Books about Israel and Israelis, including new books by Amos Oz, Meir Shalev and Aharon Appelfeld, dominate publishers’ fall lists. There are biographies of David Ben Gurion and Ariel Sharon and others who created, dominated, destroyed and developed the city of Jerusalem; and there’s a lyrical memoir of about life between Israel and America. Along with debut books and highly anticipated works by established authors, the season’s new titles also include tales of love, family, and still untold stories of the Holocaust.
“Prophecy of Place: Quintan Ana Wikswo.” The multi-disciplinary artist Quintan Ana Wikswo created the monumental series, “Prophecy of Place,” as a kind of momento mori for lost Jewish life. Through photographic collages, poetry and video, the artist has created various works inspired by Jewish communities from South America to Russia, from the 13th century and to the last century. Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History, through Feb. 14, 2012. (212) 294-8330
With 150 photographs from such luminaries as Paul Strand, Weegee and Lisette Model, The Jewish Museum will soon host one of the most impressive exhibits of urban photography in history. The exhibit focuses on photographers who were associated with The Photo League, a radical collective that housed a school, a darkroom, a gallery and a salon in Manhattan between 1936 and 1951, and was, above all, driven by a deep social consciousness as well as a refined appreciation of art.
10: “Monajat (Fervent Prayer),” a new multimedia project by Galeet Dardashti, inspired by the Selichot prayer traditions of Mizrahi Jews throughout the Middle East, including live musical performance by Dardashti and her current ensemble, video installations, interactive workshops and services, at the JCC in Manhattan (76th St and Amsterdam Ave.) at 8:30 p.m. For information go to www.jccmanhattan.org.
T he original heyday of the amateur talent contest was the Depression. Major Bowes ruled the airwaves and talent contests were a highlight in movie theaters and dying vaudeville houses around the country. Today the venue has changed to “reality” television, but the staggering economy still helps fuel people’s dreams of stardom, from “American Idol” to “The Voice.”
Regrettably, live competitions are significantly fewer, although some stalwarts like the Apollo Theater still soldier on.
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?”