The top three events this week, and all the New York City theater, music, film and exhibitions we recommend.
For popular Israeli singer/songwriter/actress Ninet Tayeb (best known as Ninet), the road to stardom has taken a detour. Catapulted a decade ago to instant fame by winning “Israeli Idol,” Ninet’s debut album took less than a day to go platinum and yielded five No. 1 singles, not to mention a long-running TV series (which she starred in) based on her life. But her second album, “Communicative,” communicated less with her Mizrachi- and pop-loving base; her homage to grunge rock earned her a literal pelting at her album launch show. Ninet, who now sings in English and is the darling of Israeli rockers, performs songs from her upcoming album, “Paper Parachute.” — Sunday, June 3, 8:30 p.m., Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., rockwoodmusichall.com/.
Exploring the cultural heritage of Yemenite Jews and their commonalities with Muslims of Yemeni heritage, this three-day academic/cultural conference features a slew of Yemeni-related experts and scholars. Musical headliners include songwriter Avihu Medina, the unofficial godfather of the Israeli-Mizrachi scene; Mizrachi pop star Sagiv Cohen; and Tsion Golan, a pioneering performer of Israeli-Mizrahi music, whose albums first introduced the sounds of Judeo-Yemeni Arabic. Performances take place during the conference’s opening night (tickets can be purchased separately). — Sunday-Tuesday, June 3-5, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, asfyemenconference.org.
In a Jewish Week interview last November prior to his debut show here, London-based Ashley Blaker kvetched about how hard it is to be an Orthodox comedian: “I’ve got a lot of extra stringencies when it comes to non-Jewish music: I never listen to Bread during Pesach!” A well-known writer for British TV and radio, Blaker has had two sold-out UK tours about Orthodoxy’s inner workings — “Ungefiltered” and “Meshuga Frum”; they led to a BBC Radio commission to create a show called “The Goyish Guide to Judaism,” set to air later this year. Meanwhile, he’s back for a five-week, Off-Broadway run of his one-man show “Strictly Unorthodox,” which takes on Orthodoxy’s obsession with sushi, its dating rituals and its practitioners’ terrible parking habits. — Through Thursday, June 28, Jerry Orbach Theatre, 1627 Broadway, (212) 921-7862, ticketmaster.com.
Four ferocious female voices team up for an evening of resistance and political comedy. With Judy Gold, Maria Shehata and Gina Yashere and a comedic play by Susan Bernfield; directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh. — Monday, June 4, 7:30 p.m., 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St., (212) 780-0800, 14streety.org.
ISRAEL@70 BLOCK PARTY IN TIMES SQUARE
In honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary, Israel in New York and the ministry of culture and sport are hosting a block party in Times Square. The free event starts with a promotional video for Israel screened simultaneously on all of Time Square’s billboards, continues with greetings from celebrities and dignitaries and ends with sets by multiple live DJ’s. — Sunday, June 3, 8-10 p.m., Times Square, newyork.mfa.gov.il.
THE ISRAEL FILM CENTER FESTIVAL
Celebrating 70 years of Israeli cinema, the JCC’s annual Israel Film Center Festival — now in its sixth year — showcases recent films, documentaries, television series and shorts coming out of Israel. Below are a few noteworthy picks. — Tuesday-Tuesday, June 5-12, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org/film/israel-film-center-festival. (See full story here.)
Eran Riklis’ “Shelter” follows the connection between Naomi (Neta Riskin), an Israeli Mossad agent, and Mona (Golshifteh Farahani), a Lebanese informant. Naomi is sent to Germany to protect Mona as she recovers from the plastic surgery she undertook to assume her new identity. Together for two weeks, the women develop a relationship that is soon exposed to the threat of terror engulfing the world today. Also starring Lior Ashkenazi (“Norman,” “Foxtrot”). The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Riklis and an opening night reception. — Tuesday, June 5, 7 p.m.
The lives of four women, in seemingly unrelated stories, are all affected by the presence of a mysterious man named Neta. His life, too, changes through his encounters with these women over the course of a year. This film, from the director of “Broken Wings,” is a mosaic of modern Israeli culture. — Wednesday, June 6, 6 p.m.
Ariel (Shai Avivi), a well-off, childless man, gets a phone call from an old girlfriend, who informs him that when they broke up 20 years ago, she was pregnant and went on to have a baby boy. This bittersweet comedy by director Savi Gabizon (“Love Sick on Nana Street,” “Nina’s Tragedies”) tells a whimsical tale of love and loss. — Saturday, June 9, 9:30 p.m.
Hungarian immigrant Ephraim Kishon, director of “Sallah Shabati,” was one of the great writers who defined the Israeli experience. But through his 50-year career of award-winning writing, Kishon could never write his own biography. At 70, he enlists a journalist to help his own story unfold. The film incorporates animation and rare footage to bring to life Kishon’s own story. Followed by a Q&A with documentary participant and Kishon’s son, Amir Kishon. — Sunday, June 10, 4:30 p.m.
OUTDOORS (BAYIT BAGALIL)
In director Asaf Saban’s feature debut, an Israeli couple’s marriage is put to the test as they construct their dream countryside home. Gili (Udi Razzin) and Yaara (Noa Koler) plan to leave the city for a fresh start by building a house in the Galilee. But while their dream house is being built, the foundations of their relationship are slowly challenged. — Tuesday, June 12, 7 p.m.
Alison Chernick’s documentary looks beyond the fame of world-class violinist Itzhak Perlman to follow the story of a young polio survivor growing up in Israel and struggling to be taken seriously as a music student while schools and society saw only his disability. — Saturday, June 9, 8 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org.
THE BLUE DAHLIA
Brooklyn-born but a nomad at heart, Dahlia Dumont traveled the world from an early age, absorbing cultural and musical influences on her path. Her project, dubbed “The Blue Dahlia,” mixes Tex-Mex accordion with klezmer violin, old-time French swing, reggae and ska to create a new musical whole. Think of her as the klezmer Piaf. — Sunday, June 3, 11 a.m., City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com. $10.
ISRAEL AT 70
This day-long conference features academics, artists, writers and diplomats discussing Israeli society and politics as well as relations between Israel, America and the Jewish diaspora. Speakers include former ambassador and Israel Institute president Itamar Rabinovich; Brookings Institution senior fellow Tamara Cofman Wittes; Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Elliott Abrams, author Nicole Krauss and others. — Sunday, June 10, 9 a.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
Curated by Emily Lambert and designed by The Studio Art program at Stern College for Women, this exhibit features a selection of works by this year’s graduating studio art majors. — Through Aug. 8, Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History, (212) 294-8330/8805, yumuseum.org. RSVP to RSVP@yum.cjh.org.
CHAIM SOUTINE: FLESH
This exhibition features more than 30 paintings of Chaim Soutine depicting hanging fowl, beef carcasses and rayfish. Considered one of the 20th century’s great still-life painters, Soutine created visceral, expressionist paintings of tortured animal carcasses, establishing a parallel between the animal and human, beauty and pain. The New Yorker hailed the exhibition as “potent … timely … elegantly curated.” — Through Sept. 16, Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejm.org.
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