The top music, film, theater and food events in New York City this week, curated by arts and culture editors:
THE TOP THREE
Berlin-based Sasha Lurje is one of the most sought-after voices in klezmer music. Belarusian-born composer/clarinetist Zisl Slepovitch is leader of the critically acclaimed Litvakus, a NYC-based band known for its raw, rootsy and energetic performances of Jewish music from Belarus. The two team-up in Goyfriend, a project exploring the Jewish-Slavic-Baltic cultural dialogue through music. With a sound rich in drones and harmonics, the duet wanders between the Belarusian, Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Yiddish languages and musical traditions, examining their similarities and differences. — Sunday, Aug. 13, 11 a.m., City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com. $10.
Israeli-born jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman has drawn praise for his “warm and clean guitar tone, clear articulation, crazily extended improvisational ideas,” (The New York Times), his “distinctive lyricism and easily embraceable artfulness that seems to reach beyond his years” (All About Jazz) and a “time feel, technique, tone projection and linear and chordal sophistication” that are “everything one could hope for” (Jazz Times). In recognition of his achievements, Cornelia Street Café will be pairing Hekselman with various jazz mavericks for three nights. On tap: legendary jazz drummer Billy Hart, singer Becca Stevens, multi-instrumentalist Joel Ross and more. — Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 10-13, at various times, Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319. $20, drinks included. Visit corneliastreetcafe.com for details.
Well-known in local Israeli-American circles for her Hebrew performances for kids, young Israeli-American actor/singer/songwriter (and self-proclaimed “tree-hugging fairy”) Shira Averbuch performs acoustic songs from her “#12WeeksofGratitude” video project, a heartfelt folk collection with a touch of country jazz. Accompanied by guitarist Paul Carbonara, the former Blondie musical director, and inspired by Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones, Averbuch delivers a nostalgic punch with a feather-light sweetness, according to the advance billing. All proceeds will be donated to the International Rescue Committee. — Sunday, Aug. 13, 3 p.m., Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., (212) 477-4155, rockwoodmusichall.com. Free.
Created by Zalmen Mlotek and Moishe Rosenfeld in 1984, the musical “Amerike — The Golden Land” weaves stories and observations the two collected from New York’s Yiddish-speaking immigrants. The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene is now reimagining the production, documentary-style, heightened by the use of projection designs and a live seven-piece klezmer band on stage. Directed by Drama Desk-nominee Bryna Wasserman, “Amerike” is performed in Yiddish with Russian and English supertitles. — Extended through Aug. 20, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (866) 811-4111, mjhnyc.org.
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, who won a Tony, directs. — Through Aug. 6, Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., telecharge.com.
LISA GUTKIN TRIO
Grammy-winning fiddler and singer-songwriter Lisa Gutkin is best known as violinist and vocalist for the Klezmatics. As bandleader of her own trio (with tsimblist Pete Rushefsky and bassist Remy Yulzari) she moves easily from klezmer to traditional Irish fiddle tunes to the blues, Balkan and Appalachian sounds. — Sunday, Aug. 6, 10 a.m. doors, 11 a.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com. $10.
Credited with being one of the first groups to make Jewish music that truly rocks, the Israeli-born ’90s band Moshav offers their signature brew of reggae, bluegrass, funk and indie rock, with Jewish liturgy ringing out clearly. The group will perform excerpts from its recently released “Shabbat Vol. 1,” as well as earlier hits. Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz opens. — Monday, Aug. 7, 8 p.m., High Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St., (212) 414-5994, highlineballroom.com.
The Judeo-Arabic, retro-folk ensemble Epichorus celebrates Shabbat’s last hours with music from 1930s Egypt, religious songs of Syrian and Iraqi Jews, and classical Arabic and Sufi tunes. — Saturday, Aug 9, 7-9 p.m., Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., (212) 219-0302, eldridgestreet.org. $25.
SLAVIC SOUL PARTY
The acclaimed Brooklyn-based Balkan brass plays their fiery signature blend of Balkan brass, funk grooves, Roma, klezmer and jazz. — Tuesdays, 9 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth St., Brooklyn, (347) 422-0248, barbesbrooklyn.com. $10.
THE TAMMY SCHEFFER SEXTET
A native of Belgium who grew up in Israel, vocalist and composer Tammy Scheffer incorporates Middle Eastern influences into her instrument-like approach to improvisation. All About Jazz hailed her for her “beautifully pure voice … unerring sense of rhythm.” — Monday, Aug. 7, 12-1 a.m., Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346, smallslive.com.
The 26-year-old bassist has been hailed as “a musical prodigy turned evil genius” (spinner.com). Drawing upon his Middle Eastern and Eastern European roots, his music mixes touches of klezmer, jazz, hip-hop and rock, creating “a voice [that] conveys a distinct musical vision,” said All About Jazz. Through his work with various jazz icons such as drummer Billy Hart and guitarist Lee Ritenour, he is “quickly approaching giant status” (LA Weekly). With saxophonist Noah Preminger, pianist Billy Test and drummer Ian Forman. — Wednesday, Aug. 9, 10:30 p.m. – 1 a.m., Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346, smallslive.com.
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, lincolnplazacinema.com.
Starring Sabra actress/model/former Miss Israel Gal Gadot, the first A-list Israeli movie star ever, the smash-hit film follows Diana, princess of the Amazons and demi-god, as she grows up on an all-female, all-warrior, all-Israeli-accented island. After a handsome British pilot fighter (Chris Pine) arrives on the island and alerts her to the First World War raging outside, the two rush off to save the world through their combined military prowess. — In very wide release.
Starring a real-life Menashe (the Skverer chasid Menashe Lustig), Joshua Z. Weinstein’s “Menashe” follows the tale of a widower pushing against the conventions of his tight-knit, family-oriented community by trying to win custody of his young son. In his debut feature, Weinstein, a documentarian, shows a real feel for the rhythms and cadences of chasidic life. It’s sweet and sad all at once, and a New York story through and through. —Angelika Film Center, 18 W. Houston St., angelikafilmcenter.com, and Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, lincolnplazacinema.com.
ROOFTOP FILMS: MONKEY BUSINESS
This groundbreaking mixed-media documentary delves into the extraordinary lives of Hans and Margret Rey, the authors of the “Curious George” children’s books. The Reys were of German-Jewish descent and narrowly escaped the Nazis on makeshift bicycles that they rode across Europe, carrying the yet-to-be-published manuscript with them. Screening followed by Q&A, live music and a reception. — Tuesday, Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m., JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
Playing out more like a spy novel than a museum show, this multimedia exhibit features recently declassified materials charting the tracking, capture, extradition and trial of Adolf Eichmann — Through Dec. 22, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.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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