theater

Crying For Argentina

In 'Memory is a Culinary Affair,' a Jewish woman - the daughter of a 'desaparaceida' - struggles to rebuild her life in New York.

05/31/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

When we think of Jewish immigrants, many of us recollect those from Eastern Europe who came to New York around the turn of the 20th century. But the city continues to be a haven for Jewish immigrants from all over the world. In Graciela Berger Wegsman's "Memory is a Culinary Affair," a young Jewish woman from Argentina struggles to rebuild her life in New York as she grapples with her mother's disappearance at the hands of the military dictatorship in her country. The play opens next Thursday evening at the Red Room in the East Village.

Ydaiber Orozco and Mariana Parma as sisters in "Memory is a Culinary Affair."

A Night In Tunisia

05/17/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Some wars are fought more in the bedroom than on the battlefield. In Tuvia Tenenbom’s new play, “Saida,” the aging leader of the Palestinian secret service (Robert Tekavec) and his young Israeli counterpart (Sergei Nagony) vie for the hand of Saida (Anita Clay), the most beautiful woman in Tunisia. An allegory for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “Saida” opened last weekend at the Kraine Theatre in the East Village. Jeffrey Coyne and Adam Shiri are also featured in the cast.

“Saida,” with Sergei Nagony, left, Robert Tekavec and Anita Clay, is meant as a metaphor about Israeli-Palestinian relations.

The Most Goyish Tony Awards Ever?

The 2011 Tony Awards were announced this morning, and an admittedly shallow reading of the nominees suggests that it just might be least Jewish year on Broadway ever.  In fact, it might just be the most Christian the Tony's has ever been: "The Book of Mormon," "Sister Act" and the notoriously anti-semitic "Merchant of Venice" all stand out in the major categories. 

Guess Who’s Coming To (Shabbos) Dinner?

03/01/2011

The question of whether people can escape their fate is at the center of Chana Porter’s new play, “Besharet” (the Yiddish word for destiny). In the play, the inaugural production of AliveWire Theatrics, an encounter with the supernatural upends the lives of a Jewish attorney and his wife, causing deeply submerged memories and feelings to erupt. “Besharet” opens this weekend at P.S. 122 in the East Village.

Olivia Rorick, MacLeod Andrews and William Green in scene from “Besharet.”

Matthew Lopez’s Ambivalent Seder

‘Whipping Man’ playwright discusses what the Passover meal says about freedom and redemption.

02/22/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Passover is, for many of us, an unequivocally joyful holiday. The tablecloth is set with fine china and sparkling silverware, the children are freshly scrubbed, and the seder rejuvenates us with its theme of freedom and rebirth.

Jay Wilkison, André Braugher and André Holland in the pivotal scene from Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man.”

Meyer Levin’s ‘Obsession’

Two current plays look at the writer’s quest to dramatize Anne Frank’s diary.

02/15/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

He was one of the leading literary lights of the 20th century, but it was another writer’s work that became the object of his obsession. Meyer Levin was a prolific Jewish writer who struggled fruitlessly for three decades to get the world to pay attention to his play about Anne Frank. Now, three decades after his death, Levin finally gets his due with two different plays about his quest on view simultaneously in New York.

Anne Frank, as puppet, and Mandy Patinkin in scene from "Compulsion."

Freedom Seder?

‘The Whipping Man,’ with Passover at its center, revisits the horror of slavery in the South.

02/01/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

With its overarching message of freedom and redemption, Passover seems better suited to America than any other Jewish holiday. And one of the most striking aspects of Passover in this country is the appeal that it has for non-Jews, especially African-Americans

Jay Wilkison, André Braugher and André Holland in Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man.”

All The Rabbinic World’s A Stage

Argentine playwright Vivi Tellas’ reality-based ‘Rabbi Rabino’ previewed.

01/12/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Theater and religion have overlapped since ancient Greek dramas were performed at religious festivals. For the Argentine Jewish director and playwright, Vivi Tellas, synagogue-going and theater-going are still flip sides of the same coin. In her new avant-garde play, “Rabbi Rabino,” two real-life Conservative rabbis from Queens, Hyman Levine and Moses Birnbaum, expose aspects of both their professional and personal lives. Erik Piepenburg of The New York Times Artsbeat blog called the show an “irreverent mini-variety show about Judaism and modern identity.”

Two real-life Conservative rabbis from Queens, Hyman Levine and Moses Birnbaum, in a scene from "Rabbi Rabino."

Joe Stein On The Great White Way

10/27/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Playwright Joseph Stein, who died at age 98 on Oct. 24 in Manhattan, was an original member of Minyan of the Stars. The organization encouraged show business personalities to celebrate Jewish holidays and traditions.

One of the first gatherings took place at Stein’s home on Park Avenue. It was Chanukah 1990. Lou Jacobi looked around and exclaimed, “We have show people here, even a scout from MGM. MGM—My Gantze Mishpocha [my whole family]!”

Joseph Stein and wife Elisa

Actor Tom Bosley of ‘Happy Days,’ 'Fiorello' Dies

10/20/2010

(JTA) -- Actor Tom Bosley, best known as the "Happy Days" dad Howard Cunningham, has died.

Bosley died Tuesday at his home in Palm Springs from heart failure due to lung cancer. He was 83.

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