Last Chance To See Yiddish ‘Fiddler’ & More Tips Of What To Do In NYC This Week
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Arts & Culture Guide

Last Chance To See Yiddish ‘Fiddler’ & More Tips Of What To Do In NYC This Week

Scene from the Yiddish “Fiddler on the Roof.” Victor Nechay/ProperPix
Scene from the Yiddish “Fiddler on the Roof.” Victor Nechay/ProperPix

A FIDLER AFN DAKH

The long Off-Broadway run of the Folksbiene’s Yiddish version of “Fiddler on the Roof” at Stage 42 is drawing to a close, this being the last weekend of the show that became a Jewish cultural sensation. Closes Sunday, Jan. 5, Stage 42, 422 W. 42nd St., broadway.com.

MAMES BABEGENUSH

As it moves from madcap to downright bluesy, klezmer seems like a hot-blooded music. But Nordic klez? No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you! The Danish group’s leader, saxophonist Lukas Rande, told us in August that, while there are only about 6,000 Jews in Denmark, “I just got into the music from the very first song we learned.” That was when a friend of the group’s only Jewish member, clarinetist Emil Goldschmidt, asked if they’d play a Chanukah party. “There was just this amazing burst of energy. It was more direct than any other kind of music I’d ever heard before.” The group, which mixes Romanian and Ukrainian music into its version of Copenhagen klez, is on a swing through the city with several stops next week. — Friday, Jan. 10, 11:30 p.m., Drom, 85 Ave. A, dromnyc.com; Saturday, Jan. 11, 8:30 p.m., Mehanata: Dance Party, Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, 113 Ludlow St., menhanatanyc.org; and Monday, Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., jccmanhattan.org.

GREY ROCK

A Palestinian shoots the moon in “Grey Rock.” Courtesy of Carlos Cardona

Mounting plays, especially overtly political ones, by Palestinian playwrights in New York City has been a dicey proposition over the years (see “My Name is Rachel Corrie”). But the set-up for Amir Nizar Zuabi’s “Grey Rock” — a Palestinian man is so enthralled by the 1969 NASA moon landing that he begins to build a space rocket in his shed — gives it a less political and more allegorical cast. Zuabi told The New York Times that the moon landing “encapsulated all of the American values … the bravura, the nothing-is-impossible attitude, the technological superiority. It’s almost a reversal of who we are.” The main character asks, “Shouldn’t Palestine, the land of prophets, also have a presence on the moon?” The timing is particularly interesting in light of Israel’s Space IL’s near-successful landing of an unmanned rover on the moon last April. A Remote Theater Project presentation and part of the Public Theatre’s “Under the Radar Festival.” — Wednesday, Jan 8-Jan. 19, The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. (Astor Place), publictheater.org.

Theater

NEAR TO THE WILD HEART

Perhaps being born “in flight” while your family is fleeing pogroms in Ukraine could leave a child with a novelistic turn of mind. Clarice Lispector and her family ended up in Brazil, where she became a modernist novelist and short story writer whose style, in a nod to Joyce and Faulkner, is in the stream-of-consciousness realm. Though her work didn’t touch specifically on Jewish themes, elements of her style have been attributed to the Jewish mysticism she learned from her father. Now, the New Stage Theatre Company is staging her woman’s inner monologue of a novel, “Near to the Wild Heart.” — Jan. 16-18, New Stage Performance Space, 36 W. 106th St., newstagetheatre.org.

Film

THE ADVOCATE

This documentary traces the life and work of Jewish Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel, who has worked for decades representing Palestinians. Some Israelis see her as a traitor, others as a human rights fighter. — Friday, Jan. 3, Quad Cinema, quadcinema.com.

UNCUT GEMS

Adam Sandler in “Uncut Gems”

It’s a long way from the nerdy/hip “Put on your yarmulke / It’s time for Chanukah” to the wired jeweler-gambler Howie Ratner in Adam Sandler’s newest vehicle, which is set in New York’s Diamond District, “Uncut Gems.” The film, from Josh and Benny Safdie (“Daddy Longlegs,” “Good Time”), is a fast-paced crime thriller with a sports-book vibe that includes former NBA star Kevin Garnett and WFAN sports talk show guru Mike Francesa. In an effort to score big, Howie, sporting a goatee, stylish wire-rim glasses and a diamond-stud earring, makes a bet that puts everything — his family included — on the line. — In wide release.

CITY OF JOEL

Jesse Sweet’s documentary, which had its New York premiere at last year’s DOC-NYC festival, charts the controversy over the chasidic enclave of Kiryas Joel’s bid to annex land adjacent to their town near upstate Monroe to meet its growing housing needs. The move sets off a turf war between the chasidim and the neighboring community. — Friday, Jan. 3, 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 5, 4 p.m., and Tuesday, Jan. 7, 5 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., jccmanhattan.org.

CHILDREN OF THE INQUISITION

Joseph Lovett’s 2019 documentary follows the history and experiences of Sephardi Jews in the wake of the Spanish and Portuguese expulsions. Descendants grapple with their complex and sometimes hidden Jewish identities. Screening followed by guest speaker Rabbi Marc Angel, founder and director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals (jewishideas.org), and rabbi emeritus of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. — Saturday, Jan. 4, 7:30 p.m., Lincoln Square Synagogue Ballroom, 180 Amsterdam Ave., lss.org/event/film. $15 online/$20 door.

Music

ISLE OF KLEZBOS/METROPOLITAN KLEZMER

A double bill of klezmer revival heavyweights inaugurates The Cutting Room’s Sunday Klezmer Brunch. Both IOK and the Metropolitans have been at it for more than 20 years, two ensembles bringing Old World klez but updated with modern sensibilities to new generations. Both groups are led by the indefatigable drummer Eve Sicular. — Sunday, Jan. 12, 2 p.m. (IOK), 3 p.m. (Metropolitan Klezmer). The Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd St., (212) 691-1900, the cuttingroomnyc.com.

NEW SOUNDS & NEW VOICES — SHIM CRAIMER

In this post-Shabbat “café concert,” the Israeli chazzan brings a cantorial sweep to pop and rock tunes like “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “Cats in the Cradle” and “Dust in the Wind.” — Saturday, Jan. 4, 7:30 p.m., The Jewish Center, 131 W. 86th St., jewishcenter.org.

BOOKS

999: THE EXTRAORDINARY YOUNG WOMEN OF THE FIRST OFFICIAL JEWISH TRANSPORT TO AUSCHWITZ

In her new book, Heather Dune Macadam chronicles the tale of nearly 1,000 young Jewish women from Slovakia who were deceived into boarding a train for Auschwitz. Painstakingly researched, the book illuminates the women’s day-to-day lives and struggle for survival in the death camp. Join the author in a book launch conversation with Wagner College Holocaust Center’s Lori Weintrob and descendants of the 999. — Wednesday, Jan. 8, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl., mjhnyc.org.

Exhibitions

RACHEL FEINSTEIN: MAIDEN, MOTHER, CRONE

The sculptor, who grew up in Miami, creates fantastical and highly sexualized wooden pieces that probe notions of “the feminine” in pop culture. This show marks the first survey of her work in the U.S. — Through March 1, The Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, thejewishmuseum.org.

EDITH HALPERT AND THE RISE OF AMERICAN ART

Art dealer Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery, in a Life magazine photo from 1952. Photograph © Estat of Louis Faurer

Halpert (1900-1970), a Jewish immigrant, is considered the first significant female gallerist in the country. She championed American art at a time when the European avant-garde was in ascendance, and her Downtown Gallery in Greenwich Village promoted the work of modernists like Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keefe and Ben Shahn. — Through Feb. 9, The Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, thejewishmuseum.org.

Long runs:

“Russ & Daughters, An Appetizing Story.” A history of the iconic smoked fish shop. Through Jan. 31, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., http://www.ajhs.org/RussandDaughtersExhibition.

“Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away.” The large-scale show explores the history of the death camp and its role in the Holocaust. Through Jan. 3, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, mjhnyc.org.

“The Colmar Treasure: A Medieval Jewish Legacy.” Discovered in 1863, a cache of jeweled rings, brooches and coins hidden in the 14th century by a Jewish family fearing for its life is on view. Through Jan. 12, Met Cloisters, 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon, metmuseum.org.

A view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives in 1947, in Twain show. Courtesy of Dahesh Museum of Art

“Mark Twain and the Holy Land.” This show marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of the great humorist’s 1869 travelogue, “The New Pilgrims’ Progress” (or “The Innocents Abroad”). Through Feb. 2, New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (77th Street), nyhistory.org.

“J.D. Salinger.” Did the iconic writer’s own conflicted Jewish identity inspire the teenage angst behind “The Catcher in the Rye”? This show offers a rare glimpse into Salinger’s life and work. — Through Jan. 19, NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, nypl.org.

To publish events, submit them to jewishweekcalendar@gmail.com two weeks or more in advance. We cannot guarantee inclusion due to space limitations. Since scheduling changes may occur, we recommend contacting the venue before heading out to an event.

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