The Top Picks:
HANOCH LEVIN SQUARED
Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin, who died in 1999 at 56, spent more than three decades trying to force his county to examine what he considered its hypocrisy and self-delusion. With “Hanoch Levin Squared,” the New Yiddish Rep presents two of his most celebrated short plays, performed in both the original Hebrew and in Yiddish with English supertitles. In “The Labor of Life” (1989) and “The Whore From Ohio” (1997), Levin sculpts a dystopian vision of family and sexuality, exposing layers of political corruption and social injustice and putting them in stark comic relief. — Through March 29, Rattlesnake Playwrights Theater, 224 Waverly Place, (866) 811-4111, NewYiddishRep.org.
Director Kantemir Balagov’s debut feature film centers on a young woman trapped in a tight-knit Jewish community in a war-torn, poverty-stricken area of Russia. While demanding her dedication, the community provides her with little protection from the perpetual violence encompassing all aspects of life in the region. Variety called it “a tough-minded, rigorously composed, quite brilliantly acted story of the challenges of everyday religious prejudice and ethnic divides.” Part of Film Society’s “New Directors/New Films” festival. — Saturday, March 31 – Sunday, April 1, 4:30 p.m., Walter Reade Theater, 165 W. 65th St., (212) 875-5600, newdirectors.org.
A BAG OF MARBLES
Two young Jewish brothers, Joseph (Dorian Le Clech) and Maurice (Batyste Fleurial), who flee Nazi-occupied Paris in 1942, as Hitler moves the policies of his so-called final solution into the city. directed by Christian Duguay, the film based on French author Joseph Joffo’s 1973 autobiographical novel, “Un Sac de Billes.” — Through April 1, The Landmark at 57 West, 657 W. 57th St., landmarktheatres.com.
YOUR PLACE OR MINE
Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s first solo museum show in the U.S. brings together the artist’s cross-disciplinary work in painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, installation, furniture, lighting, ceramics, textiles and wallpaper. Born in postwar Paris to a Polish Jewish father and French Catholic mother, Chaimowicz moved to England with his parents when he was 8 years old; his continuous negotiation of the disparate cultures fused in his upbringing reverberates throughout his work. — Through Aug. 5, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.
When Danielle Shapiro-Hinojosa returns to Bastrop, Texas, from her Birthright trip to Israel, her newfound fervor for Judaism creates a testy reaction in her sister Ariana, who moves aggressively toward her Mexican-American identity. — Through Sunday, March 25, 8 p.m., Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54th St., 12th fl., brownpapertickets.com.
Louis Goldstein has written a tell-all family memoir. 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.— In previews (opens April 5), Actors Temple Theatre, 339 W. 47 St., (212) 239-6200, Goldsteinmusical.com.
OLD STOCK: A REFUGEE LOVE STORY
Written by Christian Barry, Hannah Moscovitch and Canadian klezmer-folk sensation 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. 59 St., (212) 279-4200, 59e59.org. $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.
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.
7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE
In July 1976, four terrorists hijacked an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris. They forced the flight crew to land in Entebbe, Uganda, where crew and passengers were held hostage for a week. José Padilha’s new crime thriller chronicles the rescue operation orchestrated by IDF commandos, one of the most daring counter-terrorism feats to date. — In wide release.
Several times a day, for four years during the Holocaust, the Line 41 streetcar passed through the Lodz Ghetto, never once stopping. The documentary “Line 41” chronicles the return of Lodz Ghetto survivor Natan Grossmann to Poland after 70 years, where he crosses paths with Jens-Jurgen Ventzki, the son of the former Nazi mayor of Lodz. They trace their family histories as they confront their feelings about the past and each other. Followed by post-screening discussion with director and producer Tanja Cummings. — Wednesday, March 28, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.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.
The Israeli-born pianist is a former member of bassist Avishai Cohen’s Trio and currently leads his own trio. “Hearing the Shai Maestro trio is like awakening to a new world: a world of wonders, excitement, beauty, and uncertainty,” says All About Jazz. — Friday, March 23, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 1160 Broadway, (646) 494-3625, jazzgallery.nyc.
THE EHUD ASHERIE TRIO
With a “sprightly dancing style on the keyboard” (Jazz Notes), the New York-based, Israeli-born jazz pianist plays a straightforward, classy jazz repertoire. The New Yorker hailed him as “a passionate craftsman joyfully at ease with pre-swing idioms.” — Sunday, March 25, 10:30 p.m. – 1 a.m., Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346, smallslive.com.
IRVING BERLIN: AMERICAN
Jewish-Russian immigrant Irving Berlin arrived at Ellis Island speaking no English — and went on to write the songs that epitomized American music and values. On the centenary of “God Bless America,” a new musical play, featuring an acclaimed cast of Broadway performers and musicians, 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.
ISRAELI JAZZ SPOTLIGHT
Hosted by Israeli-American jazz bassist Or Bareket, Cornelia’s monthly “Israeli Jazz Spotlight” features Greenpoint, a septet of Israeli-American jazz musicians playing their own compositions (8 p.m.) and the Idan Morim quintet, an improvisational jazz ensemble led by Israeli-American guitarist Morim (9:30 p.m.). — Sunday, March 25, Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
NITZAN GAVRIELI TRIO
Since moving to New York in 2007, Israeli-born pianist Nitzan Gavrieli has been performing with his trio and as a sideman. Rhythmically complex and rich with Middle Eastern motifs, “[his] melodically inventive piano work moves from one tempo to another, never diminishing the energy,” says Jam Magazine. — Wednesday, March 28, 8 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $20, drinks included.
GILAD HEKSELMAN TRIO
“Possessing a distinctive lyricism and easily embraceable artfulness that seems to reach beyond his years” (All About Jazz), the Israeli-born jazz guitarist has drawn praise for his smooth sound and formidable technique. — Thursday, March 29, 8 and 9:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $10 cover plus $10 minimum.
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 Dr. Raymond Scheindlin. — Sunday, March 25, 3 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W.16 St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
THE JEWS OF KEY WEST
As American immigration laws prohibited Jews from entering the United States during the 1920s, thousands 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.
TRIANGLE FIRE: SEE YOU IN THE STREETS
A hundred years after the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, the tragedy, which spurred pro-labor legislation, is inspiring a new generation of activists to organize against global sweatshops. Author/artist Ruth Sergel and Cornell Professor Nick Salvatore discuss how Lower East Side’s Jewish and Italian immigrants lived and worked, and how the Triangle fire tragedy still resonates today. — Monday, March 26, 6:30 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
A FIFTY-YEAR PERSPECTIVE ON THE AMERICAN LEFT
Columbia’s Todd Gitlin speaks about how his scholarship on the 1960s and the fracturing of the American left informs contemporary debates. Followed by an audience Q & A. Part of the Center for Jewish History’s History Matters series. — Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.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 bureaucratic photographer. “Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross” presents more than 200 of his 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.
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 has recently reopened its permanent, third-floor collection galleries in what amounts to 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, 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.
Reflecting upon personal experiences, historical and contemporary events and the universal human condition, HOME(less) features the mixed-media works of seventy international artists exploring the meaning of home, and the loss of it. — Through June 29, Hebrew Union College Museum, 1 W. Fourth St., (212) 824-2218, huc.edu/homeless.
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