Editor’s Note: The Buzz thrives on live performances in packed venues: the Village Vanguard’s iconic basement, the history-laden Buttenwieser Hall at the 92nd Street Y, the intimate Off-Broadway stage. But while the coronavirus has cut us off from our live arts fix, Jewish culture is moving, for the time being, anyway, to the small screen — TV and livestreaming. Barbès, the Park Slope club that has been a home away from home for Israeli jazz players (and Andy Statman!), says, “Stay tuned for future announcements and possible livestreams” (barbesbrooklyn.com); the venerable 92Y is livestreaming many of its world-class performances (classical pianist Jonathan Biss plays Beethoven sonatas on Thursday, March 26, 7:30 p.m. at 92y.org/archives; and take an audio tour of The Jewish Museum at https://tours.thejewishmuseum.org. Stay safe and see you at the (online) show!
THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
Sixteen years ago, Philip Roth stared into a blank page — and saw Donald Trump. “The Plot Against America” 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 a six-part HBO miniseries that premiered Monday. 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.” The series stars 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 the aviator-hero and xenophobic populist as he becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism. — Episode 1 airs through April 18 on HBO; Episode 2 premieres on Monday, March 23, 9 p.m., and airs through April 18 on HBO (hbo.com).
The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene just launched this platform, billed as an “online celebration of Yiddish culture featuring livestreamed theater, American Jewish performers, workshops and other events — including a talkback with the cast of the award-winning ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ in Yiddish — to entertain audiences young and old.” Says the Folksbiene’s artistic director, Zalmen Mlotek, “We recognize that in times such as these, as people are socially distancing themselves, arts and culture can serve as a tonic.” To which we say, Amen! — https://www.facebook.com/folksbiene.
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. — Through June 28, Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St., roundabouttheatre.org. From $59. Performances suspended through April 12.
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. — Through April 26, LuEsther Hall, The Public Theatre, 425 Lafayette St. publictheater.org. From $60. Performances suspended through April 12.
THE LEHMAN TRILOGY
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. Performances suspended through April 12.
ANNE FRANK, THE MUSICAL
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. — Through May 7, The Actors’ Temple, 339 W. 47th St., telecharge.com. $32-$38. Performances suspended through April 12.
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. All remaining performances cancelled.
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. All remaining performances cancelled.
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. — Opens March 27 at Quad Cinema, 34 W. 14th St., quadcinema.com.
WE FIGHT TO BUILD A FREE WORLD:
AN EXHIBITION BY JONATHAN HOROWITZ
Organized by artist Jonathan Horowitz, this new show 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. 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. The museum will be closed at least until March 27. Meanwhile, visit the museum’s website to explore it from home, on any device.
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. The museum is closed through the end of March.
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. The Center for Jewish History is closed through March 31.
“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. The museum is scheduled to reopen March 29.
“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. The museum is closed until at least April 17.
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