NYC Jewish-y Events, September 7-18
93Queen, Longing, Kinship and more!
URI GURVICH – Kinship
Israeli-born alto saxophonist Uri Gurvich’s world music-ish work blends Middle Eastern and Hebraic folk melodies with the musical traditions of all of Gurvich’s bandmates: Argentinian pianist Leo Genovese and vocalist Bernardo Palombo, Bulgarian bassist Peter Slavov and Cuban drummer Francisco Mela. In his recently released album, “Kinship,” Gurvich, according to All About Jazz, “manages to find common ground on which to unite his group and bring every musical aspect in play together.” — Wednesday, Sept. 12, 9:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
When Ruchie Freier, a no-nonsense lawyer and an Orthodox mother of six, introduces us to her neighborhood of Borough Park, — one of the world’s largest enclaves of chasidic Jews — she acknowledges the community’s prevailing view of a woman’s role: “The focus of a woman is being a mother. Any profession, or extra schooling, is discouraged.” In Paula Eiselt’s debut documentary, “93Queen,” Freier founds Ezras Nashim, America’s first all-female EMT corps, in this unlikely place. Making its national broadcast premiere on the PBS documentary series POV and pov.org, the film 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.” — Monday, Sept. 17, 10 p.m., PBS and pov.org.
Already a winner of screenplay and audience awards in Israel before it screened in Venice and Toronto, “Longing” (Ga’agua), writer-director Savi Gabizon’s 2017 dark comedy, follows a man mourning the son he never knew he had. Taking an oblique look at the meaning of fatherhood, the film follows the eccentric misadventures of Ariel, a middle-aged man who belatedly learns he had a son — and in the same breath, learns this son has recently died. As he sets out to discover more about his lost offspring, Ariel is confronted with some unpleasant truths about himself. — Opens Friday, Sept. 14, Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., (212) 924-3363, cinemavillage.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.
MY BROADWAY SHPIEL
Hear music from the great American-Jewish songbook performed in an Israeli-American accent. Omer Shaish (Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Voca People, Kol Esperanza) brings the Jewish side of Broadway to the stage with music from “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Last Five Years,” along with some of his personal favorites. — Saturday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., The Green Room 42, 570 10th Ave. at 42nd Street, 4th floor of Yotel, TheGreenRoom42.com.
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.
VITALY: AN EVENING OF WONDERS
Israel-raised magician Vitaly Beckman has wowed audiences with innovative illusions, and he is now well into his NYC debut run. Recommended for ages 8 and up. — Through Sept. 30, Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St. (9th-10th avenues), telecharge.com. $89.
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.
What roles should past horrors play in defining our worldview and politics? Is there such a thing as a contemporary Jewish identity independent of the Holocaust? Should there be? In this one-man show, writer/performer Barry Levey chronicles his fictional adventure of tracking down and interviewing Holocaust deniers, from Illinois to Iran. — Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St., (212) 780-0800, 14streety.org.
Rabbi Daniel Brenner and the bluesy guitarist Jeremiah Lockwood of The Sway Machinery return to spice up Rosh HaShanah. Seamlessly channeling the influence of the Piedmont Blues and that of his grandfather, the legendary Cantor Jacob Konigsberg, Lockwood chants traditional prayers like Kol Nidre and Avinu Malkeinu with an Old-World wail — while often accompanying himself on blues guitar. Joined by Japanese composer, pianist and accordionist Shoko Nagai, Lockwood will accompany Rabbi Brenner’s Rosh HaShanah morning services, followed by a traditional Torah reading and procession, accessible explanations of the holiday, a shofar blowing, meditations and more. A vegetarian/dairy lunch from Blue Ribbon and babysitters for the kids are included in the price. — Monday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m., Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, (718) 963-3369, brooklynbowl.com. $40-$90.
The young Israeli-born, New York based Kadawa trio — Tal Yahalom on guitar, Almog Sharvit on bass and Ben Silashi on drums — performs quirky, cross-media compositions drawing from jazz, rock, cinema and literature. All About Jazz reviewed the group’s 2017 debut album, self-titled “Kadawa,” as “full of surprises, register jumps, changes of direction. … There is something for all tastes and you’ll never get bored. … Excellent debut album.”— Thursday, Sept. 6, 8 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth St., Brooklyn, (347) 422-0248, barbesbrooklyn.com.
ISRAELI JAZZ SPOTLIGHT
Hosted by bassist Israeli-American Nadav Remez, Cornelia’s monthly spotlight features pianist Nuphar Fey (8 p.m.), who connects influences from movie soundtracks, jazz, impressionistic and alternative classical. Also on the bill is guitarist Shachar Elnatan (9:30), who explores the boundaries between improvised jazz and lyrical contemporary songs; he leads a group of up-and-coming Israeli-American musicians (including Nitai Hershkovits on piano, Or Bareket on bass and drummer Daniel Dor) in excerpts from Shachar’s debut album, “One World,” co-produced by leading bassist Avishai Cohen. — Sunday, Sept. 9, 8-10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
REVERBERATIONS: MUSIC FOR UNACCOMPANIED VIOLIN
Eugene Drucker, a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, performs works for solo violin by J.S. Bach and other composers interspersed with readings from his novel, “The Savior,” based partly on his father’s experiences as a musician in Nazi Germany. — Wednesday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W.16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
PAUL SHAPIRO’S RIBS & BRISKET REVUE
A New York-based saxophonist and composer with serious new-jazz and R&B cred, Paul Shapiro plays a hard-blowing, finger-snapping, klezmer-inflected jazz and wailing big city blues. — Saturday, Sept. 8, 8:30 and 10 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
THE OSLO DIARIES
This new documentary by Israeli directors Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan revisits the pivotal peace talks in the 1990s, with a non-traditional approach. It includes re-enactments of the meetings in Oslo, with actors impersonating the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. Excerpts from books and diaries later written by the principal participants, also read by actors, are prominently featured, as well as interviews given by chief Palestinian negotiator Abu Ala, and Yitzchak Rabin’s second-in-command, Shimon Peres, who gave his last interviews to the filmmakers before his death in 2016. — Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., (212) 924-3363, cinemavillage.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.
At 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. A documentary from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, “RBG” explores Ginsburg’s unique life, career and legacy. Co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films. — In wide release.
ANTI-SEMITISM IN 20TH-CENTURY POLAND
Adam Michnik discusses the history of anti-Semitism — and efforts to resist it — in 20th-century Poland based on his book “Against Anti-Semitism: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Polish Writings.” — Thursday, Sept. 6, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
ART DECO NEW YORK: THE ARCHITECTS SPEAK
While socially prominent architects designed New York’s most iconic Art Deco skyscrapers, a generation of Jewish architects — new to the profession and often new to the country — helped spread the distinctive style from the Garment Center to the Grand Concourse. Architectural historian Anthony W. Robins shares rare recorded interviews with Jewish architects Israel Crausman, Louis Allen Abramson and Marvin Fine to explore how they helped transform the face of the city in the 1920s and ’30s. — Thursday, Sept. 13, 6:30 p.m., Center For Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
NUSAKH VILNE MEMORIAL
Commemorate the Jewish community of Vilna with poetry, music, and a short film. Scholar David Fishman will discuss the Paper Brigade, a group of Jewish intellectuals who risked their lives to save books and documents from destruction during the Holocaust. — Sunday, Sept. 16, 1 p.m., YIVO Institute, 15 W.16 St., (212) 294-8301, yivo.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. — Opens Friday, Sept. 14, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. (at 92nd Street), (212) 423-3200, thejm.org.
CHAIM SOUTINE: FLESH
This exhibition features more than 30 paintings of Chaim Soutine depicting hanging fowl, beef carcasses and rayfish. Considered one of the 20th century’s great still-life painters, Soutine created visceral, expressionist paintings of tortured animal carcasses, establishing a parallel between the animal and human, beauty and pain. The New Yorker hailed the exhibition as “potent … elegantly curated.” — Through Sept. 16, Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. (at 92nd Street), (212) 423-3200, thejm.org.
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