Alison Chernick’s documentary laudably looks beyond the fame of violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman; it follows the story of a young polio survivor growing up in Israel and struggling to be taken seriously as a music student while schools and society saw only his disability. His life story unspools in conversations with musicians, family and friends, and most endearingly his devoted wife of 50 years, Toby; Perlman himself is funny, irreverent and self-deprecating. — Opens Friday, March 9, at Landmark at 57th, 657 W. 57th St., landmarktheatres.com, and Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., quadcinema.com.
HAZAMIR GALA CONCERT
Composed of 400 singers from 38 chapters in the U.S. and Israel, HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir marks its 25th anniversary with a world premiere of David Burger’s “Essa Einai.” The event honors HaZamir’s director, Vivian Lazar, with the Foundation’s Kinor David award. — Sunday, March 18, 4 p.m., David Geffen Hall-Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, hazamirgala25.org, (212) 725-6500.
QUEEN ESTHER’S DILEMMA
This play-within-a-play musical by Samuel J. Bernstein borrows its plot from the biblical Book of Esther, while maintaining the form of a modern-day Purim shpiel. The narrative recounts the efforts of Haman, an evil Persian, to annihilate the Jews, and the efforts of Queen Esther, her cousin Mordechai and King Ahasuerus to stop him. In this rendering, Esther faces various difficult ethical problems as she strives to be a woman loyal to the interests of the Jews, and yet a person with strong pacifistic inclinations. The play is set as a contemporary Purim party, complete with games, dancing, singing and, of course, drinking. Starring Amanda Martinez as Esther and baritone David Serero as Ahasuerus. — Tuesday, March 13, 3 p.m. and Sunday, March 18, 6 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., QueenEsther.bpt.me, (800) 838-3006.
Hailed for her “simplicity and warmth” (All About Jazz), New York-based, Israeli-born jazz/folk guitarist and vocalist Dida Pelled writes and performs playfully sexy, intelligent, original tunes and mixes them with jazz standards, mostly of the hard-bop variety. “Dida sings in a voice sometimes playful, warm, resonant, no frills,” the French magazine Jazz Hot noted. — Tuesday, March 20 – Saturday, March 24, 11:15 p.m., Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, 10 Columbus Circle, (212) 258-9595, jazz.org/dizzys.
OLD STOCK: A REFUGEE LOVE STORY
Written by Christian Barry, Hannah Moscovitch and Canadian klezmer-folk sensation Ben Caplan — who also plays the lead role — this music-theater hybrid is inspired by the real-life story of Moscovitch’s great-grandparents, both Romanian Jews, who immigrated to Canada in the early 20th century. The Guardian called it “A hugely entertaining experience.”—Through April 22, 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59 St. Call (212) 279-4200 or visit 59e59.org for tickets. $35 and up.
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. — Through March, address provided with purchase. Tickets are extremely limited and are available at thehiddenonesnyc.com.
THE BAND’S VISIT
In the hit Israeli film, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra travels to Israel from Egypt for a concert, ending up in the wrong place and bonding with local Israelis in the process. David Yazbek’s musical of the same name and based on the film won the 2017 Obie for Best Musical. Now on Broadway after a sold-out Off-Broadway run. — Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., telecharge.com, thebandsvisitmusical.com.
FREEDOM: A MUSLIM-JEWISH STORYTELLING NIGHT
Muslims and Jewish performers share personal stories on the theme of freedom. Performers include Amy Klein (NY Times, Salon), Aymann Ismail (Slate’s Who’s Afraid of Aymann Ismail) and others. Hosted by Eli Reiter (Long Story Short). — Thursday, March 15, 8:15 p.m., Brooklyn Jewish Art Gallery at CKI, 603 Saint Johns Pl., Brooklyn, (917) 648-4036, mjfreedom.brownpapertickets.com.
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. Part real, part surreal, the film focuses on parents’ grief after their soldier son has been killed. Variety called it “Brilliantly constructed with a visual audacity. … Filmmaking on a fearless level.” — Angelika Film Center, 18 W. Houston St., (212) 995-2570, angelikafilmcenter.com.
REELABILITIES FILM FESTIVAL
Founded in 2007 by JCC Manhattan, the weeklong festival is the largest in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. — March 8-14, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., reelabilities.org.
The year is 1968 and David Ben-Gurion is 82, five years before his death. Over six hours of interviews with anthropologist Clinton Bailey, the iconic politician discloses his private and clear-eyed thoughts about Israel, himself and the future. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Bailey; grandson Alon Ben Gurion; and filmmakers Yariv Mozer and Yael Perlov. Moderated by Israeli Ambassador Ido Aharoni. — Wednesday, March 14, 7 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org
THE NEW YORK SEPHARDIC JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
Now in its 21st year, the festival features a slew of documentaries and narrative films about the history, traditions and rich mosaic culture of the greater Sephardic communities. — Through Thursday, March 15, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., nysephardifilmfestival.org.
BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY
The 1940s screen siren was also the inventor of a groundbreaking communication system that underlined modern encryption. This documentary gives a sympathetic look into Lamarr struggle — and ultimate failure — to be recognized for more than her beauty. — Sunday, March 18, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org
The brainchild of violinist-pianist Benjamin Sutin, this jazz/klez ensemble has a multicultural spirit and a healthy sense of humor. Rooted in jazz and drawing on the different ethnic backgrounds of its members, the group playfully mixes influences from Eastern European klezmer, Balkan folk music, classical Indian music, Native American tribal dances and more. — Sunday, March 11, 8 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
In a concert The Times hailed as “a thrill-ride at a volcano’s edge,” famed Broadway composer/lyricist David Yazbek (“The Full Monty,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and now “The Band’s Visit”) takes to the piano to perform tunes from his many musicals. Joining him will be “The Band’s Visit” actors Ariel Stachel and John Cariani. — Monday, March. 12, 54 Below, 7 p.m., 254 W. 54th St., (646) 476-3551, 54below.com.
TRAVELING IN PAIRS
Israeli-American jazz pianist Alon Nechustan and polymath Samuel Torjman Thomas (the New York Andalus Ensemble) join forces in “Traveling in Pairs,” a musical project that gives a jazz-inflicted treatment to a wide range of Jewish music.— Sunday, March 11, 11 a.m., City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com. $10.
FROM THE YIDDISH RIALTO TO THE SILVER SCREEN
Exploring Yiddish theater’s golden age, this concert features songs from jazz-infused Yiddish musicals, hits made popular on the Yiddish radio and film clips (courtesy of National Center for Jewish Film) from the Yiddish musical cinema of the 1930s and 1940s.— Sunday, March 11, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, (866) 811-4111, nytf.org.
THE ASAF YURIA QUINTET
After apprenticeships with bassist Omer Avital and saxophonist-clarinetist Anat Cohen, Israeli-born saxophonist Asaf Yuria leads his own straight-ahead jazz quintet in a repertoire of familiar tunes from the swing and jazz traditions, alongside original works.— Thursday, March 15, 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Smalls Live, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346, smallslive.com.
A CELEBRATION OF JEWISH BOOKS
More than 50 Jewish authors and storytellers gather to showcase the diversity of Jewish literature, from Jewish detectives to Yiddish culture to cooking and biographies. Alongside breakout sessions with authors, there’s a kids’ corner with Jewish storytellers, musicians and activities, as well as a pop-up bookstore for the grownups. — Sunday, March 11, 11 a.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org.
THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR (FOREBEARS’) LIVES
Rabbi Daniel Goldfarb, known for his unconventional approach to our ancestors, offers insights into the turbulent relations of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and a host of other biblical figures. Rabbi Goldfarb’s eclectic background includes serving as an attorney for Israel’s Justice and Finance ministries and directing Jerusalem’s Conservative Yeshiva. — Sunday, March 18, 10:30 a.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org
In 1940, when photographer Henryk Ross (1910–1991) was confined to the Lodz Ghetto in Poland, he was put to work by the Nazi regime as a bureaucratic photographer for the Jewish Administration’s Statistics department. “Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross” presents more than 200 of these photographs, supplemented by artifacts and testimony and presented in the context of Lodz Ghetto history. — Through June 24, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.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. This new gallery show explores the long artistic and personal dialogue between the two; it showcases their Abstract Expressionism. — On display through April 14, David Zwirner Gallery, 34 E. 69th St., (212) 517-8677.
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