SHOLEM ALEICHEM IN THE OLD COUNTRY
Adapted and performed by award-winning British actor Saul Reichlin, this one-man play follows the misadventures of “Jewish Mark Twain,” Sholem Aleichem, as he visits his birthplace, the shtetl called Kasrilevkeh. Told from the perspective of Aleichem himself, the play weaves dream-filled stories about relentless wives, drunken shoemakers and Tevye the Milkman. — Sunday, Oct. 14, 6 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $20, drinks included.
AMERICAN SEPHARDI MUSIC FESTIVAL
The second edition of next week’s two-day Sephardi showcase features pianist, composer and soprano Renan Koen, whose compositions are inspired by authentic Sephardic folk songs of the Aegean, Middle East and Anatolia (Oct. 7, 4 p.m. and Oct. 8, 6 p.m.) Also on tap Oct. 7 are cross-genre composer Adam Maalouf (5 p.m.) and the New York Andalus Ensemble (8 p.m.). Day two stars the Spanish vocalist Lara Bello, whose singing combines Spanish traditions (flamenco and canto) with pop music and jazz (Oct. 8, 4 p.m.), and the acclaimed jazz/funk/world music group Yemen Blues, led by the “ridiculously charismatic” (the New Yorker) singer/composer Ravid Kahalani (8 p.m.). — Friday-Saturday, Oct. 7-8, 4-10 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
BRIDGING THE ISRAELI-AMERICAN DIVIDE
At a moment when American and Israeli Jews are increasingly challenged to have productive conversations about Israel, LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture presents three productions by Israeli-American artists wrestling with Israeli and Jewish narratives, history, memory and experience. Running through October, the series kicks off Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m., with director Gili Getz’s one-man, autobiographical performance exploring the difficulty of having a conversation about Israel in the American-Jewish community. Also on tap: “The Hearing,” a transcript of a charged classroom discussion about IDF ethics (Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.) and Zohar Tirosh-Polk’s “Theo’s Dream,” a hallucinatory trip through Herzl’s mind (Oct. 25-27). — The Theatre at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St., (212) 780-0800, 14streety.org.
HARVEY FIERSTEIN’S TORCH SONG
Condensed to 2 ½ hours, Harvey Fierstein’s original four-hour, semi-autobiographical 1982 “Torch Song” follows the ups and downs of Arnold Beckoff, a Jewish gay drag queen and torch singer. This Broadway revival, directed by Moisés Kaufman and starring Michael Urie as Arnold and Tony-winner Mercedes Ruehl as his mom, had a hit run Off Broadway at Second Stage Theater. — In previews starting Oct. 9 (opens Thursday, Nov. 1), Hayes Theater, 240 W. 44 St. Call (212) 239-6200, torchsongbroadway.com.
IN THE TUNNEL
Presented by the acclaimed Israeli theater troupe Gesher, this political satire inspired by the Oscar-winning film “No Man’s Land,” tells the story of two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinians trapped in a tunnel dug by Hamas, between Gaza and Israel. Should they save or kill each other? — Saturday, Oct. 6, 8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2 p.m., Gerald W Lynch Theater, 524 W. 59th St., (800) 349-0021, cherryorchardfestival.org.
Three top-tier Jewish comedians — Lewis Black, the unmatched “king of the rant”; Susie Essman, who has turned profanity into an art form as Susie Greene on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; and “SNL” writer Alan Zweibel share the stage with comedian John Fugelsang, host of “Tell Me Everything,” on SiriusXM. — Thursday, Oct.11, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
THE OPEN GATE
Theater for the New City brings back David Willinger’s musical adaptation of I.B. Singer’s novel, “The Manor,” about a wealthy Jewish businessman and his four daughters. — Opens Sunday, Oct. 14, Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., (212) 868-4444, smarttix.com.
MY PARSIFAL CONDUCTOR
The infamous anti-Semitic composer Richard Wagner and his ever-faithful wife Cosima find themselves in a moral, political and musical pickle when King Ludwig II of Bavaria insists that Wagner’s final masterpiece, “Parsifal,” be conducted by Hermann Levi, the son of a rabbi. Written by Emmy-winning Allan Leicht and starring Eddie Korbich and Claire Brownwell. — In previews; opens Thursday, Oct. 11, Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the West Side YMCA, 10 W. 64th St., theatermania.com.
ARENDT-HEIDEGGER: A LOVE STORY
Zionist pioneer Hannah Arendt was a brilliant political theorist and philosophical thinker. As a teenager, she began an affair with Martin Heidegger, the celebrated German philosopher and unapologetic Hitler supporter. After the war, Arendt maintained her friendship with Heidegger, despite his refusal to disavow the Nazis. Playwright and philosophy professor Douglas Lackey’s new play explores one of the 20th century’s most bewildering connections. — Through Sunday, Oct. 14, Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., arendt-heidegger.com.
HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN
Irving Berlin was 5 years old when his Jewish family immigrated to the U.S., escaping persecution in late-18th-century Russia. In a performance the Los Angeles Times called “richly entertaining and touching,” award-winning actor and pianist Hershey Felder brings the man behind the iconic composer to life, tracking his journey from child immigrant to America’s most beloved and prolific songwriter. The show features some of the composer’s most enduring songs, including “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Blue Skies,” “God Bless America” and “White Christmas.” — In previews; opens Wednesday, Sept. 5, 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St., (212) 279-4200, 59e59.org.
FIDDLER IN YIDDISH
Directed by Oscar- and Tony Award-winner Joel Grey, a rich Yiddish translation by the late Shraga Friedman adds new depth and dimension to the iconic musical, and it has gotten raves. Presented by National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. — Through Oct. 25, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (866) 811-4111, mjhnyc.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 recently took home 10 Tonys. — Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., telecharge.com, thebandsvisitmusical.com.
Once an Israeli pop icon, Israeli-American singer-songwriter and guitarist Tamar Eisenman — “a musical heavyweight … whose performance borders on perfection,” says The Jerusalem Post — sings her signature fusion of rock, pop, Israeli folk and indie music. — Friday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m., Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., rockwoodmusichall.com.
MIRI MESIKA CONCERT
A household name in her native Israel, Israeli pop star Miri Mesika released her first album in 2004 and has been consistently topping the charts since. She will sing a collection of her greatest hits — in Hebrew, of course. — Sunday, Oct. 7, 8:30 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org.
ISRAELI JAZZ SPOTLIGHT
Hosted by Israeli-American bassist Nadav Remez, Cornelia’s monthly spotlight features two debuts by Israeli-American bassists and composers: Almog Sharvit’s quintet (8 p.m.) brings in a quintet and Adi Meyerson presents her recent debut album, “Where we Stand” (9:30 p.m.) — Sunday, Oct. 14, Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
Chronicling Israel’s “catch and extract” operation in Argentina, which famously brought Hitler’s logistics chief to justice, this thriller of a documentary centers on a psychological battle of wills between Kingsley’s Eichmann and Oscar Isaac’s Peter Malkin, one of the Israeli agents tasked with nabbing the Nazi. The film is set 15 years after the end of the war, when a top-secret team of Israeli agents travel to Argentina, where Eichmann has been in hiding with his family under an alias. Attempting to sneak him out of Argentina to stand trial in Israel, Malkin is forced to engage Eichmann in an intense game of cat-and-mouse. — In wide release.
In Paula Eiselt’s debut documentary, “93Queen,” Ruchie Freier — a no-nonsense lawyer and an Orthodox mother of six — founds Ezras Nashim, America’s first all-female EMT corps, in ultra-Orthodox Borough Park. The film, which had its national broadcast premiere last week on PBS, documents the enormous backlash these women face as they train, obtain the necessary medical supplies and set up their emergency dispatch system. The NYFD chief assigns them the call sign 93Q, read aloud as “93-Queen.” — Multiple showings through Oct. 7, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444. jccmanhattan.org.
“Stavisky” (1974) is one of Alain Resnais’ most graceful and elegant films, a gliding passage through the life and scandal of a conman who rocked pre-WWII France, inadvertently fueling the anti-Semitic rage of French fascists. Jean-Paul Belmondo is a solid-gold charmer (with a hint of brass) in the title role, and Stephen Sondheim’s musical score soars. Newly restored for this run. — Through Thursday, Oct. 11, Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., (212) 727-8110, filmforum.org.
WHY THE JEWS?
From Moses to Maimonides, Mahler to Marx, Buber to Bernstein to Brandeis, and some 197 Nobel laureates, the Jewish people are famously over-represented in mankind’s hall of fame. John Curtin’s documentary poses a freighted question, asking “Why us? How do we do it?” and, covertly, “Should we really be asking this question out loud?” A wide range of Jewish thinkers, from Alan Dershowitz to Noam Chomsky, Daniel Liebeskind to Ruth Westheimer, tries to answer. — Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444. jccmanhattan.org.
Filmmaker Rebecca Miller celebrates the life of her Pulitzer-winning father, playwright Arthur Miller, from his childhood in New York to his first Broadway triumph, his stormy marriage to Marilyn Monroe and his trial by the House Un-American Activities Committee. A discussion with Rebecca Miller and producers Damon Cardasis, Cindy Tolan and Sheila Nevins will follow the screening. — Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelstreickernyc.org.
“The Oath” centers around a couple (Ike Barinholtz and “Girls Trip” breakout star Tiffany Haddish) whose Thanksgiving goes off the rails when a controversial White House policy turns family member against family member, and two federal agents are held captive in their living room. What would you do if asked to sign a loyalty oath to the president? Join comedian Barinholtz and talk-show host Seth Meyers as they discuss the director’s reinvention of a holiday comedy for a politically divisive America. — Monday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
JEWISH NEW YORK
Deborah Dash Moore, Jeffrey S. Gurock, Annie Polland, Howard B. Rock and Daniel Soyer, authors of “Jewish New York: The Remarkable Story of a City and a People,” talk with Rabbi Peter Rubinstein about the history and influence of Jews in New York. A book signing follows the event. — Monday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
FIRST PERSON: MARGALIT FOX
Margalit Fox wrote more than 1,400 obituaries during her career at The Times, gaining a legion of fans with her exquisite prose and eye for quirky details. Now she brings her storytelling to a long-forgotten 20th-century murder case — and to Oscar Slater, the Jewish immigrant who was framed for the crime. Fox joins author Ruth Franklin for a wide-ranging conversation. — Monday, Oct. 15, 6:30 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
ON GOLDA MEIR
A look at the life and legacy of Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth prime minister, with Meir biographer (and Jewish Week columnist) Francine Klagsbrun and journalist Tom Brokaw. — Monday, Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
A NEW VISION FOR JEWS
Tal Keinan is an American entrepreneur, Israeli fighter pilot and author of the critically acclaimed new book, “God is in the Crowd.” Bret Stephens is a Pulitzer-winning journalist, author and op-ed columnist for The Times. The two discuss Keinan’s bold plan for Jews in the 21st century with Park Avenue Synagogue Rabbi Cosgrove. Presented by The Jewish Week, in partnership with Park Avenue Synagogue. — Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m., Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 E. 87th St., (212) 369-2600, pasyn.org.
Latin American artistry is rich with Sephardi and Crypto-Jewish allusions and symbols. “Nosotros: Connecting the Latino and Jewish Communities,” now in its second edition, is a group show composed of pieces by Latino artists celebrating the shared history and culture of Jewish and Latino communities. — Opens Thursday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
CHAGALL, LISSITZKY, MALEVICH
Kicking off the fall season and exploring a little-known chapter in the history of modernity and the Russian avant-garde, The Jewish Museum’s new exhibit focuses on the People’s Art School (1918-1922), founded by Marc Chagall in his native city of Vitebsk (present-day Belarus). In the extraordinary years following the Russian October Revolution of 1917, Vitebsk, a small city with a significant Jewish population, became an incubator of avant-garde art. Through nearly 160 works and documents loaned by museums in Vitebsk and Minsk and major American and European collections, the exhibition presents the work of three iconic figures — Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich — as well as works by lesser-known students and teachers of the Vitebsk school. — The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. (at 92nd Street), (212) 423-3200, thejm.org.
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