In this new musical, Louis Goldstein has written a tell-all family memoir that starts with his grandfather and ends with himself. The book is a best-seller — but is it true? Directed by Brad Rouse, with musical staging by Sarah O’Gleby, “Goldstein” drives home the message that families are complicated, the truth is multifaceted and forgiveness is key. With Megan McGinnis (“Little Women”), Julie Benko (“Fiddler on the Roof”), Amie Bermowitz (“Ruthless”), Aaron Galligan-Stierle (“Ragtime”), Zal Owen (“Fiddler”), Sarah Beth Pfeifer (“Legally Blonde”) and Jim Stanek (“Fun Home”). — Previews begin Monday, March 26 (opens April 5), Actors Temple Theatre, 339 W. 47th St., (212) 239-6200, goldsteinmusical.com.
Born to Israeli parents who immigrated to the U.S., it’s no surprise that actor/singer Yaniv Zarif is fluent in both Hebrew and English. The surprise lay in the other 30 (really!) languages he can speak and sing in, including but not limited to Mandarin, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Russian and American Sign Language. Zarif’s new musical, “Music Beyond Language,” features music from Andrew Lloyd Weber, Jule Styne, Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock and more — familiar Broadway hits performed in a torrent of unfamiliar languages. With a special guest appearance by Natalie Weiss (“Wicked”) and selected new works by composer Greg Dean and lyricist Douglas Lyons. — Thursday, March 22, 9:30 p.m., 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., (646) 476-3551, 54below.com.
IRVING BERLIN: AMERICAN
The quintessentially American “God Bless America” was written, of course, by a Jewish-Russian immigrant named Irving Berlin. He arrived at Ellis Island speaking no English and went on to write the songs that epitomized American music and values, becoming the country’s spokesman in song. On the occasion of the centenary of the writing of the country’s “other anthem,” this new musical, featuring an acclaimed cast of Broadway performers and musicians (headed by Stephen DeRosa of “Boardwalk Empire”), explores Berlin’s life and achievements, and how they manifested the “American Dream” of old. — Saturday, March 24 — Monday, March 26, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
QUEEN ESTHER’S DILEMMA
This play-within-a-play musical by Samuel J. Bernstein borrows its plot from the biblical Book of Esther, while maintaining the form of a modern-day Purim spiel. The play is set as a contemporary Purim party, with games, dancing, singing and, of course, drinking. Starring Amanda Martinez as Esther; baritone David Serero as Ahasuerus. — Sunday, March 18, 6 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., QueenEsther.bpt.me, (800) 838-3006.
OLD STOCK: A REFUGEE LOVE STORY
Written by Christian Barry, Hannah Moscovitch and Canadian klezmer-folkie Ben Caplan — who also plays the lead role — this 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. The Guardian called it “A hugely entertaining experience.” — Through April 22, 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St. Call (212) 279-4200 or visit 59e59.org for tickets. $35 and up.
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. — Through March, address provided with purchase. Tickets are extremely limited and are available at thehiddenonesnyc.com.
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’s struggle — and ultimate failure — to be recognized for more than her beauty. — Sunday, March 18, Symphony Space, 2:30 and 5 p.m., 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 focuses on parents’ grief after their soldier son has been killed. Variety called it “Brilliantly constructed with a visual audacity. … Filmmaking on a fearless level.” — Angelika Film Center, 18 W. Houston St., (212) 995-2570, angelikafilmcenter.com.
ISRAELI JAZZ SPOTLIGHT
Curated by Israeli-American jazz composer and bassist Or Bareket, the monthly series features Greenpoint, a septet of Israeli-American jazz musicians, playing original tunes (8 p.m.) and the Idan Morim quintet, led by guitarist Morim (9:30 p.m.). — Sunday, March 25, Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
Hailed for her “simplicity and warmth” (All About Jazz), New York-based, Israeli-born jazz/folk guitarist and vocalist Dida Pelled writes and performs playfully sexy and intelligent original tunes and mixes them with jazz standards, mostly of the hard-bop variety. — Tuesday, March 20-Saturday, March 24, 11:15 p.m., Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, 10 Columbus Circle, (212) 258-9595, jazz.org/dizzys.
ZAUBERNACHT (MAGIC NIGHT)
Appealing to children and adults alike, this enchanting dance/chamber music work — tailored to Kurt Weill’s long-lost orchestrations — tells about a child whose toys come to life. The score is performed by the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, and the dance pieces choreographed by Jody Oberfelder. — Sunday, March 18, 2 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
Recently hailed as “one of New York’s more interesting and original artists” (New York Music Daily), Israeli-American singer-songwriter and pianist Noa Fort writes dark, jazz-influenced songs with touches of rock, punk and ska. She’ll be performing excerpts from her new CD, “No World Between Us.” — Monday, March 19, 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
HAZAMIR GALA CONCERT
Composed of 400 singers from 38 chapters in the U.S. and Israel, HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir marks its 25th anniversary with a world premiere of David Burger’s “Essa Einai.” The event honors HaZamir’s director, Vivian Lazar, with the Zamir Chorale Foundation’s Kinor David Award. — Sunday, March 18, 4 p.m., David Geffen Hall-Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, hazamirgala25.org, (212) 725-6500.
ISRAELI SONGBOOK: THE SONGS OF RACHEL AND LEAH
Cellist Elad Kabilio and an ensemble of musicians from MusicTalks perform music inspired by Rachel Bluwstein and Leah Goldberg, two of Israel’s leading 20th-century poets. The concert will be interspersed with stories and historical background. Part of Yeshiva University Museum’s series musically celebrating Israel @ 70. — Monday, March 19, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W.16 St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
SONGS OF DEVOTION AND DESIRE
Sephardic music from the 16th to 20th centuries by Alonso Mudarra, Wolf Simoni, Alberto Hemsi, Roberto Pla, Zhul Levy and Paul Ben-Haim, performed by Heather Buck, soprano; Janice Meyerson, mezzo soprano; Valeriya Sholokhova, cello; Lorne Richstone, piano; with commentary by Raymond Scheindlin. — Sunday, March 25, 3 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
THE GERMAN-JEWISH COOKBOOK
The mother-daughter team behind “The German-Jewish Cookbook” (Brandeis University Press, 2017), Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman and Sonya Gropman discuss their historical and gastronomic exploration of German-Jewish cuisine with Gefilteria’s Jeffrey Yoskowitz and historian Atina Grossmann (Cooper Union). — Tuesday, March 20, 6:30 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
THE UNLIKELY NAZI HUNTERS
Serge and Beate Klarsfeld tracked down Klaus Barbie — the “Butcher of Lyon” — and orchestrated his extradition to France, helping clinch the convictions of former Nazis and their collaborators and documenting all 76,000 Jews deported from France. The two will relay their stories in a rare public appearance marking the release of their new dual memoir, “Hunting the Truth.” — Tuesday, March 20, 6:30 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org.
THE JEWS OF KEY WEST
As American immigration laws prohibited Jews from entering the U.S. during the 1920s, thousands of Jewish migrants became refugees in Cuba, where authorities looked the other way as smugglers transported them to Key West by any means necessary. Historian Arlo Haskell recounts their stories. — Friday, March 23, 12 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92Y.org.
In 1940, when photographer Henryk Ross, who died in 1991, was confined to the Lodz Ghetto in Poland, he was put to work by the Nazi regime as a photographer for the Jewish Administration’s Statistics department. “Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross” presents more than 200 of these photographs, supplemented by artifacts and testimony and presented in the context of Lodz Ghetto history. — Through June 24, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
JEWS IN SPACE: MEMBERS OF THE TRIBE IN ORBIT
Exploring the Jewish fascination with outer-space, the Center For Jewish History’s and YIVO’s new 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 from throughout the centuries, in Yiddish, English, Polish and Russian. —Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.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, Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St., (212) 288-0700, frick.org/exhibitions/Zurbaran.
ROMANCE AND REASON
Bringing together an exceptional group of rare Islamic manuscripts, the exhibit “Romance and Reason: Islamic Transformations of the Classical Past” features 24 illustrated and illuminated manuscripts from the collections of the National Library of Israel; they testify to the fertile relationship between medieval Islam and the classical world. Organized by NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) in partnership with the NLI. — Through May 13, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 15 E. 84th St., isaw.nyu.edu/exhibitions.
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