MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH WITH METROPOLITAN KLEZMER
“I particularly like the adjective ‘genre-bending,’” drummer Eve Sicular told us a few years ago. That’s as apt a description as there is for the group Sicular leads, the fusion-focused Metropolitan Klezmer, which has been at it for more than 20 years now. Next week, the Metros head downtown to City Winery for its 11th Annual Special Mother’s Day Brunch. Leaders in the klezmer revival, they are known for their sweeping arrangements and versatile ensemble playing, and the way they blend downtown, classical and world music into a danceable neo-traditional Yiddish repertoire. New York Music Daily called them “exhilarating … high-voltage … deliciously shape-shifting … with a love for resurrecting obscure treasures from across the decades.” Go ahead, make your imma happy. — Sunday, May 12, 10 a.m. doors, 11 a.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork/tickets. $28, brunch included.
Made famous by it chorus “Va, pensiero” — or, in English, the “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” — Verdi’s opera “Nabucco” retells the story of Jewish exiles in Babylon after the loss of the First Temple in Jerusalem. Building on biblical accounts of the Babylonian exile, “Nabucco” (Nebuchadnezzar) combines political and love intrigues with some of the best-known songs in the history of opera. Hear baritone David Serero star in his own adaptation of the piece. — Friday, May 10, 3 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
This dramatic reading of H. Leivick’s classic 1921 retelling of the legendary Golem of Prague, presented by the National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene, delves into the world of mysticism. In a sense, it’s a meditation on the effect of violence on the Jewish soul. At a time of synagogue shootings and rising anti-Semitism, the play takes on a new relevance. In Yiddish with English supertitles. — Tuesday, May 7, 7:30 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org. The event is sold out. (To be placed on the waiting list, call (212) 213-2120 x. 200).
HAPPY TALKIn Jesse Eisenberg’s new comedy, Susan Sarandon stars as Lorraine, a suburban do-gooder trying to save her miserable husband, estranged daughter, dying mother and dying mother’s immigrant caretaker — all while playing the lead role in the local JCC’s production of “South Pacific.” — Through June 16, Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., thenewgroup.org.
Using a 1981 diary of Jewish matriarch Margaret Welish, along with oral histories from her daughters, “Displeyst” tells the true story of a well-off family that successfully escaped from World War II Austria to the Philippines, only to have its life ripped apart again by the invasion of Japan. The play, by Infinite Variety Productions, echoes the current immigration crisis. — Through Sunday, May 5, Under St. Marks Place, 94 St. Marks Place, (212) 777-6088, infinitevarietynyc.org.
ALL MY SONS
Arthur Miller’s searing play about a manufacturer who knowingly supplies shoddy parts for WWII airplanes. Starring Annette Bening and Tracy Letts. — Through June 23, Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre, (212) 719-1300, roundabouttheatre.org.
YIDDISH FIDDLER, OFF BROADWAY
“Fiddler” in Yiddish, the unexpected runaway hit that both delighted and choked up audiences at the Museum of Jewish History, is now Off-Broadway. Directed by the acclaimed Joel Grey, a rich Yiddish translation by the late Shraga Friedman adds new, depth to the iconic musical. With English and Russian supertitles. — Stage 42, 422 W. 42nd St., (212) 239-6200, telecharge.com.
THREE SUITCASES – A STAGED READING
Taking place in the Mayflower Hotel in 1939, Richard Byrne’s new play imagines two meetings between three historical figures: future Beat Generation icon William Burroughs, his wife Ilse Herzfeld Klapper, and her employer, the exiled anti-fascist German writer-activist Ernst Toller. With a post-reading discussion featuring Byrne and Lisa Marie Anderson, professor of German at Hunter College. — Thursday, May 9, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
UWS CELEBRATES ISRAEL
It’s Tel Aviv-on-the-Hudson time again as Jewish schools, organizations and synagogues on the Upper West Side come together to celebrate Israel’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut with a wave of neighborhood events. The festivities kick off Sunday, May 5 with an all-day festival of Israel-centered talks, concerts, movies, kids activities, etc., and concludes on Thursday, May 9 with an Israeli “Party by the Shore.” — Sunday, May 5-Thursday, May 9, uwsisrael.org.
Directed by Sarah Smith and written by Phillip Guttmann, this 14-minute short film tells the story of Shmuel, a pious chasidic man whose life takes a turn when his wife and two young children leave town. When he loses his black hat in a gay bar, his two lives collide. Part of Tribeca Film Festival. — Friday-Saturday, May 3-4, Village East Cinema, 181-189 Second Ave., citycinemas.com/villageeast.
Set in 1960s Brooklyn, “Extra Innings” tells the story of a young man caught between pursuing his dream of playing baseball and staying devoted to his Syrian-Jewish family. Based on the true story of writer/director Albert Dabah. — Tuesday, May 14, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
GILAD HEKSELMAN 4TET
The acclaimed Israeli-American guitarist plays the storied Village Vanguard with saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Obed Calvaire. — Through Sunday, May 5, Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. South, villagevanguard.squadup.com.
KOL ISHA: A TRIBUTE TO ISRAEL’S MOST PROMINENT FEMALE POETS
Singer-songwriter Shira Averbuch and an all-female Israeli-American ensemble pay tribute to Leah Goldberg, Tirtza Atar and more. Part of UWS Celebrates Israel. — Sunday, May 5, 2:30 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
ARMY BANDS – A TRIBUTE
In celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, former army band singers Ariella Edvy and Omer Shaish, along with the MusicTalks ensemble, pay musical tribute to the Israeli army band phenomenon of the ’60s and ’70s. Through vivid stories and background, host Elad Kabilio contextualizes the music that helped inspire the young nation of Israel during and after times of war. — Wednesday, May 8, 7:30 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
ANTI-SEMITISM, IDENTITY POLITICS AND AMERICAN IDENTITY
Political science Professor Christina Greer, Jewish historian Tony Michels and Eric K. Ward, executive director of the civil rights organization Western States Center, lead a panel discussion on anti-Semitism and its relation to identity politics, intercultural relations and national identity. — Tuesday, May 7, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
PUNISHMENT AND THE DEATH PENALTY
Author and Jewish Week columnist Rabbi David Wolpe examines what Judaism has to say about the purpose of punishment and, in particular, the death penalty. Part of his talk series examining contemporary issues through a Jewish lens. — Monday, May 6, 6:30 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelstreickernyc.org.
Kiev native Zoya Cherkassky immigrated to Israel in 1991. Her highly figurative paintings — which are included in in the permanent collections of The Jewish Museums of New York, Berlin and Vienna, as well as the Israel Museum in Jerusalem — chronicle a childhood between two cultures. — Through June 15, Fort Gansevoort, 5 Ninth Ave., fortgansevoort.com/upcomingexhibition.
LEONARD COHEN: A CRACK IN EVERYTHING
This show celebrates the singer-songwriter’s powerful legacy through mixed-media works, including a video projection showcasing Cohen’s own drawings and a multimedia gallery where visitors can hear Cohen’s songs covered by other musicians. —Through Sept. 8, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.
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