The Top 3
WOODY ALLEN, LIVE
“Eighty percent of success is showing up,” the Woodman once famously said. He’ll do just that in a conversation with Eric Lax, author of the new book “Woody Allen and the Art of Moviemaking,” and “Reel Pieces” host Annette Insdorf. Allen will discuss his creative process, from inception to premiere. A book signing will follow. — Wednesday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org. Tickets are sold out but a waiting list is available.
Any filmmaker who names the family dog Mahler (see his 2010 com-dram “Greenberg”) is OK with us. Noah Baumbach’s latest, “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),” is a very funny examination of a dysfunctional Jewish family that, as he notes, “has replaced religion with art as a subject of worship.” Aging sculptor Harold (Dustin Hoffman), an all-but-forgotten minor talent, dominates his children by several marriages — Danny (Adam Sandler), Matthew (Ben Stiller) and Jean (Elizabeth Marvel), each of whom feels he or she lets him down by not pursuing a life in the arts. Over several months, this ill-matched quartet, joined by Harold’s dotty current wife Maureen (an unrecognizable but delightful Emma Thompson) and various artist friends and rivals, works through thorny family issues. — Opens Friday, Oct. 13, IFC Center, 323 Sixth Ave., ifccenter.com.
In 1981, after completing his service in the Israeli Navy, 21-year-old Israeli backpacker and adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg — today an Israeli-Australian best-selling author and motivational speaker — set out for an uncharted part of the Bolivian Amazon jungle with a group of newfound fellow travelers. He lived to tell the tale, but just barely. His 1985 memoir “Back From Tuichi” describes how the travelers’ quest for fortune and adventure unraveled into a nightmare of man vs. nature. Daniel Radcliffe stars as Ghinsberg in the movie adaptation of the book. For this special screening, Ghinsberg himself will be on hand to answer questions. — Wednesday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m., JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org; in wide release Friday, Oct. 20.
Emmy Award-winning Letterman writer Ted Greenberg’s coming-of-age comedy of life on the brink of failure. It’s Dec. 18, 1987 — the nine-year anniversary of Greenberg’s long overdue college paper. Ted is making a living as a New York cab driver, while his father, Ace Greenberg, is a Wall Street kingpin. The young Greenberg has to turn in the paper by midnight or lose his chance to graduate from Harvard, forever. — Through Nov. 5, West Side YMCA, Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater, 5 W. 63rd St., (212) 912-2600, ymcanyc.org/westside.
Hear the other side’s take on a dark chapter in Israeli history. In 2002, during the height of the second intifada, Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity gave sanctuary to armed Palestinian combatants. Along with 200 civilians, the combatants spent 39 days there with dwindling food, water and medical supplies. Drawn from interviews with survivors, the play is told from the point of view of the combatants as they grappled with survival, ideology and conscience. — Through Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m., NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Pl., nyuskirball.org.
THE BAND’S VISIT
In the hit Israeli film, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra travels to Israel from Egypt for a concert but ends up in the wrong place; in a sweet twist, they hit it off with the locals. David Yazbek’s musical of the same name and based on the film won the 2017 Obie for best musical. Now it’s coming to Broadway after a sold-out Off-Broadway run. — In previews (opening Nov. 9), Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., telecharge.com, thebandsvisitmusical.com.
“Lili Marlene” was the title of a World War II-era German song that became popular with both the Axis and the Allies. Set in pre-WWII Berlin, this similarly titled Off-Broadway musical (with book and music by Michael Antin) centers on the fictional character of Rosie Pen (Amy Londyn), a Jewish cabaret singer whose rendition of the song makes it famous. With Nazism on the rise, Rosie’s unlikely love affair with a young German count named Willi (Clint Hromsco) drives them both to seek ways out of the country. — Tuesdays through Dec. 19, 7 p.m., St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 W. 46th St., (212) 239-6200, Telecharge.com.
GILAD HEKSELMAN AND PETER BERNSTEIN
Israeli-born jazz guitarist Hekselman, a 34-year-old trailblazer hailed for his “distinctive lyricism and easily embraceable artfulness” (All About Jazz), teams with A-list guitarist Bernstein for a night of standards and originals. — Saturday, Oct. 14, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $20, drinks included.
French director Arnaud Desplechin presents a darkly comic portrait of a neurotic filmmaker haunted by his past. The story follows noted filmmaker Ismael (Mathieu Amalric) — son-in-law of a famous Jewish writer named Henri Bloom (Laszlo Szabo) — as his life is sent into a tailspin by the sudden reappearance of his long-vanished wife Carlotta (Marion Cotillard), just as he is about to embark on a new film. — Friday, Oct. 13, 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 14, Noon, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, 1941 Broadway, lincolncenter.org/venue/alice-tully-hall.
A web of family secrets unravels in this documentary following a family fractured by war. Two brothers, Izak and Shep, were born inside the Bergen-Belsen DP camp in 1945; separated as babies, they were never told of the other’s existence. Nearly 70 years later, the discovery of family records leads the brothers to an emotional reunion with their elderly mother, Aida. — Opens Oct. 20, Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, (212) 757-0359, lincolnplazacinema.com.
A QUEER COUNTRY
Tel Aviv is home to a vibrant LGBTQ community, celebrated in the world’s largest Pride parade every June. But this inclusiveness is at odds with the nation’s legal and social structures, which adhere to the strictures of Orthodox Judaism. Is Israel’s public celebration of LGBT rights “pinkwashing,” as some critics argue, a cynical ploy to establish liberal credibility? “A Queer Country” reveals the contradictions and complexities of Israel’s thriving gay scene. — Sunday, Oct. 22, 2:30 p.m., American Museum Of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, (212) 769-5100, amnh.org.
GOLDA MEIR: LIONESS
Author and Jewish Week columnist Francine Klagsbrun talks about her new book, “Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel” (Schocken), a definitive biography of the iron-willed leader and political operative who became Israel’s fourth prime minister. — Thursday, Oct. 19, 6:30 p.m., The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.
Jointly conceived by artist Colin Davidson and the Oliver Sears Gallery, “Jerusalem” is comprised of 12 large-scale portraits of individuals — Jews, Muslims, Christians, a politician, a Benedictine monk, a doctor — who live or work in the ancient, mystical, troubled city of Jerusalem. — Through Nov. 14 (open to the public on select dates), 92nd Street Y’s Weill Art Gallery, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
REDISCOVERY, RESTORATION AND RENEWAL
Ten years ago, the restoration of the Eldridge Street Synagogue was completed. After a 20-year, $20 million effort, the building was brought back from the verge of collapse to stand once again as a Jewish landmark. In celebration of that milestone, the Museum at Eldridge Street presents 45 large-scale photographs, dating from the 1970s to the present, of the synagogue in different stages of its transformation. —Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., eldridgestreet.org. Through March 1, 2018.
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