ISRAEL STORY LIVE: THE WALL
The popular Israeli podcast/radio show “Israel Story” — or “Israel’s rip-off of ‘This American Life,’” as Ira Glass jokingly calls it — returns to New York for a broadcast before a live audience. Combining radio-style storytelling with in-the-flesh actors, this installment features stories about a topic that seems to have become a potent symbol of our times: The wall. Interacting with different walls, from the West Bank Barrier to the Wailing Wall, cast members of Israel Story have surprisingly poetic tales to tell about their encounters. All events to be followed by a reception with the cast. — Sunday-Monday, May 19-20, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
FRANK LONDON, DEEP SINGH AND PAUL SHAPIRO’S RIBS & BRISKET REVUE
Three masters of fusion — Frank London, Deep Singh and Paul Shapiro — cook up an elaborate musical gumbo of Indian, Cuban, Latin and Yiddish music and downtown jazz. London, the Grammy-winning trumpeter of the Klezmatics who tills the fertile avant-klez fields, joins forces with Indian percussion virtuoso Deep Singh. Together, they transform Irving Fields’ classic 1959 LP “Bagels & Bongos” into a Yiddish-infused Punjabi bhangra party. London and Singh have collaborated on a number of projects, including “Sharabi,” the world’s first bhangra-funk-klezmer party band. They’ll be followed by the Mickey Katz- and Louis Jordan-influenced Shapiro, who leads the Ribs & Brisket ensemble in a hard swinging and witty set. — Saturday, May 18, 9 p.m., City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork/tickets.
Emerging in the ’70s, Ethiopian jazz — a distinctive mix of the ancient-sounding tones and rhythms of Ethiopian folk music and the language of modern jazz — has become a global curiosity in recent years. And its old-new sound, deeply grooved but somehow otherworldly, has seeped into the Israeli jazz community. From his base in Tel Aviv, Ethiopian-born singer-songwriter Gili Yalo is launching a solo career in a new project that combines the sounds of his Ethiopian roots with soul, funk, psychedelic and jazz, in English, Hebrew and Amharic. — Saturday, May 11, 9:15 p.m., Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., rockwoodmusichall.com.
Made famous by its chorus “Va, pensiero” — or in English, the “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” — Verdi’s opera “Nabucco” retells the story of Jewish exiles in Babylon after the loss of the First Temple in Jerusalem. Building on biblical accounts of the Babylonian exile, “Nabucco” (Nebuchadnezzar) combines political and love intrigues with some of the best-known songs in the history of opera. Hear baritone David Serero star in his own adaptation of the piece. — On various dates through Sunday, June 2. Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
In Jesse Eisenberg’s new comedy, Susan Sarandon stars as Lorraine, a suburban do-gooder trying to save her miserable husband, estranged daughter, dying mother and dying mother’s immigrant caretaker — all while playing the lead role in the local JCC’s production of “South Pacific.” — Through June 16, Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., thenewgroup.org.
ALL MY SONS
Arthur Miller’s searing play about a manufacturer who knowingly supplies shoddy parts for WWII airplanes. Starring Annette Bening and Tracy Letts. — Through June 23, Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre, (212) 719-1300, roundabouttheatre.org.
SHAMEL PITTS – BLACK VELVET
Choreographer and former Batsheva dancer Shamel Pitts, along with dancers Mirelle Martins and Lucca del Carlo, presents “Black Velvet: Architectures and Archetypes.” An audience choice award winner in Stockholm’s Fringe Festival, this piece reflects on blackness — especially regarding black women — in the context of love, compassion and camaraderie. — Through Sunday, May 12, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, bam.org.
Set in 1960s Brooklyn, “Extra Innings” tells the story of a young man caught between pursuing his dream of playing baseball and staying devoted to his Syrian-Jewish family. Based on the true story of writer/director Albert Dabah. — Tuesday, May 14, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
ASK DR. RUTH
This documentary — it’s perfectly natural! — chronicles the life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America’s most famous sex therapist. With her diminutive frame, thick German accent and uninhibited approach to sex therapy and education, Dr. Ruth transformed the conversation around sexuality by hosting multiple radio and television shows throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The film traces the astonishing path of the now 90-year-old diminutive powerhouse —from child Holocaust survivor to Israeli sniper, American immigrant and single mother to Ph.D. graduate and licensed sex therapist, to unlikely media sensation who was unafraid to tackle taboos from AIDS and abortion to penis size and female orgasms. Directed by Ryan White (“The Keepers,” “Serena”). — Friday, May 10, Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., (212) 255-2243, quadcinema.com
MOTHERS DAY BRUNCH WITH METROPOLITAN KLEZMER
City Winery’s 11th Annual Special Mother’s Day Brunch, featuring the crowd-pleasing Metropolitan Klezmer, “one of America’s finest klezmer bands” (Songlines Magazine). Known for their sweeping arrangements and versatile ensemble playing, the quintet blends downtown, classical and world music into a danceable neo-traditional Yiddish repertoire. New York Music Daily called them “Exhilarating … high-voltage … deliciously shape-shifting … with a love for resurrecting obscure treasures from across the decades.” Go ahead, make your imma happy. — Sunday, May 12, 10 a.m. doors, 11 a.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork/tickets. $28, brunch included.
ALON NEAR AND HILEL SALEM
Israeli-American bass player Alon Near and trumpeter Hilel Salem team up for a Smalls’ after-hours session. — Sunday, May 19, 1-4 a.m., Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346, smallslive.com.
SECULAR SACRED MUSIC
This concert features two choral masterworks inspired by the works of Jewish Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko: Morton Feldman’s “Rothko’s Chapel” and David Lang’s “Little March Girl Passion,” both performed by the young artists of the Os Ensemble, led by Raquel Acevedo-Klein. Also on tap: a performance of a new secular sacred work by composer Adam Roberts, commissioned for the occasion. Following the performance there will be a panel discussion on the topic of secular sacred art with composers Lang and Adam Roberts, as well as Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko. — Sunday, May 19, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
BACH TO THE FUTURE
Israeli-American guitarist Talli Roth, a “marvelous classical guitarist,” according to The New York Times, performs a selection of works by Johann Sebastian Bach. Part of the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture’s “Bach To The Future” series. — Sunday, May 12, 3 p.m., St. John’s in the Village, 218 W. 11th St., (212) 243-6192, ffrcc.org.
Historian and author Marc Leepson will present a talk on U.S. Navy Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy and Rep. Jefferson Monroe Levy, the Sephardic saviors of Jefferson’s iconic house in Charlottesville, Va., illuminating the history of one of the most accomplished Jewish-American families (Levy-Phillips-Nunez). — Thursday, May 16, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
LEGACIES OF VIOLENCE
Commemorating the centennial of the 1919 wave of anti-Jewish violence, unleashed by the Russian Civil War, a group of distinguished scholars will discuss the pogroms through the lenses of the specific geopolitical context where the violence erupted, as well as in a comparative framework in relation to anti-black violence. The presenters will also explore the power of literary responses to anti-Jewish violence and reassess the role that pogroms play in Jewish memory and history. — Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
NEW YORK IMMIGRANT FAMILIES
David Taylor and Yukie Ohta discuss the many ways in which immigrant stories unfold across generations. Taylor is the author of “Cork Wars: Intrigue and Industry in World War II,” a new book illuminating American lives and inequalities during World War II, through three generations of immigration; Ohta is the daughter of immigrants and founder of the SoHo Memory Project. — Tuesday, May 14, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
JERUSALEM AND WASHINGTON
As a member of Israel’s Likud Party, an early ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a two-time ambassador to the United States, Zalman Shoval has navigated the complicated relationships among Israel’s various ministers and political parties. Shoval will discuss the historical fluctuations of the Jerusalem-Washington connection with Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein, director of Jewish Community and the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at 92Y. — Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
AMERICA’S GREAT JEWISH IMPRESARIO
Author Mark Cohen reviews the most incredible and contradictory year (1939) in the life of Billy Rose, the shorthand wunderkind who became mid-century New York’s only songwriter/theater producer/World’s Fair impresario/nightclub and theater owner/syndicated columnist/art collector/tough guy and Jewish activist and philanthropist. A book signing follows the event. — Thursday, May 16, noon, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
The most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the history of Auschwitz to date, this groundbreaking presentation brings together more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs, from over 20 institutions and museums around the world, to explore the history of Auschwitz and its role in the Holocaust. — Through Jan. 3, 2020, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
CITY OF WORKERS, CITY OF STRUGGLE: HOW LABOR MOVEMENTS CHANGED NEW YORK
From Samuel Gompers to A. Philip Randolph, this new show traces the social, political and economic story of labor through rare documents, artifacts and footage, and considers the future of labor in the city. Jewish contributions to the movement figure heavily. — Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. (at 103rd St.), mcny.org. Through Jan. 5, 2020.
Kiev native Zoya Cherkassky immigrated to Israel in 1991. Her highly figurative paintings — which are included in the permanent collections of The Jewish Museums of New York, Berlin and Vienna, as well as the Israel Museum in Jerusalem — chronicle a childhood between two cultures. —Through June 15, Fort Gansevoort, 5 Ninth Ave., fortgansevoort.com/upcomingexhibition.
LEONARD COHEN: A CRACK IN EVERYTHING
This show celebrates the singer-songwriter’s powerful legacy through mixed-media works, including a video projection showcasing Cohen’s own drawings and a multimedia gallery where visitors can hear Cohen’s songs covered by other musicians. —Through Sept. 8, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.
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