What’s Going On In NYC This Week (Dec 6 – 15)
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What’s Going On In NYC This Week (Dec 6 – 15)

'The Yuval Cohen Sextet,' André Aciman, Adam Sandler, Andy Statman, The Colmar Treasure... Your guide to Jewish-y arts and culture in New York City!

Daniella Rabbani with 12th Night Klezmer at Birdland. Birdlandjazz.com
Daniella Rabbani with 12th Night Klezmer at Birdland. Birdlandjazz.com

CHANUKAH AT BIRDLAND

If jazz grew out of the blues, maybe it’s not such a stretch that klezmer — something of a Jewish blues — will get a stage at one of the city’s top jazz clubs for a Chanukah show. MusicTalks host, the cellist Elad Kabilio, joins 12th Night Klezmer and singer-actress Daniella Rabbani to get a jump on Chanukah. Michael Einav, who was part of the original “Fiddler” in Yiddish cast, is a special guest. Expect some interactive conversation, some bulgars and, of course, some krekhts, the klezmer blue notes that give the music its poignant cry. — Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m., Birdland Theater, 315 W. 44th St., birdlandjazz.com. $30/$40 cover, $10 food/drink.

UNCUT GEMS

It’s a long way from the nerdy/hip “Put on your yarmulke / It’s time for Chanukah” to the wired jeweler-gambler Howie Ratner in Adam Sandler’s newest vehicle, which is set in New York’s diamond district, “Uncut Gems.” The film, from Josh and Benny Safdie (“Daddy Longlegs,” “Good Time”), is a fast-paced crime thriller with a sports-book vibe that includes former NBA star Kevin Garnett and WFAN sports talk show guru Mike Francesa. In an effort to score big, Howie, sporting a goatee, stylish wire-rim glasses and a diamond-stud earring, makes a bet that puts everything — his family included — on the line. — Opens Dec. 13. In wide release.

NEAR TO THE WILD HEART

Clarice Lispector’s novel comes to the stage. Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps being born “in flight” while your family is fleeing pogroms in Ukraine could leave a child with a novelistic turn of mind. Clarice Lispector and her family ended up in Brazil, where she became a modernist novelist and short story writer whose style, in a nod to Joyce and Faulkner, is in the stream-of-consciousness realm. Though her work didn’t touch specifically on Jewish themes, elements of her style have been attributed to the Jewish mysticism she learned from her father. Now, the New Stage Theatre Company is staging her woman’s inner monologue of a novel, “Near to the Wild Heart.” Directed by Ildiko Nemeth and starring Sarah Lemp as the novel’s heroine, Joana. — Dec. 5-7, 12-14, 19-21 (and Jan. 16-18), New Stage Performance Space, 36 W. 106th St., newstagetheatre.org.

Theater
Opening:

THE SORCERESS

Stephanie Lynne Mason and Mikhl Yashinsky in “The Sorceress.” Victor Nechay/Properpix.com

When the Folksbiene revived Avrom Goldfaden’s operetta “The Sorceress” for the first time in 80 years in 2017, the Yiddish theater’s associate artistic director, Motl Didner, told us that the fairy tale-like play from the early 1880s goes into “some dark places.” It had Goldfaden reaching back to Romanian folklore and has the plot-propelling disappearance of a young girl. The inaugural presentation of the Folksbiene’s Global Restoration Initiative. — Opens Dec. 8 (through Dec. 29), Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl., nytf.org.

IN BLUE

Ran Xia’s new play explores the personal and professional relationship between Jewish poet and novelist Else Lasker-Schuler, who fled the Nazis and lived the rest of her life in Jerusalem, and the German Expressionist Franz Marc, a founding member of the influential Der Blaue Reiter circle of painters. The play chronicles Lasker-Schuler’s search for one of Marc’s lost paintings. At least one of them was found in the infamous looted art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt in 2012. Opens this week, through Dec. 15, The Tank, 312 W. 36th St., thetanknyc.org.

Newly opened:

THE LAST TREE IN JERUSALEM/A PAGE OF TALMUD

Riven by internal strife, ecological disaster and interference from foreign powers, can society survive? Set nearly two millennia ago but still resonant today, acclaimed Israeli playwright Dani Horowitz’s interrelated plays “Last Tree in Jerusalem” (world premiere translation) and “A Page of Talmud” tell the seminal Talmudic stories “Kamtza and Bar Kamtza” and “The Oven of Achnai.” These timely Jewish stories examine the cost of humiliation and explore the notion of resistance. A production of 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company. — Through Dec. 15, TheaterLab, 357 W. 36th St., 3rd floor, twentyfoursix.weebly.com.

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE THEATER

With a grandfather who was a chazzan, perhaps it was inevitable that Maury Yeston was destined to be a musician. The Tony-winning composer-lyricist’s career led from Jersey City to Yale to Broadway. This new work, subtitled “The Musical World of Maury Yeston,” features a cast of singers and Yeston’s tunes from “Nine: The Musical,” “Grand Hotel,” “Titanic: A New Musical” and more. — Through Dec. 29, York Theatre Company at St. Peter’s, 619 Lexington Ave. (54th Street), (212) 935-5820, yorktheatre.org.

FIRES IN THE MIRROR

Anna Deavere Smith’s tour de force one-woman show from 1992 exploring the violence in Crown Heights a year earlier (she played 19 different roles from the black and Jewish communities) gets a revival. This time it stars Michael Benjamin Washington; directed by Saheem Ali. — Through Dec. 15, Pershing Square Signature Theater, 480 W. 42nd St., signaturetheatre.org.

Long runs:

“Fiddler on the Roof” (A Fidler Afn Dakh) in Yiddish. Directed by Joel Grey. Stage 42, 422 W. 42nd St., broadway.com. Closing Jan. 5.

Film
SYNONYMS

Tom Mercier in a scene from Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms”. Courtesy of Kino Lorber

Nadav Lapid’s edgy, autobiographical work about an Israeli who flees his homeland for Paris in an attempt to scrub his identity. A picture of alienation, he walks the streets practicing his French vocabulary. — Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., quadcinema.com.

JOJO RABBIT

A lot of children have imaginary friends. But a slapstick Adolf Hitler? That’s the set-up of Taika Waititi’s dark comedy. Jojo’s in the Hitler Youth, but a secret undoes him: His single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. — In wide release.

Music

STATE OF THE JEWS

Mario Diaz-Moreso as Theodor Herzl and Augusta Caso as his wife Julie in a workshop performance of “State of the Jews.” Courtesy of Alex Weiser

This semi-staged preview of a new opera in two acts about Theodore Herzl mixes the political (the establishment of a Jewish state) and the personal (his relationship with his wife). A LABA/2nd Stage production. — Thursday, Dec. 5-Saturday Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m., 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St., 14streety.org. (Read our report on the show here.)

PRE-CHANUKAH SMACKDOWN

The klez-rockers Golem, the Jewish AfroBeat ensemble Zion80 and the Yiddish-Punjabi klezmer-bhangra fusion band Sharabi give Chanukah a rocking, world music kickoff. — Thursday, Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m., Drom, 85 Ave. A, dromnyc.com. $20.

ANDY STATMAN: 20 YEARS ON CHARLES STREET

Statman, one of the early neo-klezmer pioneers, fuses Jewish music and free jazz and taps a deep vein of Americana with his bluegrass playing. In this gig, he’s marking 20 years of performances at the Charles Street Synagogue in the Village with his longtime trio, Jim Whitney on bass and Larry Eagle on drums. And he’s always reaching for musical ecstasy. “Sweet Betsy From Chelm,” anyone? — Sunday, Dec. 8, 3 p.m., Charles Street Synagogue, 53 Charles St.,
andystatman.org  Free.

ISRAEL JAZZ CELEBRATION: YUVAL COHEN SEXTET

 

The soprano saxophonist (and brother of clarinetist Anat and trumpeter Avishai, together The Three Cohens) leads a group that includes cellist Maya Belsitsman. The performance features the 10-part “KadishZuger Suite,” a chamber jazz work that mixes Western Romanticism with Israeli music. — Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Dizzy’s Club, Columbus Circle, Broadway at 60th Street, fifth floor, jazz.org.

LORIN KLAMBERG AND POLINA SHEPHERD

Next up in the N.Y. Klezmer series is Klezmatics lead singer and accordionist Lorin Sklamberg teaming with Siberian-born British vocalist and pianist Polina Shepherd. A musical journey bridging the Russian steppes and the shtetl. — Thursday, Dec. 12, 8:30 p.m., Town & Village Synagogue, 334 E. 14th St., nyklezmer.com.

SIMPLY BARBRA: A CHRISTMAS SHOW

Steven Brinberg is back as Babs in a show that celebrates Christmas and Chanukah. It’s the homage of all homages to The Voice. — Wednesday, Dec. 11, 7p.m., The Green Room 42, 570 Tenth Ave. at 42nd Street (fourth floor of Yotel), 8 p.m., thegreenroom42.com.

Talk

ANDRE ACIMAN

André Aciman | Getty Images.

In his new novel, “Find Me,” the lyrical writer returns to characters introduced in his celebrated “Call Me By Your Name.” In that book, a 17-year-old and his father’s graduate student bond, in part, over their shared Jewish faith. “Find Me” picks up the relationship decades? later. Aciman will be in conversation with Parul Seghal. — Monday, Dec. 9, 8 p.m., 92nd Street Y (Kaufman Concert Hall), 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org. $22.

Exhibitions
Newly opened:

EDITH HALPERT AND THE RISE OF AMERICAN ART

Halpert (1900-1970), a Jewish immigrant, is considered the first significant female gallerist in the country. She championed American art at a time when the European avant-garde was in ascendance, and her Downtown Gallery in Greenwich Village promoted the work of modernists like Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keefe and Ben Shahn. — Through Feb. 9, The Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, thejewishmuseum.org.

RACHEL FEINSTEIN: MAIDEN, MOTHER, CRONE

The sculptor, who grew up in Miami, creates fantastical and highly sexualized wooden 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.

Long runs:

“Russ & Daughters, An Appetizing Story.” A history of the iconic smoked fish shop. Through Jan. 31, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., http://www.ajhs.org/RussandDaughtersExhibition.

“Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away.” The large-scale show explores the history of the death camp and its role in the Holocaust. Through Jan. 3, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, mjhnyc.org.

Made in the Italian Peninsula?, ca. 1300–before 1349. Gold, enamel. This wedding ring is the most technically accomplished example of goldsmith’s work in the Colmar Treasure. Its miniature dome and supporting arches mimic the imagined form of the lost Temple in Jerusalem, metaphorically connecting that site to the newlyweds’ home. Musée de Cluny – Musée National du Moyen Âge, Paris/The Colmar Treasure/Met Cloisters, New York via TOI

“The Colmar Treasure: A Medieval Jewish Legacy.” Discovered in 1863, a cache of jeweled rings, brooches and coins hidden in the 14th century by a Jewish family fearing for its life is on view. Through Jan. 12, Met Cloisters, 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon, metmuseum.org.

“Relative Relations.” Seventy artists explore human connections shaped by genetics, proximity, interests and shared destiny. Through June 30, 2020, Dr. Bernard Heller Museum at HUC-JIR, One W. Fourth St., Manhattan, huc.edu.

“Mark Twain and the Holy Land.” This show marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of the great humorist’s 1869 travelogue, “New Pilgrims’ Progress” (or “The Innocents Abroad”). Through Feb. 2, New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (77th Street), nyhistory.org.

“J.D. Salinger.” Did the iconic writer’s own conflicted Jewish identity inspire the teenage angst behind “The Catcher in the Rye”? This show offers a rare glimpse into Salinger’s life and work. — Through Jan. 19, NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, nypl.org.

To publish events, submit them to jewishweekcalendar@gmail.com two weeks or more in advance. We cannot guarantee inclusion due to space limitations. Since scheduling changes may occur, we recommend contacting the venue before heading out .

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