WE FIGHT TO BUILD A FREE WORLD: AN EXHIBITION BY JONATHAN HOROWITZ
The great Jewish artist Ben Shahn, for whom art was a blunt object, once said, “The tendency of art is to lift the [public’s] level of perceptivity, to increase and enrich the average individual’s store of values.” In his social realist vision, that “store of values” meant standing up for the little guy and fighting injustice. Shahn is one of the artists featured in the upcoming “We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz.” Horowitz, himself an artist, has tapped such painters as Shahn, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Max Weber and others for a show that probes their responses to social injustice from the early 20th century to today. They take on anti-Semitism, xenophobia, immigration and cultural identity. Horowitz’s own painting, “Power,” which consists of a line of clenched fists of differing shades — from yellow to white to brown to black — speaks powerfully to the show’s concerns. The exhibition is perfectly timed to an election year when issues of injustice and inequality are being debated with such force. — Opens Friday, March 20 (through Aug. 2), The Jewish Museum, 92nd Street and Fifth Avenue, thejewishmuseum.org.
ONCE WERE BROTHERS
The Band’s lead guitarist Robbie Robertson wrote biblical parables (“The Weight”), Civil War elegies (“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”) and down-home love songs (“Up on Cripple Creek”). At the height of the psychedelic era, where did these rootsy, story-rich songs come from? Jewish-Canadian filmmaker Daniel Roher’s documentary about the pioneering ’60s rock group suggests an answer. Robertson’s mother was Mohawk, his biological father a Jewish gambler named Alexander Klegerman. When his father’s brothers, Natie and Morrie Klegerman, learned that the teenager wanted to be a rock musician, they said, “You don’t want to be in furs and diamonds?” But that side of the family, Robertson said, “understand vision. They understand ambition.” Through them, he says, “I’m understanding what’s been stirring inside of me. They said, ‘Oh, you mean show business!’” The music that Robertson and Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson made is nothing if not visionary — a soulful, mystical ride through America. — Through Thursday, March 19, IFC Film Center, 323 Sixth Ave., ifccenter.com.
The Best New Play at London’s 2019 Olivier Awards ends its celebrated run on Broadway. In the two-part, seven-hour production set in 2016 on the eve of the Trump election, Eric Glass, a 30-something gay grandson of Holocaust survivors, his partner Toby and their peers grapple with generational misunderstandings of the AIDS epidemic and the Shoah, which happened one and two generations ago but which remain their legacies. — Through March 15, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., theinterhitanceplay.com.
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
From London’s West End, Roundabout Theatre Company’s new production of Tony Kushner (“Angels in America”) and Jeanine Tesori’s (“Fun Home”) musical reaches “the titanic dimensions of greatness” (Ben Brantley, The New York Times). In an Olivier Award-winning performance, Sharon D. Clarke stars as a black housekeeper working for a Jewish family in 1963 Louisiana. — Friday, March 13-June 28), Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St., roundabouttheatre.org. From $59.
THE VAGRANT TRILOGY
A New York premiere commissioned by the Public Theatre, Mona Mansour’s play explores the Palestinian struggle for home and identity. The epic tale of three generations of a family over four decades — told in three parts with six actors in 19 roles, directed by Mark Wing Davey — begins in 1967, when a Palestinian literary scholar is in London when war breaks out. The next two parts feature alternate realities, based on the man’s decisions. — Tuesday, March 17-April 26, LuEsther Hall, The Public Theatre, 425 Lafayette St. publictheater.org. From $60.
Capitalism giveth and capitalism taketh away: That may be the takeaway from the much-heralded “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, which bankrupted the once-powerful bank. Starring the great British actors Simon Russell Beale, Ben Miles and Adam Godfrey from the Armory run. — Through June 28, Nederlander Theater, 208 W. 41st St., thelehmantrilogy.com.
At the crossroads of musical theater, opera and oratorio, this Off-Broadway production returns following a sold out premiere run last September. It tells the story of Anne Frank’s life through the lyrics and music of Sephardi composer Jean Pierre-Hadida. — Friday, March 13-May 7, The Actors’ Temple, 339 W. 47th St., telecharge.com. $32-$38.
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.
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. — Through March 29, New York City Center, Stage 1, 131 W. 55th St., nycitycenter.org. $99-$109.
HEIMAT IS A
SPACE IN TIME
German filmmaker Thomas Heise shares the stories of three generations of his family, in their own words. One sequence involves his grandparents, a “mixed” Jewish-gentile couple living in Vienna during the Nazi era. Their letters capture the increasing measures taken against Jews: finding themselves banished from buses, losing access to coal ration cards, and ultimately undergoing forced removal to a concentration camp in Poland. As Heise recites the letters, documents listing the names of Jews slated for deportation scroll by on the screen for nearly half an hour. “Overarching insights into a German century and what it portends for the future” (Variety). — Friday, March 13-March 19, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave., anthologyfilmarchives.org.
As far as Palestinians are concerned, she’s more than an attorney, she’s an advocate. As far as most Israelis are concerned, she defends the indefensible. This documentary film follows Lea Tsemel’s caseload in real-time, including the high-profile trial of a 13-year-old boy — her youngest client to date — while also revisiting her landmark cases and reflecting on the political and professional significance of her work. — Monday, March 16, 7 p.m., DCTV, 87 Lafayette St., dctvny.org. $12.
Jesse Eisenberg stars as world-famous mime and aspiring Jewish actor Marcel Marceau, who joins the French Resistance to save thousands of orphaned children from the Nazis. Following the screening, Eisenberg will appear for a Q&A. — Tuesday, March 17, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., jccmanhattan.org. $15.
Philip Roth’s novel of the same name is the basis for this six-part series starring Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan and John Turturro. In Roth’s reimagining of history, a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey watches the political rise of aviator-hero and xenophobic populist Charles Lindbergh as he becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism. — Beginning Monday, March 16, 9 p.m., HBO, hbo.com.
NESHAMA CARLEBACH IN CONCERT
A superstar of major Jewish music festivals and one world’s of the best-selling Jewish recording artists, the singer-songwriter performs here with her pianist. As the first then-Orthodox woman of her generation to perform for a mixed-gender audience, Carlebach’s work sparks public conversations about the place of women in Judaism and today’s world. Her music incorporates classic Hebrew folk songs, contemporary pop music, jazz and gospel. — Sunday, March 15, 8 p.m., Art House Astoria Conservatory for Music and Art @ Astoria First Presbyterian Church, 23-35 Broadway, Astoria, Queens, arthouseastoria.org. Free.
NOA’S GREATEST HITS AND 30TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT!
Israeli singer-songwriter Achinoam Nini (Noa) has long mesmerized audiences with her voice and her passion. Now she’ll appear with her collaborator Gil Dor and bassist Or Lubianiker for a special concert of her greatest hits and songs from her new album produced by Quincy Jones. “Letters to Bach” features uniquely modern interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach concertos and cantatas. — Wednesday, March 18, 7 p.m., The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., emanuelnyc.org. $36, $99 included post-reception with the artists.
In this acclaimed Jewish choir, hundreds of teenagers from across the nation and Israel combine their voices in song. — Sunday, March 22, 3 p.m., David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, 64th Street and Broadway, hazamir.org.
ISRAELI LEADERSHIP THEN AND NOW
Veteran Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiators Ambassador Dennis Ross and David Makovsky will join Rabbi Peter J. Rubenstein, 92Y’s director of Jewish community, to talk about the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan and the upcoming Israeli election. In their book “Be Strong and of Good Courage,” Ross and Makovsky examine Israeli leaders who faced hard choices, and how those choices continue to resonate today. — Thursday, March 12, 7 p.m., The 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92Y.org. $35.
FROM KRAKOW TO KRYPTON: JEWS, JUSTICE AND COMIC BOOKS
Arie Kaplan’s multimedia presentation will demonstrate the importance of progressive Jewish values in shaping the Golden Age of Comics — think Superman, Spiderman, the X-Men and Batman — and the gritty alt-comic scene of the ’70s and ’80s. He will be joined by Michael Kaminer for a post-lecture talk back celebrating comic and graphic novel milestones. Program participants will have the opportunity to mingle over spiked superhero punch and nostalgic deli bites. — Thursday, March 19, 6:30 p.m., The Workers Circle, 247 W. 37th St., 5th Floor, circle.org. $18.
WE FIGHT TO BUILD A FREE WORLD: AN EXHIBITION BY JONATHAN HOROWITZ
This exhibition, organized by artist Jonathan Horowitz, explores artists’ responses to social injustice from the early 20th century to now, featuring works by Horowitz as well as Huma Bhabha, Robert Colescott, Adrian Piper, Ben Shahn, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Max Weber and others. — Opens Friday, March 20 (through Aug. 2), The Jewish Museum, 92nd Street and Fifth Avenue, thejewishmuseum.org. (See The Buzz.)
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.
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 presents 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.
IMPRESSIONS OF EASTERN EUROPE: PRINTS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION
This new show at the Derfner Judaica Museum features lithographs, etchings, engravings and woodcuts by 16 artists working in the early to mid-20th century. At a time of rapid change, as Jews were pulled out of traditional lifestyle, their genre scenes and folktale illustrations harken nostalgically back to an earlier era. The show 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.
REFUGE IN THE HEIGHTS: THE GERMAN JEWS OF WASHINGTON HEIGHTS
A portrait of the community of German-Jewish refugees in Washington Heights. — Through July 31, Leo Baeck Institute, 15 W. 16th St., lbi.org.
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