THE LEHMAN TRILOGY
In one sense, the 2008 financial crisis can be understood in a series of staggering numbers: the Dow Jones drop on Sept. 29: 777 points; the loss in Americans’ 401(k) portfolios in the last two quarters of 2008: $2.4 trillion, says Forbes; the government bank bailout: $14 trillion, says Fortune. But if there’s an image of that anxious time that jolts more powerfully than any abstract number, it’s of dazed, well-tailored Lehman Brothers employees lugging their belongings in cardboard boxes as they walk out of the door of the once-powerful bank for the last time. Capitalism giveth and capitalism taketh away. Those boxes figure prominently as props in the new Broadway run of “The Lehman Trilogy.” The play, directed by Sam Mendes (it played to raves last year at the Park Avenue Armory), is a rise-and-fall morality tale on an epic scale; it traces three generations of the Jewish émigré Lehman family as it moves from fabric shop and cotton brokerage in Montgomery, Ala., to Wall Street, where investments in coal, oil and arms give way to subprime mortgages. Starring the great British actors Simon Russell Beale, Ben Miles and Adam Godfrey from the Armory run. — March 7-June 28, Nederlander Theater, 208 W. 41st St., thelehmantrilogy.com.
THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
Sixteen years ago, Philip Roth stared into a blank page — and saw Donald Trump. With the president’s isolationist and authoritarian tendencies on full display these days, Roth’s “The Plot Against America,” from 2004, is a counterfactual history (Charles Lindbergh beats FDR, and Jews beware!) that seems to have come true. David Simon (“The Wire”) has adapted the novel for an HBO miniseries that premieres March 16. Simon, who spoke with Roth about the project before the novelist died in 2018, said that in “Plot,” Roth “delivered an emotionally moving political tract about our country taking a dry run at totalitarianism and intolerance.” Simon is joined next week by actors Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector and John Turturro for a sneak-preview screening and a discussion. Presented by the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center. — Friday, March 6, 8 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
ANDY STATMAN AT ELDRIDGE STREET
We admit that we had a tear in our eye during the last segment of Ken Burns’ epic “Country Music” documentary, when Emmylou Harris invited Bill Monroe to the stage at her 1991 “save-the-Ryman-Auditorium” concert. Monroe, the father of bluegrass and a mandolinist and singer whose high lonesome voice could break your heart, danced a jig with Harris, the subtext being that, yes, country and bluegrass would carry on in the hands of a younger generation. You can draw a straight line from Monroe’s virtuoso mandolin playing to Marty Stuart to David Grisman and on to Andy Statman, who has carried the roots music of Eastern European Jews and tethered it to the roots music of America. Klezmer meets “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” And maybe the Eldridge Street Synagogue is the Ryman of Jewish music. Like the Mother Church of Country Music and home of the Grand Ole Opry, it too was saved from the wrecking ball and stands as a testament to Faulkner’s adage, “The past isn’t dead; it isn’t even past.” Statman (also a killer clarinetist) brings his longtime trio into the sacred space. In conjunction with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. — Tuesday, March 3, 7 p.m., Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., gvshp.org. $35/$45.
Cleaning out her grandmother’s home, Ellen Rabinowitz discovers a mysterious photograph of an anonymous soldier. And so begins a sweeping, elegiac new musical by Daniel Goldstein and Michael Friedman (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”) about a woman’s journey to unearth the secrets buried in her family’s past. — Through March 29, Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., playwrightshorizons.org. $44-$99.
NANCY DREWINSKY … AND THE SEARCH FOR THE MISSING LETTER
In 1953, 41 Jewish scientists were named as Communist spies by Senator Joe McCarthy. Robin Bady’s father was one of them. In this intensely personal and timely show, Bady puts on her detective hat to investigate what happened back then, and how this long-ago event still reverberates today. — Through March 8, Kraine Theater, 85 E. 4th St., frigid.nyc. $15.
Manhattan Theatre Club presents the world premiere of Tony-winner Richard Greenberg’s (“Take Me Out”) biting and witty new play whose title carries a whiff of Maimonides. Two families, the Resnicks and the Stahls, whose lives have been tumultuously intertwined for decades, gather in the massive library of a Fifth Avenue apartment to celebrate the nuptials of their children. — In previews. Opens March 3, New York City Center, Stage 1, 131 W. 55th St., nycitycenter.org. $99-$109.
THE SABBATH GIRL
The new romantic comedy by Cary Gitter, a Jewish Plays Project finalist, features goyishe hipster Angie and her Upper West Side neighbor Seth, an Orthodox Jew with a knish store on the Lower East Side. — Through March 8 at 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St., 59e59.org. $38.50.
MISS AMERICA’S UGLY DAUGHTER
Barra Grant stars in her two-character, one-woman autobiographical show about growing up as the un-pageant-ready daughter of Bess Meyerson, the first and so far only Jewish Miss America, and then having a daughter of her own. The Los Angeles Times calls the play “harrowing, heartbreaking, hilarious comic gold.” — Through March 1, Margorie Dean Little Theater, 10 W. 64th St., missamericasuglydaughter.com. $49-$89.
IN TIMES LIKE THESE: AMOS AND EFRATIA GITAI
Celebrating the English-language publication of “Efratia Gitai: Correspondence 1929-1994” (2020), MoMA presents a staged reading with the actors Marthe Keller and Ronald Guttman, pianist Edna Stern and an introduction by Efratia Gitai’s son, the Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai (March 5 at 7 p.m.) as well as fiction features by Amos Gitai — including “Carmel” (March 5, 4 p.m., March 8, 4:45 p.m.), “Kedma” (March 7, 6:30 p.m., March 8, 2 p.m.) and new digital restorations of “Esther” (March 6, 4 p.m., March 7, 1:30 p.m.) and “Berlin-Jerusalem” (March 6, 7 p.m., March 7, 4 p.m.). — Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St., moma.org.
The 2020 Academy Award-winner (Best Adapted Screenplay) “has defied all odds to become one of the year’s most beloved films,” says The Hollywood Reporter. It’s a comedy about a very young, very nationalistic Hitler Youth recruit whose imaginary friend is none other than Adolph Hitler. With Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson and Jewish director Taika Waititi as the imaginary Hitler. — In wide release.
GLOBAL MASHUP 1: KLEZMER MEETS VENEZUELA
Come dance (lessons included!) to the infectious klezmer melodies of clarinetist Michael Winograd and the Honorable Mentshn and Venezuelan Afro-soul of Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo. Special drinks and food available for sale. — Saturday, Feb. 29, 7:15 p.m. lessons and 8 p.m. concert, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, Queens, flushingtownhall.org. $18 ($12 member/student, free for teens).
ALON NECHUSHTAN / BEN GOLDBERG DUO
Israeli pianist Alon Nechushtan and clarinetist Ben Goldberg (whose New Klezmer Trio “kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music” according to the San Francisco Chronicle) team up for a multigenerational, bicoastal, poly-stylistic, bilingual collaboration that includes the common ground that both musicians are so familiar with: klezmer, jazz and free form. — Saturday, Feb. 29, 8 p.m., Soapbox Gallery, 636 Dean St., Brooklyn, soapboxgallery.org. $10-$20.
ESTER LIBERATRICE DEL POPOLO EBREO
The 1673 oratorio by Alessandro Stardella, “The Caravaggio of Music,” about the biblical Queen Esther will be presented by Salon Sanctuary Concerts in the historic Brotherhood Synagogue, a stop on the Underground Railroad. The large cast, including Jessica Gould as Ester, will be joined by baroque harp, orbo, violone, lirone, baroque cello, harpsichord and organ. — Thursday, March 5, 8 p.m., The Brotherhood Synagogue, 28 Gramercy Park South, salonsanctuary.org. $35-$100; $25 student/senior.
A founding member of the Yiddish psychedelic rock band Forshpil, the accordionist and multiinstrumentalist plays contemporary Jewish music, from klezmer and Yiddish folk song to fusion and experimental projects. He’ll appear with the New York Klezmer Series for an 8 p.m. concert, 6:30 p.m. klezmer workshop and post-concert jam session. — Thursday, March 5, Town & Village Synagogue, 344 E. 14th St., http://nyklezmer.com/. $25 for the workshop, $15 for the concert, $35 full-night pass.
SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS & DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND
An adrenaline-filled double-bill evening of music from two upbeat, celebratory bands — the sounds of hot jazz, Delta blues, klezmer and 1930s era swing of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and the classic New Orleans sound of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. — Friday, March 6, 8 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St., symphonyspace.org. $38-$65 (30 and under $30-$65).
Iranian-American singer Galeet Dardashti leads the all-female power-house Middle Eastern Jewish ensemble in an album release concert. Expect fiery renditions of traditional and original Sephardi/Mizrahi Jewish songs with strings, percussion and vocals spanning Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, Persian, Arabic and Aramaic. — Sunday, March 7, 7 p.m., Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. at Astor Place, publictheater.org. $20 + $12 minimum.
Israeli star Ravid Kahalani and Yemen Blues perform Yemenite chants with swirls of jazz and rock grooves at a special late-night performance. — Sunday, March 7, 11:30 p.m., Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. at Astor Place, publictheater.org. $30 + $12 minimum.
Through original songs and stand-up, Cohen explores life as an immortal millennial. Winner of the Best Newcomer Award at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Cohen has “Carol Kane-level charisma and enough between-song banter to make Carol Burnett blush,” says Time Out New York. — Saturday, March 6, 9:30 p.m., Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. at Astor Place, publictheater.org.
CITY/GAME: BASKETBALL IN NEW YORK
Like bagels and yellow cabs, basketball is woven tightly into the city’s fabric. This show traces the game’s impact on the city — from the early days (when the “city game” was Jewish) to Kareem and Clyde Frazier and beyond. — Through Jan. 3, 2021, Museum of the City of New York, Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, mcny.org.
ABOUT AN ARABESQUE
The first New York solo exhibition by visual artist and choreographer Jonah Bokaer, whose acclaimed 2014 multimedia exhibit “October 7, 1944” took on an inmate rebellion at Auschwitz. Here, Bokaer’s work explores individuals, particularly men in the Middle East, who are often depicted as ruthless, tough and belligerent. — Through March 8, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Signs and Symbols, 102 Forsyth St., signsandsymbols.art.
BILL GRAHAM AND THE ROCK & ROLL REVOLUTION
The life and times of Bill Graham, who came to America as a German-Jewish refugee at the age of 11 and as an adult transformed the American rock scene, opening the Fillmore East in 1968 and working with the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and many others. — Through Aug. 23, New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, 170 Central Park West at 77th St., nyhistory.org.
Dora Kallmus (1881-1963), better known as Madame d’Ora, was one of the leading photographic portraitists of the early 20th century. Her subjects included cultural figures like Colette, Josephine Baker, Gustav Klimt, Tamara de Lempicka and Pablo Picasso as well as German and Viennese aristocrats, the Rothschild family, prominent politicians and post-war displaced persons. The largest U.S. museum retrospective of her work to date will present the different periods of d’Ora’s life, from her upbringing as the daughter of Jewish intellectuals in Vienna to her days as a premier society photographer, her survival of the Holocaust and her work in newly liberated Europe. — Through June 8, Neue Galerie New York, 1048 Fifth Ave. at 86th St., neuegalerie.org.
ADI NES — TESTAMENTS
Adi Nes is one of the most influential photographers in Israel. He creates meticulously crafted, staged images that are autobiographical and attest to the multilayered complexities of Israeli identity and living in a country in conflict. Sexual tension is ever-present in his work, as he delves into complex explorations of homoeroticism. — Through March 1, Fotografiska New York, 281 Park Ave. So. at 22nd St., fotografiska.com.
RACHEL FEINSTEIN: MAIDEN, MOTHER, CRONE
The sculptor, who grew up in Miami, creates fantastical and often highly sexualized pieces that probe notions of “the feminine” in pop culture. This show marks the first survey of her work in the U.S. — Through March 1, The Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, thejewishmuseum.org.
IMPRESSIONS OF EASTERN EUROPE
Subtitled “Prints from the Permanent Collection,” this show features lithographs, etchings, engravings and woodcuts by 16 artists working in the early to mid-20th century. It includes the work of Isidor Kaufmann, Max Weber, Rahel Szalit-Marcus and Ilya Schor. — Through May 10, Derfner Judaica Museum + Art Collection at the Hebrew Home in Riverdale, 5901 Palisades Ave., Riverdale, email@example.com, RiverSpringHealth.org/art.
“Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away.” The large-scale show explores the history of the death camp and its role in the Holocaust. Extended through Aug. 30, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, mjhnyc.org.
“Relative Relations.” Seventy artists explore human connections shaped by genetics, proximity, interests and shared destiny. Through June 30, Dr. Bernard Heller Museum at HUC-JIR, 1 W. Fourth St., huc.edu.
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