The Arts

Excerpt- From the Devil to the King

A special book excerpt
From the Devil to the King,
by A.J. Thurso

Theater With An Ecumenical Bent

‘The Church Of Why Not’ previewed.

03/04/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When two Manhattan Methodist churches merged in 1937 to become The Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, few could have imagined the role that the Upper West Side building would ultimately play in the religious life of the city. Since 1991, it has shared its West 86th Street space with Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, along with Ethiopian Evangelicals, LGBT Christian Latinos, and other faith communities.

“Church of Why Not” focuses on the spiritual journey of a bar mitzvah boy played by Nathaniel Gotbaum. Joel Weber

Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities: Michael Lesher, McFarland & Company, 287 pps. $45.

03/02/2015 - 19:00
Staff Writer

The disgrace of sexual abusers (nearly entirely men) who identify themselves as Orthodox Jews is a well-known subject, covered extensively in recent decades in the Jewish and general media.

"Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities:" Michael Lesher, McFarland & Company, 287 pps. $45.

Russian-Jewish Identity, With Circus Staging

03/02/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

For Jews living in the Former Soviet Union, a rap on the door could spell disaster — the KGB might be about to burst in and drag them off to a terrible fate. Anna Zicer, founder and director of  the Lost and Found Project of Folksbiene RU, the Russian-language division of the National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene, believes the stress of living in fear and doubt is also familiar to Russian-Jewish immigrants, many of whom are still struggling to adjust to American society.

Scene from “Knock: A Journey to a Foreign Country.”  George Itzhak

The Meat Of A Documentary

Ziggy Gruber, to the slicer born (so to speak), is the juicy center of ‘Deli Man.’

03/02/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Just because a film is a documentary, it is not without need of a structure, a narrative line to help make clear what is at stake in the story it tells. Consequently, almost every documentarian ponders the same question at the outset of a new project:

Ziggy Gruber, New York-born deli man in Houston, in scene from  “Deli Man.”  Cohen Media Group

The Music Of Defiance

A chance encounter at a Minneapolis bookstore led acclaimed conductor Murry Sidlin to recreate the Verdi work performed at Terezin.

03/02/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It was a simple act, one that book-lovers perform every day. But it changed Murry Sidlin’s career forever.

Conductor Murry Sidlin has brought the music of Terezin prisoners to life in “Defiant Requiem.”  Jeff Roffman

Shul Politics, The Novel

Raphael Silver’s posthumously published novel, set in a Cleveland synagogue, dissects congregational life.

02/23/2015 - 19:00
Culture Editor

Around the time he was 80, Raphael D. Silver sat down to write his first novel. A few years earlier, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, his first climb. He’s a man who, after much success as a real estate developer, began producing and directing films.

The author, son of the prominent Zionist leader Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver. Courtesy of Author House

Heavy Metal

Transforming terror into fantasy lies at the heart of Omer and Tal Golan’s ‘playground’ artwork.

02/23/2015 - 19:00
Calendar Editor

Fifteen years ago, a suicide bomber carrying 15 pounds of explosives laced with bullets and metal scraps grabbed Omer Golan from behind — and blew them both up. Miraculously, Golan survived. Along with his wife, Tal Golan, he went on to become one of the most interesting new-media artists to come out of Israel.

From shrapnel X-rays to virtual playground: The work of Omer and Tal Golan.  Courtesy of Omer and Tal Golan

Staging A Conflict’s Complexity

02/23/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

My favorite proverb,” theater artist Aaron Davidman says, “is that your enemy is someone whose story you do not know.” His new one-man show, “Wrestling Jerusalem,” which hits that theme head-on, will be performed this weekend at the JCC Manhattan. “People often ask me to explain what is going on in the Middle East,” he said. “My play is an 85-minute, 17-character answer to that question.”

A multiplicity of voices: Aaron Davidman’s “Wrestling Jerusalem.” Aaron Davidman

The Kings Of The B Movies

Documentary tells the story of Hollywood’s Go-Go Boys, Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus.

02/16/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The 1980s were arguably the worst decade in American film history. So if I tell you that there are not one but two new documentaries about Cannon Films, the schlocky ’80s film production company led by Israeli cousins Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus, you probably will shake your head and ask why. I would have thought even one film about those two characters would have been excessive, but after seeing “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films,” a new film by Australian film maven Mark Hartley, I have to admit that it was worth a couple hours of my time.

Catherine Mary Stewart in the disco-rock opera “The Apple,” one of the films by Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus. Film Comment
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