AWAKE AND SING!
The New Yiddish Rep Off-Broadway revival this 1938 Yiddish musical follows the Bergers, a financially strapped family of three generations living under one roof. “Awake and Sing!” plays with ideas of realism and idealism, and it will likely strike a resonant chord in a 2017 America in which many families are struggling. The cast features Luzer Twersky, who was recently profiled in the acclaimed documentary, “One Of Us,” about breakaways from the chasidic community. — Previews begin Saturday, Nov. 25 (opens Dec. 6), Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14 St., newyiddishrep.org, (646) 395-4310.
DESCRIBE THE NIGHT
In 1920, Jewish-Russian writer Isaac Babel wanders the Russian countryside with the Red Cavalry. Seventy years later, a mysterious KGB agent spies on a woman in Dresden and falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government has a suspicious accident and crashes in the Russian city of Smolensk. Inspired by his love of Babel’s work, playwright and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Rajiv Joseph (“Guards at the Taj,” “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”) tells a three-act, three-hour historical thriller that follows the interconnected stories of seven Russian men and women over nine decades. “Joseph’s dazzling play,” says the Houston Chronicle, “is a document of paranoia in the era of Trump and Russia.” — In previews, opens Wednesday, Nov. 20, Atlantic Theater Co., 336 W. 20th St., (866) 811-4111, atlantictheater.org.
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL
This new Amazon series follows Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a 1958 New Yorker who has everything — a loving husband, two kids and an elegant Upper West Side apartment perfect for hosting Yom Kippur dinner. But Maisel’s life is turned upside down when she takes up as a stand-up comic, eventually landing on Johnny Carson’s couch. Written, directed and executive produced by “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has become the first Amazon pilot to receive a two-season pickup.
Screening of the pilot will be followed by a talk with Sherman-Palladino, co-executive producer Daniel Palladino and actress Sutton Foster. — Sunday, Nov. 26, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
This play tells the story of a contemporary Birthright Israel trip to Masada, a Roman-era fortress and tourist attraction in the Israeli desert. While the participants examine their identities and relationships to Israel and Jewishness, they share the stage with actors retelling the infamous events that took place on Masada almost 2,000 years ago. As the two dramas mix and intertwine, staying on Masada becomes more and more contentious and dangerous. — Through Dec. 23, The Gym At Judson, 243 Thompson St., (866) 811-4111, thegymatjudson.com.
AICF’S 78TH ANNIVERSARY
Since 1939, the America Israel Cultural Foundation has played a leading role in helping develop and fund many of Israel’s largest cultural institutions, as well as fostering a thriving Israeli-American art scene here. To mark its anniversary, AICF will showcase some of its top Israeli-American grantees, including leading classical and jazz musicians, dance troupes and video artists. — Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 p.m., Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, 10 Columbus Circle, (212) 258-9800, aicf.org. Tickets $50 and up.
In October 1911, Polish actor Yitzchak (Jak) Lowy and his Yiddish theater troupe toured Prague, where they developed a complicated and impactful relationship with an emerging local author named Franz Kafka. Loosely based on the characters of Jak Lowy and his leading lady, Mme. Trassik, late playwright Lu Hauser’s last comedy (he died in 2011) describes how the vagabond troupe ends up first attracting and then ensnaring a sympathetic local writer named Gregor Samsa. — Through Nov. 25, Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., (212) 254-1109, theaterforthenewcity.net.
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.
“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.
NEW KLEZMER MUSIC BY WINOGRAD AND HOLMES
Clarinetist Michael Winograd and trumpeter Ben Holmes have performed with a veritable Who’s Who of the klez world. In this afternoon performance, they present a set of works-in-progress, composed firmly within the klezmer idiom but assertively confronting its boundaries. — Saturday, Nov. 18, 4 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth St., Brooklyn, (347) 422-0248, barbesbrooklyn.com. $10.
JOHN ZORN’S MASADA: BOOK THREE
With a slew of high-profile klez/jazz/rock bands, the Village Vanguard is devoting six nights to performances of Zorn’s “Masada: Book Three,” part of the downtown music guru’s ever-growing songbook. Featured groups include percussionist Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits, the jazz guitarist duo of Gyan Riley and Julian Lage, popular Afrobeat-klez fusion group Zion80 and, of course, Masada, Zorn’s own rotating ensemble. — Through Sunday, Nov. 19, Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. So., (212) 255-4037, villagevanguard.com.
MATT DARRIAU AND XALAM TRIO
Matt Darriau, composer and reed player for the Klezmatics and the Paradox Trio, has had a wide influence on both the Balkan and Yiddish music revivals. Featuring Darriau, Middle Eastern oud player Brandon Terzic and drummer Matt Kilmer, the Xalam Trio plays a rhythmic blend of African ngoni, blues, klezmer, jazz and Balkan sounds. — Wednesday, Nov. 22, 6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com. $10.
EMMET COHEN TRIO
At 24, Emmet Cohen’s piano playing is a mature melding of musicality, technique and concept. Downbeat observed that his “nimble touch, measured stride and warm harmonic vocabulary indicate he’s above any convoluted technical showmanship.” In his recent CD, “The Element,” Cohen “makes a brash and bold musical statement on his debut as leader … [he is] musically mature beyond his years,” according to All About Jazz magazine. — Wednesday, Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m., Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346, smallslive.com.
THE ASAF YURIA QUARTET
After playing alongside Israeli jazz pioneers such as Omer Avital and Anat Cohen, Israeli-born saxophonist Asaf Yuria leads his own jazz-swing quartet, which plays a mix of standards and original tunes. — Wednesday, Nov. 22, 10:30 p.m. – 1 a.m., Smalls Live, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346, smallslive.com.
NUMBER 17 IS ANONYMOUS
After a car packed with explosives struck a bus in June 2002 at Meggido Junction, near Tel Aviv, 16 of the 17 victims were accounted for. The sole unidentified victim was buried a few weeks later, anonymously. “No. 17 is Anonymous” documents the search for the identity of a man whom no one claimed missing over a period of six months. It is also a record of the stories of several people who were affected directly or indirectly by the bombing. — Sunday, Nov. 19, 4-7 p.m., Spanish Portuguese Synagogue, 8 W. 70th St., (212) 873-0300, shearithisrael.org/anonymous17.
On a sweltering August day in 1945, Hungarian 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 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.” — Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, (212) 757-0359, lincolnplazacinema.com.
THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES
Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” is a funny examination of a dysfunctional Jewish family that, as Baumbach noted in the press conference, “has replaced religion with art as a subject of worship.” Aging sculptor Harold (Dustin Hoffman), an all-but-forgotten minor talent, dominates and manipulates his children by several marriages — Danny (Adam Sandler), Matthew (Ben Stiller) and Jean (Elizabeth Marvel), each of whom feels he or she lets him down by not pursuing a life in the arts. — Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, (212) 757-0359, lincolnplazacinema.com.
\THE PEOPLE VS. EVE
She may be the mother of us all, but hers was the mother of all sins. Rabbi and HUC Professor Tamara Cohn Eskenazi will present the case; former New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte leads the prosecution; Alan Dershowitz serves as defense attorney. Presiding over the trial will be U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams, who will instruct you, the jury, on what you may and may not consider before you vote guilty or not on female-kind’s most primal crime. — Sunday, Nov. 19, 10:30 a.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org.
JEWS AND POLITICAL KIDNAPPING
Jere Van Dyk is a former CBS journalist and a former captive of the Taliban. He will discuss his new book, “The Trade: My Journey Into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping,” with Algemeiner’s editor-in-chief Dovid Efune. A Q&A will follow. — Sunday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
BAD RABBI AND OTHER STRANGE BUT TRUE STORIES
Eddy Portnoy’s “Bad Rabbi And Other Strange But True Stories” sheds a light on the underground history of downwardly mobile Jews, mined from the Yiddish press to expose the seamy underbelly of pre-WWII New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture in the late 19th-early 20th centuries. Portnoy will discuss his writings with Tablet’s Alana Newhouse and author Luc Sante. — Monday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m., YIVO Institute, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 246-6080, yivo.org.
This Jewish Museum exhibit features early drawings by famous Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, who died in 1920. The drawings, which were acquired directly from the artist by Dr. Paul Alexandre — his close friend and first patron — illuminate how Modigliani’s heritage as an Italian Sephardic Jew is pivotal to understanding his artistic output. Many of these works are being shown for the first time in the U.S. — Through Feb. 4, 2018, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.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. — Through March 1, 2018. Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street, eldridgestreet.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.
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