THE HIDDEN ONES
Two families, a hidden room and a mysterious Off-Broadway play that takes place in an undisclosed location: “The Hidden Ones,” a site-specific, non-traditional immersive experience, invites 10 audience members at a time to delve into true stories of love, humanity and loss of those forced into hiding during the Holocaust. It will likely be hard not to think of Anne Frank in her Amsterdam attic. — Through March, address provided with purchase. Tickets are extremely limited and are available at thehiddenonesnyc.com.
IDAN RAICHEL AT THE BEACON
Merging East and West, modern and traditional, Jewish and Muslim, world music star Idan Raichel is one of Israel’s best-known cultural exports. His Idan Raichel Project, a 2002 collaboration of some 95 musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds, was among the first and most far-reaching attempts to bring Israel’s various and often warring ethnic components together in song. Along the way, Raichel has become an ambassador for tolerance and understanding through music (Raichel performed on the White House lawn in 2014). After producing six sprawling collaborative albums to date, Raichel’s most recent release, “At the Edge of the Beginning,” is a solo piano effort. He and the piano roll into an iconic venue next week. — Wednesday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show, Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, (844) 483-9008, newyorkcitytheatre.com. $60 and up.
A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK
San Francisco, 1986. Harry is an amiable but lonely retired kosher butcher. Barbara is his young lesbian writing teacher at a senior center, with whom he has little in common. When Harry fulfills a writing assignment to compose a letter to someone who has died, he writes not to his late wife Frannie but to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political leader in California. His letter evokes life-changing revelations that neither he nor Barbara could have foreseen. Based on Lesléa Newman’s short story of the same name, the show is written by Jerry James, with music by Laura I. Kramer. — Previews start Wednesday, Feb. 21, Acorn Theatre @ Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St., through March 9. For tickets call (212) 239-6200 or visit telecharge.com.
BAR MITZVAH BOY
Based on a 1976 teleplay of the same name written by Jack Rosenthal, with music by legendary Broadway composer Jule Styne, “Bar Mitzvah Boy” is a bittersweet musical comedy about a young Jewish boy who runs away from home to escape the pressures of his upcoming ritual, and the trials of the adult world that follow. Part of York Theatre’s “Musicals in Mufti” series celebrating Styne. — Through Feb. 18, York Theatre Company, 619 Lexington Ave., (212) 935-5820 or visit yorktheatre.org.
THE ART OF LOSS
Known for its ferocious physicality, the theater/dance troupe Bryn Cohn + Artists presents its first evening of repertory, which includes a premiere of Cohn’s “A Perfect Union,” a mash-up score sourced from inaugural and political speeches by Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. — Friday-Saturday, Feb. 16-17, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 18, 3 p.m., The Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St. For tickets call (646) 395-4310 or visit 14streety.org.
A WALK WITH MR. HEIFETZ
A new James Inverne play focuses on a 1925 concert in pre-state Palestine given by violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz. People flocked from far and wide to hear him, including Yehuda Sharett, composer and brother of future Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett. Legend has it that after the performance, Heifetz and Yehuda walked together and shared a conversation that ended up changing the world. — Through March 4, Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St., (212) 352-3101, primarystages.org.
THE MENTALIST – LIOR SUCHARD
Israeli mentalist Lior Suchard might guess anything from your banking PIN number to the name of the very first person you kissed. He may also telekinetically bend some dinnerware. Seeing is believing. — Monday, Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org
The avant-garde theater group Talking Band debuts its musical “Fusiform Gyrus – A Septet for Two Scientists and Five Horns,” which explores the intellectual bromance between scientists Daniel Kahneman (who won a Nobel in economics) and Amos Tversky, the two Israeli psychologists’ whose theory on cognitive biases became the basis for modern-day behavioral economics. — Through Feb. 25, HERE, 145 Sixth Ave., (212) 352-3101, here.org.
BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY
The 1940s screen siren was also the inventor of a groundbreaking communication system that underlined modern encryption. Following the starlet through her turbulent marriage and career, this documentary gives a sympathetic look into Lamarr’s struggle — and ultimate failure — to be recognized for more than her beauty. — Sunday, Feb. 18, 5 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org.
Eight years after his highly acclaimed “Lebanon,” which took viewers into the interior of an Israeli tank, Samuel Maoz is back with “Foxtrot,” winner of eight Israeli Film Academy Awards. Shifting between the hyper-realistic and the comically surreal, the film homes in on parents’ grief after their soldier son has been killed. Variety called it “Brilliantly constructed with a visual audacity… Filmmaking on a fearless level.” A Q&A with director Maoz follows the screening. — Tuesday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
NAAMA GHEBER AND THE MISBEHAVIN’ SEVEN
Hailed for her “sensitive interpretation and crisp phrasing” (AllAboutJazz), Israeli-American jazz vocalist Naama Gheber and her septet play arrangements to the hits from the ’30s and ’40s, based on music by Billie Holiday and Lester Young, young Ella Fitzgerald and others. — Saturday, Feb. 17, 8 p.m., The Cell Theater, 338 W. 23rd St., (646) 861-2253, thecelltheatre.org.
John Zorn — the forward-thinking saxophonist, composer, improvisational maestro and avid promoter of experimental music who founded The Stone — will star in a six-day improv marathon, alongside a revolving cast of stellar avant-gardists. — Tuesday-Monday, Feb. 20-25, 8:30 p.m., The Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, thestonenyc.com.
The recorder (yes, recorder!) player draws upon her classical training, jazz inclinations and Israeli and Middle Eastern upbringing. Rubinstein “[lays] to rest the notion of the recorder as a beginner’s toy,” said JazzTimes. — Sunday, Feb. 18, 8:15 p.m., Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., (212) 477-4155, rockwoodmusichall.com.
Led by Israeli-born, New York-based jazz pianist Alon Nechushtan, the Talat ensemble plays original music inspired by new interpretations of klezmer and Middle Eastern grooves. Roaming between the borders of jazz, groove and folk, its music references a varied list of sources, from Sephardic niggunim to Israeli pop. — Sunday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m. doors, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com.
Combining jazz and classical elements with subtle hints of her Middle Eastern background, Israeli pianist Anat Fort has been hailed for her “reflective yet probing style” (New York Times) and her “deceptively simple-sounding tunes, that are usually elegant and frequently exquisite” (The Guardian). For this quartet date, expect tunes from her new “Birdwatching” CD on ECM. — Tuesday, Feb. 20, 8-9:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
Celebrate the music and life of Arik Einstein, a pioneer of Israeli rock music, through a live performance by Israeli-American cellist Elad Kabilio and an ensemble of musicians from MusicTalks. Interspersed with stories and historical background, the program is part of Yeshiva University Museum’s series musically celebrating Israel @ 70. — Thursday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W.16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
QUEEN OF CHALLAH
Jewish food blogger (“The Nosher”) and author of the new cookbook, “Modern Jewish Baker,” Shannon Sarna speaks about her journey to become a food writer, with an interactive cooking demonstration to follow. — Wednesday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org
RIGHTWARD TURNS: EUROPE YESTERDAY AND TODAY
Princeton’s Jan Gross speaks with Jonathan Brent, executive director of YIVO, about recurring patterns in history. A Q&A follows. — Tuesday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W.16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
ONE LONG NIGHT: A GLOBAL HISTORY OF CONCENTRATION CAMPS
Examining concentration camps from all angles — from the general known as “the Butcher,” who launched the first concentration camps, to the prisoner who escaped Dachau and sent a postcard to his jailers — author Andrea Pitzer provides a panoramic view of one of modernity’s greatest tragedies. — Tuesday, Feb. 20, 12 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org
The night Albert Einstein died in Princeton, the pathologist on-call removed his brain — without permission. From the pathologist’s basement, the brain was smuggled out in bits and pieces — literally — to be stored in a cedar box in Wichita, Kan., driven to California in the trunk of a journalist’s Buick Skylark and trafficked illegally across the border into Canada. A panel of brain scientists and filmmakers, moderated by Israeli Ambassador Ido Aharoni, will discuss Einstein’s brain and its legacy. — Wednesday, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, , emanuelskirballnyc.org.
SPEAK TORAH TO POWER
The speaker series “Speak Torah to Power” features top Jewish educators from around the country as they address today’s most pressing issues and explore the connection between activism, spirituality, community and Jewish wisdom. In this installment, Yavilah McCoy, pioneer of the Jewish diversity and equity movement, talks intersectionality as a Jewish practice. — Tuesday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org.
HERBERT FERBER AND MARK ROTHKO
Sculptor Herbert Ferber, who died in 1991, and iconic painter Mark Rothko, who died in 1970, deeply influenced each other’s works. A new gallery show explores the long artistic and personal dialogue between the two with selections from both their works; it showcases their Abstract Expressionism— Opening reception on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 6-8 p.m.; on display through April 14, David Zwirner Gallery, 34 E. 69th St., (212) 517-8677.
SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION
Following the renovation of its third floor, The Jewish Museum reopens its permanent collection galleries with a serious makeover. Where the old collection aimed to chronicle 4,000 years of Jewish history with a single, linear narrative, the new one is divided into seven different scenes, each revealing various ways in which history and art are shaped by context. — The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, , thejewishmuseum.org.
ZURBARÁN’S JACOB AND HIS TWELVE SONS
Painted by 17th-century Spanish Golden Age master Francisco de Zurbarán, “Jacob And His Twelve Sons” is an ambitious series of 13 paintings that depict life-size figures from the Old Testament. On loan from Auckland Castle, prior to 2017 the paintings have never before traveled to the U.S. — Through April 22, The Frick, 1 E. 70th St., (212) 288-0700, frick.org/exhibitions/Zurbaran.
ROMANCE AND REASON
Bringing together an exceptional group of rare Islamic manuscripts, the exhibit “Romance and Reason: Islamic Transformations of the Classical Past” features 24 illustrated and illuminated manuscripts from the collections of the National Library of Israel; they testify to the fertile relationship between medieval Islam and the classical world. Organized by NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) in partnership with the NLI. — Through May 13, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 15 E. 84th St., isaw.nyu.edu/exhibitions.
GLASS MOUNTAINS AND SABRA TRACES
Israeli photographer Oded Balilty (the first and only Israeli photographer to receive the Pulitzer Prize, for breaking news) presents two aesthetically bold and thoroughly Israeli photo series in his New York solo debut. — Through March 1, Laurie M. Tisch Gallery, Marlene Meyerson, JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
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