The Arts

Chaplin’s Splendid Audacity

The daring of ‘The Great Dictator’ and how it speaks to us through the years.
07/26/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I believe it was William L. Shirer who said that if someone had pulled down Adolf Hitler’s pants in public in 1923 he never would have become Reichschancellor. Ridicule, in the right hands, is a powerful weapon. That was probably what was going through Charles Chaplin’s mind when he began work on “The Great Dictator” in 1938. 

Chaplin as Adenoid Hynkel: Taking on Hitler was an act of cinematic boldness.

Putting God On The Couch

07/19/2010 - 20:00

He called himself a “godless Jew” and spent much of his career trying to demonstrate that religion is an illusion, and religious belief a neurosis. Did Sigmund Freud ever question his own atheism?

Martin Rayner, left, as Sigmund Freud and Mark H. Dold as C.S. Lewis in Mark St. Germain’s “Freud’s Last Session.” Kevin Sprague

Klezmer's 'Woody Guthrie' Celebrated

German Goldenshteyn Memorial Orchestra performs the famed clarinetist's best work.
07/19/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The late jazz writer Gene Lees frequently remarked that jazz musicians tended to speak the way they played.

The same seems to have been true of German Goldenshteyn, the great klezmer clarinetist and a man who was a veritable human archive of the rich musical heritage of Bessarabia. Goldenshteyn, who died in 2006, was a Yiddish speaker whose inflections had a lilting, melodic rise and fall and a rhythmic precision not unlike his solos.

German Goldenshteyn

Concert’ Juggles Too Much

Mihaileanu’s farce of identity is one major gag short.
07/19/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Radu Mihaileanu has set himself an increasingly difficult task.

French actress Melanie Laurent stars in Radu Mihaileanu’s “The Concert” as a violinist soloing with an unlikely orchestra.

‘I’m Always Hiding Behind My Stories’

Radu Mihaileanu’s cinema of deception and identity.
07/19/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

For the first years of his life in communist Romania, Radu Mihaileanu couldn’t understand why his grandmother, who lived with his family, prepared her own meals in her own pots and pans.

Radu Mihaileanu’s latest film carries a familiar theme, of hidden identity and yearning for freedom. Getty Images Weinstein comp

Modern (Orthodox) Romance Hits New York Stage

07/12/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Differences in levels of religious observance between Jewish partners in a relationship often cause tensions and hurt feelings. But in Amy Holson-Schwartz’s new play, “Can I Really Date a Guy Who Wears a Yarmulke?” starting this weekend at the Midtown International Theatre Festival, these differences become the subject of romantic comedy. Directed by Jay Falzone, the play has been described as “Scrubs” meets “How I Met Your Mother,” with a Jewish twist. 

He’s cute but he’s wearing a yarmulke: Playwright Amy Holson-Schwartz.

Did Harper Lee Whitewash The Jewish Past?

As ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ turns 50, caught up in the backlash against Atticus Finch is the novel’s Jewish question.
07/12/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The 50th anniversary of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which is being marked this summer, was supposed to be a celebratory event. But at least in the press, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that still sells about a million copies a year has become the subject of ruthless criticism.

To kill a Mockingbird

Art Spiegelman Draws A Dance

Collaboration with Pilobolus has famed illustrator working — in his own dimension — with live dancers.
07/05/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

About a year ago, Pilobolus, the renowned dance troupe that arrives at New York’s Joyce Theater next week, contacted Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist of the Holocaust-themed book “Maus.”  The troupe’s members wanted Spiegelman to make a dance with them, and were even willing to give him creative carte-blanche.  No questions asked. 

Famed illustrator working with live dancers

Copland’s Journey From Brooklyn To The Prairie

Composer’s little-performed opera ‘The Tender Land’ gets a new life at Glimmerglass.
07/05/2010 - 20:00
Managing Editor

Aaron Copland grew up in the cramped quarters of Brooklyn, the child of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, but in his music he lit out for the territory. The architecture of city life — Deco skyscrapers and imposing Beaux-Arts museums — defined his early life, but in his music he sought sanctuary in the prairie.

In “The Tender Land,” Aaron Copland was influenced by Walker Evans’ photographs of the American South.

A Holocaust Documentary With A Difference

Intelligently structured, ‘Street Of Our Lady’ is a tribute to a Polish mother and daughter who saved 15 Jews
06/29/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When the Second World War broke out, the town of Sokal, then in Poland, had a population that included 6,000 Jews. By 1944, only 30 were still alive. Fifteen of them were being hidden in an attic and a hayloft over a pigsty by Francisca Halamajowa and her daughter Helena.

Chaim Maltz reflects at the Sokal train station
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