‘The People In
Special To The Jewish Week
What the child tries to forget, sociologist Marcus Hansen famously said, the grandchild wants to remember. In Iris Rainer Dart’s new musical, “The People in the Picture,” which opens in April at the Roundabout Stage Company, a former star of the Yiddish theater in Poland, Raisel (Donna Murphy, “Passion,” “The King and I”), survives the Holocaust and ends up in New York in the 1970s.
“Wonder Woman: A How To Guide for Little Jewish Girls.” Performance artist Cyndi Freeman’s solo show about her journey from being a little suburban Jewish girl obsessed with Wonder Woman to her career as a burlesque queen, Cherry Pitz. Feb. 23- March 5 at the Red Room Theater, 85 E. Fourth St. For tickets, $10, call SmartTix at (212) 868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com.
John Davis tells a true and little-known story of a collective conversion to Judaism in a small village in the south of Italy, which began in the 1920s, in “The Jews of San Nicandro” (Yale). The unusual series of events, resulting in most of the community moving to Israel after the founding of the state, was inspired by a shoemaker who had a vision of God calling him to bring Judaism to the stretch of Catholic Italy.
This fall, Yale University Press is launching a new biography series, Jewish Lives. Robert Gottlieb’s “Sarah; The Life of Sarah Bernhardt” (September) is the first in the series, and the first biography in decades of the woman considered the most famous actress in the world. The intrepid, energetic Bernhardt played many classic roles and traveled to perform for soldiers under bombardment in World War I, even after she had a leg amputated. Gottlieb captures her romantic spirit and ever-dramatic ways, on and off stage — she performed through her late 70s.
As in her previous acclaimed novels, Nicole Krauss’ subject in “Great House” (Norton, October), is memory. Her new book unfolds mysteries through four narrators, all of whom are linked by an imposing wooden desk with lots of drawers and even more secrets. At different times, the desk is in the home of an American novelist, a Chilean poet who disappears, a professor in England and a brother and sister in Jerusalem.
“Richard McBee: Hearing Sarah.” In 16 extremely large, colorful paintings, Richard McBee re-imagines biblical stories about Sarah, Abraham’s wife, from her point of view. (JCC in Manhattan; Aug. 25-Oct. 28)
Mika Rottenberg’s ‘Squeeze’ at Mary Boone Gallery.
The Argentine-born, Israeli-raised artist Mika Rottenberg, 33, has been toiling away in New York for more than a decade. She earned her BFA at the School of Visual Arts in 2000, and an MFA from Columbia four years later; ever since, she’s emerged as one of the city’s most promising young artists. That is what New York magazine wrote about her in 2007, including her in its Top Ten list of “Young Masters,” and by 2008, it seemed all but confirmed.
Erich Weiss emigrated from Budapest to Wisconsin when he was 4 years old. The son of a rabbi, and with seven siblings, his career could have ended up like any of the tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants arriving in America at in the late 19th century. But of course it didn’t, and Weiss would transform himself into one of the greatest showman of all time.