Big Spender,” “Witchcraft,” “I’ve Got Your Number,” and “The Best is Yet to Come.”

Michele Lee sings the “unexpected” songs of Cy Coleman at 54 Below. Courtesy of Michele Lee

Larry David Alleges 'Showbiz' Anti-Semitism At Tonys

06/09/2015 - 20:00
Blueprint Editor

Larry David was the muse behind the ever-eccentric George Costanza in "Seinfeld", so it is only fitting that Jason Alexander, who portrayed Costanza, should be taking over David’s character in his Broadway play, "Fish in the Dark."

Yiddish Still Alive In Cinema

Rich film offerings at Kulturfest.

06/09/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The Kulturfest calendar is happily overflowing with opportunities to enjoy Yiddish-language film. Not surprisingly, there are numerous documentary bows to the dear departed Yiddish theater of Second Avenue and several films about the legacy of Sholem Aleichem. There is a sprinkling of silent films, including Edward Sloman’s 1925 epic of assimilation vs. identity, “His People,” and “The Yellow Ticket” (1918), distinguished chiefly by Pola Negri’s star turn and Alicia Svigals’ splendid new score.

Scene from Samy Szlingerbaum’s 1980 “Brussels-Transit.”

Playing Another Larry David Misanthrope

Jason Alexander is back on the boards (25 years after his last Broadway role) in ‘Fish in the Dark.’

06/08/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When he first auditioned for “Seinfeld,” Jason Alexander received a copy of the script and noticed a Woody Allen vibe in the character of George Costanza. So he put on a pair of glasses, a New York accent, and the affect of a hapless curmudgeon. He had no idea at the time that George was meant to be an alter ego for the show’s co-creator, Larry David.

In new Broadway role, Alexander draws on his classical acting training, but he knows that “the comic in me has to win.”

Bound For Vilna

06/02/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Actors are typically front and center in our own theater, but the Russian stage has been dominated, for at least the last century, by the director. Konstantin Slanislavski, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko and Vsevolod Meyerhold famously reshaped their actors’ bodies and minds in order to enable the expression of profound emotion.

A scene from “Smile at Us, Oh Lord” by Lithuanian playwright Grigory Kanovich. Vakhtangov State Academic Theatrer
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