SEPT. 7 - 30: Roman Polanski, a complete retrospective of his work including his early student films as well as such acclaimed works at “The Pianist,” “Chinatown,” “Knife in the Water” and “Rosemary’s Baby.” Museum of Modern Art (11 W. 53rd St.). For information go to www.moma.org.
There has been a good deal of blather written about the “Golden Age of Television,” a period when shows were broadcast live, great writers tackled important themes and the airwaves were brimming with fine acting.
“Completeness.” GItamar Moses (“Outrage,” “Bach at Leipzig,” “The Four of Us”) returns with a new play, directed by Pam MacKinnon, about a romance between a computer scientist and a molecular biologist. Now in previews for a Tues, Sept. 13 opening at Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St. For tickets, $70, call TicketCentral at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com.
When “Death Defying Acts,” an evening of one-act comedies opened Off-Broadway at the Variety Arts Theatre in 1995, the critics fell over themselves to heap praise on the short plays, which were written by David Mamet, Elaine May and Woody Allen.
According to Vincent Canby of The New York Times, the evening was so “effervescent” that he asked, “Who needs Broadway when Off-Broadway can be as easy and mischievous fun as this?”
“The Art of Matrimony: Thirty Splendid Marriage Contracts from The Jewish Theological Seminary Library.” The JTS Library lends some of its most significant ketubot, or marriage contracts, some of them almost 1,000 years old, to The Jewish Museum. (The Jewish Museum, March 11-June 26)
“Impressionism from South Africa, 1965 to Now.” This group exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art features the works of 29 South African printmakers, among them the prominent Jewish artist William Kentridge. (MoMA, March 23-Aug. 14)
Israeli Eye On America: ‘Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations”
The illustrations of Maira Kalman have become synonymous with a certain type of knowing New Yorker — particularly the kind that reads The New Yorker, where she’s been a contributor for decades. But people often don’t realize Kalman isn’t from here. She’s from Tel Aviv, where she was born in 1949. Even though she’s made Manhattan her most enduring muse, she travels back to Israel often and frequently makes it the subject of her whimsical, subtly erudite illustrations.
The award-winning non-fiction writer Melissa Faye Greene is now in her 21st year as an elementary school parent. She’s someone who feels most alive, “most thickly in the cumbersome richness of life, with children underfoot.” She loves the Atlanta Symphony, but is moved to tears by a sixth-grade band “when the children play the C scale together for the first time.”
Feb. 22: Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic celebrate the 75th year of the orchestra and the 50th year of Mehta’s conducting career with a program that features the North American premiere of a new orchestral version of Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s “Azerbaijani Dance,” as well as Lizst’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with guest artist Yefim Bronfman and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall (57th Street and Seventh Avenue). For information, (212) 247-7800, www.carnegiehall.org
It is, one imagines, a ritual common to almost all cultures. A bunch of young men get together casually, someone starts humming a tune they all know and — wham — you have voices raised in dulcet, close harmonies. A lot of very, very fine music has come out of such encounters, and when someone pulls a few such voices together in a more formal way, the result is frequently enchanting.