GIVE US BREAD – A CONCERT READING
One hundred years before the Women’s March, immigrant women banded together to lead an uprising. The year was 1917, war was raging in Europe and though there was no shortage of food in America, monopolies and unregulated markets drove the prices of basic food staples sky high. One morning, after the already outrageous price of onions suddenly doubled, a mob of enraged Jewish moms took to the streets. Turning over food carts, hurling rocks, tearing raw chickens limb from limb and setting fire to merchandise, they sparked citywide riots that would abate only after the city secured thousands of pounds of low-cost produce, allowing wholesalers to lower prices. Based on this little-known historical event, The Anthropologists’ play “Give Us Bread” is a reminder of our collective power to force change. Founded in 2008, the ensemble produces investigative theater that inspires action. – Sunday, March 19, 2 p.m., Speyer University Settlement, 184 Eldridge St., (917) 557-3517, theanthropologists.org. $35 online/$40 at the door.
Fresh off an affecting Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” director Bartlett Sher takes “Oslo” into the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center (it played the smaller Mitzi Newhouse last summer). The play dramatizes the tense behind-the-scenes negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians and their Norwegian intermediaries that led to the 1993 peace accords. With the Republicans and Democrats in this country locked in mortal combat, and with Israelis and Palestinians having all but given up on peace, the play should provide a powerful object lesson in perseverance. — Previews begin March 23 (opens April 13, through June 18), Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St. lct.org. $77-$147.
It’s 1941. Silvana Hajaj, an ambitious young Jewish feminist from Benghazi, Libya, is transported with her family to a concentration camp in Germany. There, she meets Rebecca, a young Dutch Jew, and they develop a relationship laden with cultural and sexual tensions. After being caught stealing water, Silvana and Rebecca are locked in a shack where they must decide — within an hour —which one of them shall be executed. Through their tense romance, the theatrical adaptation of “Benghazi Bergen-Belsen” — based on a novel by Yossi Sucary — sheds lights on the lost story of the Holocaust of Libyan Jews. – March 23-April 9, La MaMa Theatre, 66 E. Fourth St., (646) 430-5374, lamama.org. $25/$20 seniors & students.
THROUGH THE DARKNESS
Sensing that first-hand Holocaust memories are slipping away, playwright Alan C. Breindel creates a theatrical vehicle whereby a group of fictional survivors tell their stories simply and directly, answering questions posed by a narrator/interviewer. Leslie Kincaid Burby directs. — Through April 1, The MainStage at The Workshop Theater, 312 W. 36th St., 4th floor. 866-811-4111, workshoptheater.org. (See interview with Breindel on page 3.)
The Broadway hit that became an even more famous Barbra Streisand movie is now returning to its Broadway roots. The widowed, brassy matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a match for the miserly “well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder. She convinces his niece, his niece’s intended and Horace’s two clerks to travel with them to New York City to find the match, and … (we won’t spoil the ending for you). Played on film by the legendary Barbra Streisand, this Broadway revival features the no-less-legendary Bette Midler as Dolly. Directed by four-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Zaks. — Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th St., (212) 239-6200, hellodollyonbroadway.com. $59-$189.
GOD OF VENGEANCE
Back by popular demand, New Yiddish Rep restages its hit revival of Sholem Asch’s “Got fun nekome,” or “God of Vengeance.” Considered one of the most psychologically revealing plays of the first half of the 20th century, it tells the story of a brothel owner’s attempt to marry off his daughter so she may lead a dignified religious life, only to have her drawn back into a life of sin with another woman. – Through Sunday, March 26, Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 W. 46th St., newyiddishrep.org. $36-$65.
IF I FORGET
In the final months before 9/11, liberal (to say the least; he’s publishing a book about forgetting the Holocaust) Jewish studies Professor Michael Fischer has reunited with his two sisters to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday. Each deeply invested in their own version of family history, destructive secrets and long-held resentments bubble to the surface — with biting humor and razor-sharp insight — in this powerful tale of a family, and culture, at odds with itself. — Through April 30, The Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th St., (212) 719-1300, roundabouttheatre.org. $79.
LAVENDER SONGS: A QUEER WEIMAR BERLIN CABARET
In a bold reminder that our times bear a striking resemblance to Weimar Germany, restaurant-theater hybrid Pangea used Inauguration Day to debut “Lavender Songs,” an award-winning, risqué and gender-bending show starring Jeremy Lawrence — or, more aptly, his cabaret alter ego “Tante Fritzy” — and incorporating music by queer composers from the Berlin underground during Nazi Germany. — Through April 8, 7 p.m., Pangea, 178 Second Ave. (bet. 11th & 12th), (212) 995-0900, pangeanyc.com. $20, plus $20 food/beverage minimum.
NOT THAT JEWISH
Written by and starring the Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe nominated writer, actress and comedian Monica Piper, this has been lauded as a hilarious and heartfelt autobiographical tale of a Jew-“ish” woman’s life. — Through April 30, New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., (212) 239-6200, notthatjewish.com. From $49.
MICHAËL ATTIAS QUARTET
A force on the international improvisational jazz scene, Israeli-born saxophonist/composer/bandleader/conceptualist Michael Attias celebrates the release of his sixth album, “Nerve Dance.” Featuring Aruán Ortiz on piano, John Hébert on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums. – Saturday, March 18, 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $20, drink included.
THE LEVITT LEGACY KLEZTET
Dave Levitt is a fourth-generation klezmer musician and is known as a leading authority on the genre, including its history. Leading from the piano, his Kleztet performs dance, popular and concert music stemming from Poland, Russia, Hungary and Romania, as well as Yiddish theater favorites. — Sunday, March 19, 10 a.m. doors, 11 a.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork/tickets. $10.
GILAD HEKSELMAN ZUPEROCTAVE
Israeli-born jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman has drawn praise for his smooth sound and formidable technique. With his quartet, ZuperOctave, he explores a bass-less, semi-electronic version of his compositions. — Friday-Saturday, March 24-25, 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $20 cover, drink included.
IDAN RAICHEL – PIANO
Acclaimed Israeli singer, keyboardist and world-music pioneer Idan Raichel performs a solo, keyboards-and-voice-only version of his most acclaimed songs. — Wednesday-Thursday, March 22-23, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555. For a detailed schedule and tickets visit citywinery.com/newyork/tickets. $85.
ISLE OF KLEZBOS
Hailed by New York Music Daily as “one of New York’s most exciting groups, in any style,” this acclaimed, all-female klezmer powerhouse “tests the elasticity of the genre” (The New Yorker) with both irreverence and respect. Tune into their neo-traditional dance rollicks, mystical melodies, Second Avenue Yiddish swing, re-grooved standards and genre-defying originals. — Sunday, March 26, 10 a.m. doors, 11 a.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork/tickets. $10.
IN SEARCH OF ISRAELI CUISINE
More than 70 cultures comprise the Israeli people, each with its own culinary traditions; this diversity emerges in the film chronicle of chef Michael Solomonov’s visits with restaurant chefs, home cooks, winegrowers, cheesemakers, street vendors and more. — Opens Friday, March 24, Angelika Film Center, 8 W. Houston St., (212) 995-2570, angelikafilmcenter.com.
Disillusioned by Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians, noted Israeli writer and intellectual Amos Elon moved to Italy with his family. On his deathbed, he asks his daughter Danae to never return to Israel. But in 2011, pregnant and living in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, Danae Elon breaks her promise and relocates her family to Jerusalem. The documentary she shot over the following three years chronicles her family’s move and the inherent struggle faced by those who are both liberal-minded and deeply loyal to Israel. — Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, (212) 757-0359, lincolnplazacinema.com.
Udi Aloni’s award-winning drama follows two young Palestinian hip-hop artists as they rise from poverty to fame. Hailing from Lod — a largely Arab, poverty- and crime-stricken city in Israel — the two use their music both as a coping mechanism and as a way out. The film is based on the life story of rapper Tamer Nafar, the charismatic front man of the first Palestinian rap group DAM, and who also plays the main character. — Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, (212) 757-0359. For tickets and show times, visit lincolnplazacinema.com.
CRIES FROM SYRIA
Drawing on testimonies of everyone from child protestors to high-ranking army generals who defected from the government, as well as war footage from Syrian activists and citizen journalists, “Cries From Syria” is a searing, comprehensive account of the brutal five-year conflict from the inside-out. — Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., (212) 924-3363, cinemavillage.com.
In a story that begins with murder and ends with reconciliation, one man persuades the people of Kielce, Poland, to confront the truth about the darkest moment from their past: Kielce was the site of Europe’s last pogrom. — Sunday, March 26, 2 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
THE MARGARET LAMBERT STORY
In 1936 Gretel Bergmann was a world-class high-jumper with a chance of winning a medal at the Summer Olympics in Berlin. But because she was a Jew in Germany, she didn’t have a chance of making her homeland’s Olympic team. Like the two Jewish sprinters from the U.S. who were denied the chance of competing in the Games, she earned her fame for her denied opportunity. Brooklyn filmmaker Nina Horowitz tells her story in the documentary short “The Margaret Lambert Story” (Bergmann’s married name after she immigrated to the U.S.). Lambert, 102, now lives in Queens. — Queens World Film Festival, March 17, 8:15 p.m., Kaufman Astoria Studios, 34-12 36th St., Astoria, Queens, (718) 429-2579.
A JEWISH AND ITALIAN POETIC CELEBRATION
A poetry reading featuring several prominent Jewish and Italian poets, including award-winning chasidic poet Yehoshua November (“God’s Optimism”), Maria Mazziotti, Carol V. Davis, Maria Lisella and Baruch November. — Sunday, March 19, 6 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $20, drink included.
INTERMARRIAGE, THE OCCUPATION & THE NEXT GENERATION
The high rate of intermarriage, the ongoing Israeli Occupation and disengagement among millennials present existential questions for American Jews. Prof. Steven M. Cohen discusses how Jewish communal leaders can effectively address these issues — provided they depart from prevailing assumptions about community, culture and politics. – Sunday, March 26, 10 a.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org. $36.
A MORAL COMPASS
Author, commentator and New York Times columnist David Brooks speaks to Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks about finding and maintaining one’s moral compass in these challenging times. An international religious leader, philosopher, award-winning author and respected moral voice, Rabbi Sacks was recently named the winner of the 2016 Templeton Prize. – Tuesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org. $55.
LOST SYNAGOGUES OF EUROPE
The Museum at Eldridge Street presents an exhibition of vintage postcards of Central and Eastern European synagogues from Prague-based collector Frantisek Bányai. The postcards depict a range of Jewish architecture, culture and community that were all but destroyed during WWII. — Through June 8, Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., (212) 219-0302, eldridgestreet.org.
HEROES OF THE KNISH
The lowly, salt-of-the-Pale-of-Settlement-earth staple gets the high-brow treatment with a month-long museum show at The City Reliquary. The chronicler-queen of the knish, Laura Silver, author of 2014’s “Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food” (Brandeis), curates the just-opened show, whose aptly stuffed title is “Heroes of the Knish: Making a Living and Making a Life.” It features a history of the potato pie, from the Old Country to the sidewalk carts of the Lower East Side to the pricey delis of Midtown, and documents the lives of the men and women who made the crusty-chewy delicacy. — Through May 7, City Reliquary Museum, 370 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, cityreliquary.org. $5.
SHABBAT: INSIDE AND OUT
With the cessation of the workday routine on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, relationships and the spirit are revitalized as families share precious time at festive meals. The objects on display highlight two aspects of this holy day: the private/domestic and the communal/ceremonial. — Through May 11, Yeshiva University Museum, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8330, email@example.com. Members and children under 5 free/$6 seniors and students/$8 adults.
Our ancestors used clothing and textiles to beautify their synagogues, their tables and themselves on Shabbat and holidays as well as important lifecycle events. Many of these were preserved, with highlights including a sumptuous 18th-century lectern cover that belonged to a former chief rabbi of Izmir, a 19th-century dress and a 1950 custom-made lace wedding gown. — Through April 29, Yeshiva University Museum, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8330, firstname.lastname@example.org. For hours and admission rates: yumuseum.org/visit.
In celebration of Purim, The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery is pleased to exhibit the stunning, large-scale illuminated Scroll of Ester created by the well-known Israeli painter Avner Moriah. The ancient story of Esther is told by mixing Persian, Indian and Islamic art, miniature-style painting with Italian Renaissance styling and contemporary humor, politics and sensibilities. — Through March 29, 8 a.m.-11 p.m., JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, email@example.com.
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