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.
PBS documentary ‘Triangle Fire’
looks back on the tragedy.
Special To The Jewish Week
They were, as the narrator puts it, “the forgotten cogs in America’s vast industrial machine,” the human sacrifices whose blood kept that contraption running smoothly. Conversely, you could argue that it was their sacrifice that awakened a nation to the human cost of America’s growing prosperity. They were mostly young Jewish and Italian girls, the youngest of them only 14, and it took the death of 146 of them to sound an alarm that still needs to be rung regularly.
Feb. 18: Film Comment Selects, the Film Society’s annual showcase of edgy new films without commercial distribution. This year’s event features three films by Claude Lanzmann that were carved out from the vast footage that became “Shoah,” and two astonishing works about Nazism by Thomas Harlan (son of Veit Harlan of “Jew Suss” infamy) and Robert Kramer, one of the neglected forerunners of American independent cinema movement. Walter Reade Theatre (165 W 65th St.). For information, (212) 875-5600, www.filmlinc.com.
‘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.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.