The top events this week, as chosen by our arts and culture editors:
ONE OF US
Following three ex-chasidim over a fraught three-year period, documentarians Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (“Jesus Camp,” “Detropia”) examine ultra-Orthodoxy’s “us-against-the-world” mentality — from the point of view of those who left it. Ari, a teenager who is no longer a believer, cuts off his payes and slowly learns his way in the secular world around him. Etty, a victim of an abusive arranged marriage, struggles to remain part of her seven children’s lives amid a bitter divorce. And Luzer Twersky, the 30-ish actor who starred in “Felix and Meira,” describes the scars that remain even a decade after his break with the community, despite his professional success. This Netflix original begins its theatrical release (a Q&A with the directors follows some opening-week screenings). — Opens Friday, Oct. 20, IFC Film Center, 323 Sixth Ave., (212) 924-7771, ifccenter.com.
ALL THINGS GOLEM
As a powerful folk figure, the golem has been put in symbolic service to connote everything from social injustice to artificial intelligence. Artist, writer and curator Shoshanna Brombacher assembles over 40 original works by 20 artists from around the world that were inspired by various aspects of the protective Jewish monster that was fashioned from clay in 16th-century Prague. The show culminates with (you guessed it) the neo-punk/klezmer band Golem, which presents its own manic blend of punk, gypsy and traditional Eastern European Jewish beats; the songs are in Yiddish, English, Russian, Ukrainian and other languages, and sound like a Jewish wedding on meth. — Saturday, Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m., Congregation Kol Israel, 603 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn, (718) 638-6583, goleminbrooklyncki.brownpapertickets.com.
An unexpected Israeli export, the Hazelnut “sisters” (not real sisters) are reviving vocal harmonies from bygone times. Inspired by the close-harmony jazz trios of the 1920s-40s, particularly the Andrews Sisters (and perhaps the Manhattan Transfer), the threesome, accompanied by acoustic guitar, double bass, washboard and trumpet, recalls the swing era and the New Orleans sound; the Hazelnuts even put their tight harmonies to work on Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies.” It’s all a “fantastic restoration of an old but eternal sound, nicely bridging between past and present” (Haaretz). Catch the sisters on their debut U.S. tour. — Friday, Oct. 20, 10 p.m., Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., (212) 477-4155, rockwoodmusichall.com.
Emmy-winning “Letterman” writer Ted Greenberg presents a coming-of-age comedy set on the nine-year anniversary of his long-overdue Harvard college paper. He’s living under the shadow of his father, Ace Greenberg — a Wall Street legend — while scratching out a living as a cabbie. Turn in the paper by midnight or lose his chance — forever — to be a Harvard grad. — Through Nov. 5, West Side YMCA, The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater, 5 W. 63rd St., (212) 912-2600, ymcanyc.org/westside.
The quintessentially Israeli stand-up comic talks about life, love and weed in Israel, speculates about peace in the Middle East and loves Melania Trump — “because my English is better than hers.” The show, however, will be entirely in Hebrew. — Sunday, Oct. 22, 8 p.m., Symphony Space-Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, SymphonySpace.org.
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 it’s coming to Broadway after a sold-out Off-Broadway run. — Now showing previews (opening Nov. 9), Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., telecharge.com, thebandsvisitmusical.com.
Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Disgraced,” a play about a Muslim and Jewish couple discussing identity over dinner, turns to investment banking in “Junk.” It stars Steven Pasquale as Robert Merkin, a financial kingpin of the ’80s (a la Michael Milken) who attempts to take over an iconic American manufacturing company, changing all the rules in the process. — In previews (opening is Nov. 2), Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, 150 W. 65th St., lct.org.
“Lili Marlene” was the title of a World War II-era German song that became popular with both the Axis and the Allies. Set in pre-WWII Berlin, this similarly titled Off-Broadway musical (with book and music by Michael Antin) centers on the fictional character of Rosie Pen (Amy Londyn), a Jewish cabaret singer whose rendition of the song makes it famous. With Nazism on the rise, Rosie’s unlikely love affair with a young German count named Willi (Clint Hromsco) drives them both to seek ways out of the country. — Tuesdays through Dec. 19, 7 p.m., St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 W. 46th St., (212) 239-6200, Telecharge.com.
TAKING THE WHEEL: ARI AXELROD
Featuring the music of Cole Porter to Carole King, Ari Axelrod’s show delivers the “unfailingly engaging and intelligent” (KDHX St. Louis) story of one Jewish man, happily a passenger in life’s normal journey, who is unexpectedly thrust into the driver’s seat. Directed by Tony-winner Faith Prince with music direction by Alex Rybeck. — Saturday, Oct. 28, 11 p.m. doors, 11:30 p.m. show, 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., (646) 476-3551, 54below.com.
In 1890, in a lawless territory out west, a hot-tempered young cowboy named Johnny Blood is sentenced to hang for killing a man in a bar fight. His sister, a novice nun in a nearby mission, is persuaded to plead with a corrupt governor to spare her brother’s life. The governor promises to pardon Johnny if his sister, the Sister, will ‘do his bidding’ for the night. Adding to the complications are a hard-bitten sheriff, a voluptuous saloon girl and a priest who reads Nietzsche. — Extended through Oct. 29, York Theatre, 619 Lexington Ave, (212) 935-5820, yorktheatre.org.
YANIV TAUBENHOUSE TRIO
The Israeli-born, New York-based jazz pianist, along with bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Jerad Lippi perform excerpts from the trio’s 2015 recording “Moments in Trio-Volume One” (Fresh Sound Records). Taubenhouse “possesses a rare gift as a musician and pianist,” said NPR — “the combination of virtuosity, curiosity along with the courage to use his art as a vehicle to bring his joy and pain to the surface.”— Monday, Oct. 30, 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $10 cover plus $10 minimum.
Known for digging deeply into the sounds of various eras and locations, Israeli-born multi-instrumentalist and clarinet maverick is an agile fuser of classical, Jewish and African-derived musical influences. His 2014 album “Gathering Light” was born through collaborations with musicians from Indonesia, Japan, China, Israel, Belgium, France and Germany. In “Reimagining Benny Goodman,” Etkin channels the great swing-era clarinetist. — “Reimagining Benny Goodman,” Tuesday, Oct. 24, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; “Gathering Light,” Wednesday, Oct. 25, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, 10 Columbus Circle, (212) 258-9595, jazz.org/dizzys.
The highly respected, famously conductor-less Orpheus Chamber plays the New York premier of Asunder, a score composed for it by jazz pianist and famous improviser Vijay Iyer. Also on tap is Mozart’s piano concerto No. 9, played by pianist André Watts, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. — Thursday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m., Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium, 881 Seventh Avenue, carnegiehall.org.
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. — Wednesday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m., Congregation Shearith Israel, 8 W. 70th St., shearithisrael.org.
A web of family secrets unravels in this documentary following a family fractured by war. Two brothers, Izak and Shep, were born inside the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in 1945 and separated as babies, never told of the other’s existence. Nearly 70 years later, the discovery of family records leads the brothers to an emotional reunion with their elderly mother, Aida, who hid more from Izak and Shep than just each other. — Opens Oct. 20, Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, (212) 757-0359, lincolnplazacinema.com.
On a sweltering August day in 1945, villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labeled “fragrances.” The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village’s deported Jews and expects them to demand that their illegally acquired property, lost during the war, be returned. Variety called the film “a fresh, intelligent cinematic approach to a difficult topic that takes on a transitional time in Hungarian history with subtlety and nuance.” — Previews Monday, Oct. 23, 7-9 p.m., JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444. jccmanhattan.org; in wide release Nov. 1.
THE PEOPLE VS. FRITZ BAUER
Director Lars Kraume’s historical thriller chronicles the Herculean efforts of German District Attorney Fritz Bauer to bring Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann to justice. Starring the brilliant Burghart Klaussner as Bauer. — Wednesday, Oct. 25, 3 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL KNEW TRUMP WAS COMING
In his post-election essay in The New Yorker, writer Alex Ross suggested that we may be experiencing the American catastrophe anticipated by the Frankfurt School. Jack Jacobs (CUNY), Jonathon Catlin (Princeton) and Liliane Weissberg (Penn) discuss how the Frankfurt School’s analysis of anti-Semitism illuminates contemporary racism. Co-presented with Deutsches Haus at NYU as part of the Center for Jewish History’s series on the contemporary relevance of German-Jewish history. — Wednesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
PERSON PLACE THING WITH WNYC’S JAMI FLOYD
Hosted by former Times Magazine “Ethicist” writer Randy Cohen, “Person Place Thing” is an interview show in which one guest tells three insightful and often hilarious stories. This installment features Jami Floyd, the local host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” on WNYC and a news junkie since childhood. — Wednesday, Nov. 1, 7:30-9 p.m., JCC Harlem, 318 W. 118th St., (646) 505-5708, jccmanhattan.org
Jointly conceived by artist Colin Davidson and the Oliver Sears Gallery, “Jerusalem” is comprised of 12 large-scale portraits of individuals — Jews, Muslims, Christians, a politician, a Benedictine monk, a doctor — who live or work in the ancient, mystical, troubled city of Jerusalem. — On display through Nov. 14 (open to the public on select dates), 92nd Y’s Weill Art Gallery, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
REDISCOVERY, RESTORATION AND RENEWAL
Ten years ago, the restoration of the Eldridge Street Synagogue was completed. After a 20-year, $20 million effort, the building was brought back from the verge of collapse to stand once again as a Jewish landmark. In celebration of this milestone, the Museum at Eldridge Street presents 45 large-scale photographs, dating from the 1970s to the present, of the synagogue in different stages of its transformation. —Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street, eldridgestreet.org. Through March 1, 2018.
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.
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