A NIGHT IN THE OLD MARKETPLACE
Based on I.L. Peretz’s 1906 surrealist verse play, written in Yiddish, this avant-garde adaptation by composer Frank London (Klezmatics) and playwright Glen Berger (“Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark”) combines high modernism with low Borscht Belt, along with a Harry Potter-sized helping of gargoyles, mad kabbalists, zombies and singing ghosts. The tangled plot begins with a backstory: After being forced to marry a rich old merchant, the fair Sheyndele throws herself into the village well and drowns. Her lover, Nosn, becomes a grieving drunk, while the merchant becomes a recluse accompanied by a giant bear. Once all this is established, the play focuses on the increasingly bizarre efforts of the deranged Badkhn — a traditional Jewish wedding jester — to fix things by leading a revolution against God. The music mixes ethno-punk, psychedelic rock, jazz and klezmer. — Saturday, May 6, 9:30 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, nytf.org
MOTHER’S DAY WITH METROPOLITAN KLEZMER
City Winery’s 9th Annual Special Mother’s Day Brunch (c’mon, Mom deserves it) features the old/new school Metropolitan Klezmer, one of the early klez revival bands. Known for its sweeping arrangements and versatile ensemble-playing, the quintet blends downtown, classical and world music into a danceable neo-traditional Yiddish repertoire. — Sunday, May 14, 10 a.m. doors, 11 a.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork/tickets. $28, brunch included.
“At last grown young/ with noise/ and color/ and light/ and jazz/ dance marathons and poultry shows/ soulsavings and rodeos/ gabfeasts and beauty contests/ sky towers and bridal bowers/ speakeasy bars and motor cars/ columnists and movie stars.” Florine Stettheimer’s poetry (and her paintings) caught the syncopated rhythms of Jazz Age New York. Through her critically acclaimed verse, paintings and drawings, as well as a selection of costume and theater designs, photographs and ephemera, The Jewish Museum offers a reconsideration of an icon whose salons played host to the age’s great modernists. — Opens Friday, May 5 Through Sept. 24, Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.
THE BELLE OF TOMBSTONE
This all-female musical tells the story of Josie Marcus, who in 1899 left her upper-class Jewish family for a wild adventure with her future husband, legendary frontier lawman Wyatt Earp. Book by Thomas Edward West and Sheilah Rae, music by Michele Brourman and lyrics by Rae. — Wednesday, May 10, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
TWO BY TABORI
George Tabori, one of the most darkly satirical playwrights of the mid-to-late 20th century, is receiving a timely reappraisal. “Mein Kampf” imagines a young Adolf Hitler as a gawky art student kicking around dejectedly until he meets a Jewish Bible salesman who suggests he go into politics. “Jubilee” follows a neo-Nazi youth who goes about defacing Jewish headstones, until he’s visited by a Jewish family and a gay couple who find deliciously sinister ways to goad him to move on. — Through Sunday, May 21, Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., 212/868-4444, taboriproject.org. $18. (See story on page 24.)
Cited as one of the best plays of 2016 by The Times, “Indecent” follows the original cast of Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance,” who risked their careers to perform a risqué work at a time when art, freedom and truth were on trial. Created by playwrights Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman, and directed by Taichman, the show “reminds us of the power of art to tell us truths long before we are able to recognize them as such,” says the L.A. Times. — Through Sept. 10, Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., telecharge.com.
DAN ARAN QUINTET
The drummer has gigged with Avishai Cohen (the bassist), Amos Hoffman and Omer Avital, but his debut recording as a leader, “Breathing” (Smalls Records), is out. All About Jazz calls it “disarmingly pretty, pure in melodic focus.” Aran will be joined by trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, pianist Adam Birnbaum, bassist Matt Clohesy and Israeli-born flutist Itai Kriss. — Wednesday, May 10, 10:30 p.m., Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346, smallslive.com.
Hershey Felder is — take a deep breath — a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, director, Harvard scholar-in-residence and founder/manager of Eighty-Eight Entertainment, his own production company. He’ll perform his signature one-man bio-drama, “Maestro,” in which he channels composer Leonard Bernstein. — Monday, May 15, 7:30 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org. $75/$35 members.
Filmmaker Serena Dykman traces her grandmother’s Auschwitz survival story and how her life-long fight against intolerance continues in the 21st century. A discussion with her follows the screening. – Thursday, May 11, 7-9 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org. $15/$12 members.
HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY
Harold and Lillian Michelson’s names may not sound familiar, but this storyboard artist and film researcher team have left an indelible mark on classics by Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola and many more. Through film clips and candid interviews, this documentary offers both a touching portrait of a marriage and a celebration of the unknown talent that helped shape Hollywood. – Through May 5, Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., (347) 566-5949, quadcinema.com
AND A DAY
Asaph Polonsky’s first feature, a deft black comedy, follows a middle-aged couple grieving for their son, who died of cancer. Once the shiva period is over, the father steals medicinal marijuana from a hospice, skips work and hangs out with his estranged neighbor’s son. Meanwhile, his wife tries to get back to her daily routine as a school teacher, but must first fight off well-meaning co-workers, stray kittens and dental clinic workers. — Angelika Film Center, 18 W. Houston St., (212) 995-2570, angelikafilmcenter.com/nyc.
Jill Soloway — comedian, playwright, writer and creator of the acclaimed series “Transparent” — was raised, she has said, in a “somewhat normalish, upper-middle-class Jewish household.” Then, when she was well into her 40s, her father came out as transgender. With the fourth season beginning later this year, Soloway will speak about how her life and the series correspond. — Tuesday, May 9, 7 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelskirballnyc.org.
SEEKING ASYLUM FROM LIBYA
Hasan Agili, the only Libyan refugee granted entrance to the U.S. in 2016, discusses his struggle as a gay man in his homeland, and his long fight to immigrate to New York. Agili will speak with Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, director of Lab/Shul. — Tuesday, May 9, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
ISRAEL: A SOCIETY THROUGH ITS CINEMA
Film historian Eric Goldman explores the changing nature of Israeli society as reflected through its cinema. The program will be preceded by a viewing of YUM’s exhibition “City of Gold, Bronze and Light: Jerusalem Between Word and Image.” — Sunday, May 7, 2 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
Celebrated Jewish-Indian sculptor and Genesis Prize-winner Sir Anish Kapoor brings his large-scale installation, “Descension,” to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Twenty-six feet in diameter, the work is a continuously swirling whirlpool filled with an all-natural black dye, producing the illusion of an ever-churning black hole. — On display through Sept. 10, Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, publicartfund.org.
LOST SYNAGOGUES OF EUROPE
The Museum at Eldridge Street presents an exhibition of vintage postcards of Central and Eastern European synagogues from Prague-based collector Frantisek Bányai. The postcards depict a range of Jewish architecture, culture and community that were all but destroyed during WWII. — Through June 8, Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., (212) 219-0302, eldridgestreet.org.
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