JEWS IN SPACE: MEMBERS OF THE TRIBE IN ORBIT
As early as Genesis, Jews have pondered the heavens and their place in them. Exploring the Jewish fascination with outer space, the new Center For Jewish History/YIVO exhibit includes rare 18th- and 19th-century rabbinic tomes on astronomy, in Hebrew, German and Yiddish; Judaica taken into space aboard the Space Shuttle by astronaut Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman; and works of science fiction through the centuries, in Yiddish, English, Polish and Russian. — Opens Monday, Feb. 26, 6 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
OLD STOCK: A REFUGEE LOVE STORY
Set in Canada a century ago, this refugee-centered musical hits close to home. Written by Christian Barry, Hannah Moscovitch and Canadian klezmer-folk sensation Ben Caplan (who plays the lead role) — this klezmer-folk music-theater hybrid is inspired by the real-life story of Moscovitch’s great-grandparents, both Romanian Jews, who immigrated to Canada in the early 20th century. Caplan plays the mysterious emcee in this examination of the refugee experience, which takes the form of a humorously dark folktale morphing into a high-energy concert. — Opens Thursday, March 8 through April 22, 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59 St., (212) 279-4200, 59e59.org $35 and up.
When Henryk Ross, who died in 1991, was confined to the Lodz Ghetto in 1940, he was put to work by the Nazis as a photographer. For nearly four years, he used his official position as cover, endangering his own life to covertly document the horrors and complexities of life in the Lodz Ghetto and to preserve evidence of Nazi crimes. As the ghetto emptied, Ross buried a box of 6,000 negatives — committing the record of one of humanity’s greatest tragedies to the ground. He survived, and in March 1945 he unearthed the box, saving almost 3,000 negatives. “Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross” presents more than 200 photographs made from them, supplemented by artifacts and testimony. — Opens Sunday, Feb. 25, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org. Through June 24. (
In May 1960, iconic German actress Marlene Dietrich returned to the Berlin stage for the first time since fleeing the Nazis in the 1930s. Inside her dressing room at the Tatiana Palast Theater, she weighs whether to go through with the live performance, despite threats on her life by Nazi sympathizers. A one-woman show written by Willard Manus, directed by Judith Rose and starring Cindy Marinangel. Part of the New York Theatre’s Winterfest 2018 Festival. — Friday, Feb. 23, 9 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 25, 3:30 p.m., New York Theatre, 441 W. 26th St., (800) 838-3006, newyorktheaterfestival.com/marlene/.
KING OF THE JEWS – A READING
Wherever the Germans went throughout Europe during WWII, they set up governing councils to control Jewish life in the ghettos. Leslie Epstein’s play “King of the Jews” tells the story of one such morally ambiguous Judenrat. Presented in English by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. — Monday, March 5, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org. Free, RSVP at RSVP@NYTF.org.
THE HIDDEN ONES
Two families, a hidden room and a mysterious Off-Broadway play that takes place in an undisclosed location: “The Hidden Ones,” a site-specific, non-traditional immersive experience, invites 10 audience members at a time to delve into true stories of love, humanity and loss of those forced into hiding during the Holocaust. It will be hard not to think of Anne Frank in her Amsterdam attic. — Through March, address provided with purchase. Tickets are extremely limited and are available at thehiddenonesnyc.com.
A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK
San Francisco, 1986. Harry is an amiable but lonely retired kosher butcher. Barbara is his young lesbian writing teacher at a senior center, with whom he has little in common. When Harry fulfills a writing assignment to compose a letter to someone who has died, he writes not to his late wife Frannie but to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political leader in California. Life-changing revelations follow. — Through March 9, Acorn Theatre @ Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St., (212) 239-6200, telecharge.com.
A WALK WITH MR. HEIFETZ
This new James Inverne play focuses on a 1925 concert in pre-state Palestine given by violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz. People flocked from far and wide to hear him, including Yehuda Sharett, composer and brother of future Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett. Legend has it that after the concert, Heifetz and Sharett walked together and shared a conversation that ended up changing the world. — Through March 4, Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St., (212) 352-3101, primarystages.org.
THE MENTALIST – LIOR SUCHARD
Israeli mentalist Lior Suchard might guess anything from your banking PIN number to the name of the very first person you kissed. He may also telekinetically bend some dinnerware. Seeing is believing. — Monday, Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org
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.
REELABILITIES FILM FESTIVAL
Founded in 2007 by Marlene Myerson JCC Manhattan, the weeklong festival is the largest in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. — March 8-14, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., reelabilities.org.
BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY
The 1940s screen siren was also the inventor of a groundbreaking communication system that underlined modern encryption. This documentary gives a sympathetic look into Lamarr struggle — and ultimate failure — to be recognized for more than her beauty. — Saturday, March 3, 5 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org
JEWISH WOMEN’S FILM FESTIVAL
This festival focuses on the experiences, aspirations and accomplishments of Jewish women through the ages and throughout the world. Sponsored by the Eleanor Leff Jewish Women’s Resource Center of the National Council of Jewish Women New York. The screenings will be followed by a reception and awards ceremony. — Sunday, March 4, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org
Eight years after his highly acclaimed “Lebanon,” which took viewers into the interior of an Israeli tank, Samuel Maoz is back with “Foxtrot,” winner of eight Israeli Film Academy Awards. Part real, part surreal, the film homes in on parents’ grief after their soldier son has been killed. Variety called it “Brilliantly constructed with a visual audacity… Filmmaking on a fearless level.” — Opens Friday, March 2, Angelika Film Center, 18 W. Houston St., (212) 995-2570, angelikafilmcenter.com.
Striving to provide the scope and sweep of the classic Hollywood biblical epics, “Samson” tells the tale of a sullen Israelite princeling with supernatural strength. Starring British-born beefcake Taylor James, with nothing but only a jawbone and bushy hairdo. — In wide release.
The downtown scene maestro John Zorn, who founded The Stone, will star in a six-day improv marathon, alongside a revolving cast of stellar avant-gardists. The last week at the club’s East Village location. — Through Monday, Feb. 25, 8:30 p.m., The Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, thestonenyc.com.
ISRAELI JAZZ SPOTLIGHT
Curated by Israeli-American bassist Or Bareket, Cornelia’s monthly jazz series features the Roni Eytan and Arnon Palty quartets. Eytan, who plays harmonica, draws from jazz, Middle Eastern and Andalusian music; his group plays a repertoire of originals and arrangements for traditional folk melodies. Bassist Palty’s quartet works through originals from all its members. — Sunday, Feb. 25, 8 p.m. Roni Eytan Quartet, 9:30 p.m. Arnon Palty Quartet, Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
Dubbed “the klezmer Phish” for its funky interpretations of Jewish classics, this Pittsburgh-based klez band serves up a distinctive “soul stew” of Jewish-flavored funk, rock, jazz and blues. Chillent’s Gedaliah Aronson, Shua Hoexter and Sruli Broocker make their City Winery debut and will be joined by Jon Madof and Marlon Sobol of Zion80. Yisrael Arye Gootblatt of the Brooklyn Jazz Warriors will swing by as well. — Sunday, March 4, 11 a.m. doors, 12:30 p.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com.
MUSIC IN OUR TIME: 2018
Honoring the memory of musical visionary Hadassah Markson with the music of her father, Abraham W. Binder, and celebrating Leonard Bernstein’s centennial, this concert will also feature new voices in contemporary Jewish music, including Stanislav Fridman, Dina Pruzhansky and Samuel Dylan Rosner. — Sunday, March 4, 3 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LEONARD BERNSTEIN
Celebrate the Jewish maestro’s 100th birthday with a tribute by some of Broadway’s biggest stars, including Tony Yazbeck (Tony nominee for “On the Town”), Matt Bogart (“Jersey Boys”), Kelli Rabke (“Les Misérables’), Joshua Israel (“Annie”) and more. Also featuring the 21-voice “Broadway by the Year” chorus. — Sunday, March 4, 7 and 9:30 p.m. (5:15 and 8:45 doors), 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., (646) 476-3551, 54below.com, $30-$85.
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL
Amazon’s latest hit series tells the story of a 1950s Jewish housewife and mother who risks it all to make it in the male-driven world of stand-up comedy. The series won big at the 2018 Critics Choice and Golden Globes, taking home awards for best TV series (musical or comedy) and, for star Rachel Brosnahan, best actress in a TV series (musical or comedy). Brosnahan will discuss the show with co-star Michael Zegen, who plays her estranged husband Joel. — Thursday, March 1, 7:30 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
HERBERT FERBER AND MARK ROTHKO
Sculptor Herbert Ferber, who died in 1991, and iconic painter Mark Rothko, who died in 1970, deeply influenced each other’s works. A new gallery show explores the long artistic and personal dialogue between the two; it showcases their Abstract Expressionism. — On display through April 14, David Zwirner Gallery, 34 E. 69th St., (212) 517-8677.
SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION
The Jewish Museum reopens its permanent, third-floor collection galleries with a serious makeover. Where the old collection aimed to chronicle 4,000 years of Jewish history with a single, linear narrative, the new one is divided into seven different scenes, each revealing various ways in which history and art are shaped by context. — The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.
ZURBARÁN’S JACOB AND HIS TWELVE SONS
Painted by 17th-century Spanish Golden Age master Francisco de Zurbarán, “Jacob And His Twelve Sons” is an ambitious series of 13 paintings that depict life-size figures from the Old Testament. On loan from Auckland Castle prior to 2017 the paintings have never before traveled to the U.S. — Through April 22, The Frick, 1 E. 70th St, (212) 288-0700, frick.org/exhibitions/Zurbaran.
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