YIDDISH SOUL 2017
In this high-octane klez event that helps mark the arrival of summer, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene showcases A-list cantorial, klezmer and Jewish folk-pop performers on Central Park’s SummerStage: The boundary-busting, Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics, the chasidic folk-soul band Zusha and the all-male a cappella group the Maccabeats. On the cantorial side are the big voices of cantors Yanky Lemmer (Lincoln Square Synagogue), Chaim David Berson (Manhattan Jewish Center) and the award-winning Daniel Kahn. — Wednesday, June 14, 7 p.m., SummerStage in Central Park, Central Park near East 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue, nytf.org.
EGG ROLLS, EGG CREAMS AND EMPANADAS
Paying homage to the Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican communities of the Lower East Side, the Museum at Eldridge Street presents its annual signature cross-cultural block party. Top performers include trumpeter Frank London and band, the Chinatown Senior Center Orchestra, East River Ensemble and Cantor Eric Freeman. Activities include Hebrew and Chinese scribal art, yarmulke making, Puerto Rican mask making, hands-on dumpling, kreplach and empanada making demos, live demonstrations by Jewish and Chinese paper cutting artists and more. Of course, there’ll be kosher egg rolls, egg creams and empanadas galore. — Sunday, June 18, 12-4 p.m., outside the Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., (212) 219-0302, eldridgestreet.org. Free.
YIDDISH AND BRITISH ON BROADWAY
As is its custom each summer, the Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus will deliver four-part vocal arrangements in Yiddish. The Yiddishly challenged need not be concerned, since each number gets an intro from the group’s conductor, Binyumen Schaechter, and has a full translation in the concert program. On tap are works by Gilbert and Sullivan (in Yiddish) and Mordechai Gebirtig and songs from the days of the Second Avenue Yiddish theater. Guest performers include soloists Cantor Joel Caplan and Temma Schaechter, with Seth Weinstein at the piano. — Sunday, June 11, 4:30 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, SymphonySpace.org.
WORLD’S FAIR OF ISRAELI FOLK DANCE FESTIVAL
Israeli folk dance has, over the years, pulled in influences from around the globe yet retained its roots. The four-day World’s Fair of Israeli Folk Dance Festival reflects that fact and offers evening dance parties, performances and workshops with celebrated choreographers and master teachers. The festival culminates with a gala performance featuring Lehakat Hora Herzliya, Re-Vital Israel and Galgal Ba’Ma’agal, Israel’s acclaimed wheelchair dance group. (Sunday, June 11, 3-5:30 p.m.) — Thursday, June 8-Sunday, June 11, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd, Queens, israelidanceinstitute.org.
Based in part on “The Terezin Diary of Gonda Redlich,” the play tells the story of two Jewish girls — Alexi, a brilliant violin player, and her friend Violet — locked in a desperate struggle for survival after arriving at Terezin. Violet mysteriously disappears and Alexi’s only hope of finding her involves teaching the ghetto’s Nazi commander to play the violin. Written by Nicholas Tolkien, great-grandson of novelist J.R.R. Tolkien. — Opens Saturday, June 17, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 416 W. 42 St., 4th fl., (212) 279-4200, ticketcentral.com. (See interview with Nicholas Tolkien on page 3.)
Cited as one of the best plays of 2016 by The Times, “Indecent” follows the original cast of Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance,” who risked their careers to perform a risqué work at a time when art, freedom and truth were on trial. The work is playwright Paula Vogel’s Broadway debut. Rebecca Taichman directs. — Through Sept. 10, Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St.,telecharge.com.
Israeli-American singer, pianist, actor and composer Gon Halevi performs covers and personal interpretations of famous jazz standards. — Saturday, June 10, 8:30 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, One E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org
Acclaimed cantor, singer and Broadway star Dudu Fisher has performed everywhere from the courts of the Queen of England and Thailand’s royal family to the White House, earning himself the title of “Israel’s Frank Sinatra.” In his one-man (and full orchestra) show “Jerusalem,” Fisher combines storytelling, film and song to tell the city’s Jewish history. With introductions by Israeli Ambassador Dani Dayan. — Sunday, June 11, 5 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, One E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org.
Tavce gravce is a traditional Macedonian dish of baked beans. It is also a multinational Balkan, flamenco and jazz-infused acoustic ensemble that blends traditional Macedonian and Mediterranean flavors with explosive, danceable Balkan music. Founded and lead by Israeli jazz bassist Daniel Ori, the group’s first album, “Our Village,” became an overnight hit in the Jewish-Balkan music scenes. — Sunday, June 11, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork/tickets. $10.
Led by vocalist Isabelle Ganz, the Sephardic music ensemble Alhambra performs a Judeo-Spanish repertoire of wedding music, love songs and instrumental arrangements from the Jewish communities of Spain, the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa. — Sunday, June 11, 8 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $20, drinks included.
The Jewish-American composer and singer is best known for writing the music and lyrics for Broadway musicals such as “The Full Monty” and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” Accompanied by a live band, Yazbek, who also did the music for the stage adaptation of hit Israeli film “The Band’s Visit,” performs songs from his many albums and shows. The Times has hailed the show as “a thrill-ride at a volcano’s edge.” With special guest, multiple Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris. — Monday, June 12, 7 p.m., 54 Bellow, 254 W 54th St., (646) 476-3551, 54below.com. $55-$85.
YOTAM SILBERSTEIN ANDLA FAMILIA QUARTET
Since his 2005 move to New York, guitarist and Tel Aviv native Yotam Silberstein has released three albums and collaborated with the likes of bassist Avishai Cohen, James Moody and Roy Hargrove. About Jazz summed up Silberstein’s 2009 release, “Next Page,” as an “unadorned hollow-body guitar work [that] freely invites comparison to releases from the heyday of Blue Note Records.” Yotam Silberstein, guitar, comp.; Glenn Zaleski, piano; Rick Rosato, bass; Daniel Dor, drums. – Friday, June 16, 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319,corneliastreetcafe.com. $20, drinks included.
THE ISRAEL FILM CENTER FESTIVAL
JCC Manhattan’s 5th Annual Israel Film Center Festival showcases some of the most interesting new films to come out of Israel. Noteworthy highlights — all New York premieres — include Roee Florentin’s comedy-drama “Mr. Predictable,” where the world of mild-mannered “nice guy” Adi is rocked when he falls in love with “wild girl” Natalia (Friday, June 9, 6 p.m.), and Meni Yaish’s “Our Father,” which details the misadventures of a bouncer in a Tel Aviv night club who takes up working for the Israeli mob (Tuesday, June 13, 7 p.m.). Also: a special preview of the Holocaust documentary “Aida’s Secrets,” set to open in theaters in the fall. (Monday, June 12, 7 p.m.) — June 8-13, JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org
Written by Serena Dykman and David Breger and directed by Dykman, “Nana” documents the filmmaker’s journey with her mother Alice retracing their (grand)mother’s Auschwitz survival story, and investigating how her lifelong fight against intolerance can continue to be taught to the new generations, against the backdrop of current events. Part of the Lower East Side Film Festival. —Tuesday, June 13, Sunshine Cinema, 143 E. Houston St. (bet. First and Second avenues), lesfilmfestival.
THE WOMEN’S BALCONY
When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic, young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways. This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community’s women and men. — Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, (212) 757-0359. For tickets and show times visit lincolnplazacinema.com.
THE WEDDING PLAN
Rama Burshtein’s (“Fill the Void”) oddball romantic comedy follows Michal (Noa Kooler), a 32-year-old Orthodox woman preparing for her much-anticipated wedding. When her fiancé abruptly decides to cancel their scheduled wedding, telling her, “I just don’t love you,” she decides that she will proceed without him. She hires a hall, plans a menu and sends out invitations. Now all she needs, with 22 days left before her chosen date, is a bridegroom. Kooler won an Ophir (the Israeli version of the Oscar) for her performance. — Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., (212) 255-2243, quadcinema.com.
Based on a true story, this film by acclaimed Israeli director Avi Nesher tracks the voyage through Europe of two Israeli sisters, daughters of Holocaust survivors, who are bent on delving into a taboo topic: the mystery of how their father survived in Poland during World War II. Verity called the film “Profoundly moving… [Nesher’s] best film yet.” — Through June 15, Sunshine Cinema, 143 E. Houston St. (bet. First and Second avenues), landmarktheatres.com.
CITY OF GOLD, BRONZE AND LIGHT
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem, this new exhibition explores the tensions between imaginary and physical Jerusalem. Combining paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and other media, the exhibit juxtaposes visual and material characterizations of the Holy City from the 17th to 21st centuries with a series of Talmudic, prosaic and poetic passages. — Through July 30, Yeshiva University Museum, 15 W. 16th St., yumuseum.org.
Celebrated Jewish-Indian sculptor and Genesis Prize-winner Sir Anish Kapoor brings his large-scale installation, “Descension,” to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Twenty-six feet in diameter, the work is a continuously swirling whirlpool filled with an all-natural black dye, producing the illusion of an ever-churning black hole. — On display through Sept. 10, Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, publicartfund.org.
FLORINE STETTHEIMER: PAINTING POETRY
Through her critically acclaimed poems, paintings and drawings, as well as a selection of costume and theater designs, photographs and ephemera, The Jewish Museum offers a timely reconsideration of poet/painter Florine Stettheimer, an icon of Jazz Age New York. – Through Sept. 24, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.
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