The top events in NYC, as picked by our arts & culture editors:
OMER AVITAL QUINTET
Inspired by the great jazz bassist Charles Mingus, who brought together the black church and the jazz avant-garde, Israeli-born bassist Omer Avital brings the musical tradition of his Moroccan-Yemeni heritage into a spirited conversation with mainstream-modern jazz. “I wasn’t presented with a cultural ‘mix’ growing up; I was presented with very different, very separate cultures that never mixed, and I had to find my own way to bring them together,” Avital told The Jewish Week in 2015. With a big tone, a gift for melody (“New Yemenite Song”) and hurtling, caravan-in-the-desert rhythms (“Afrik”), he is a singular voice on the jazz scene. Avital’s 2016 album, “Abutbul Music,” embraces hard-bop but spices it with Israeli folk music, Afro-beat and Latin rhythms. With pianist Eden Ladin, saxophonists Asaf Yuria and Alexander Levin and drummer Ofri Nehemya. — Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 5-6, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, 10 Columbus Circle, (212) 258-9595, jazz.org.
AWAKE AND SING!
The New Yiddish Rep’s revival of a 1938 Yiddish musical, based on the play by Clifford Odets, follows the Bergers, a financially strapped family of three generations living under one roof. Its themes will likely strike a resonant chord in a 2017 America in which many families are struggling. — Previews begin Saturday, Nov. 25 (opens Dec. 6), Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14 St., newyiddishrep.org, (646) 395-4310.
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 collide, staying on Masada becomes more contentious and dangerous. — Through Dec. 23, The Gym At Judson, 243 Thompson St., (866) 811-4111, thegymatjudson.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.
“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.
The young Israeli-born, New York-based Kadawa trio — Tal Yahalom on guitar, Almog Sharvit on bass and Ben Silashi on drums — performs quirky compositions drawing from jazz, rock, cinema and literature. — Monday, Dec. 4, Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., (212) 477-4155, rockwoodmusichall.com.
BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY
Hedy Lamarr, the 1940s screen siren and Austrian-Jewish émigré, starred alongside Hollywood giants like Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable. But she also had a side career — as a mechanical and electronic inventor. — Saturday, Nov. 25 –Thursday, Nov. 30, JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
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