Agenda: I.B. Singer, Stephen Sondheim, Tony Kushner, and Gilad Shalit-inspired monologues in New York, Joan Rivers in California, and more
Agenda is Tablet Magazine’s weekly listing of upcoming cultural events.
New York: Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Gimpel the Fool and S.Y. Agnon’s The Lady and the Peddler get double billing starting Thursday, when La MaMa theater group debuts performances by the Israel-based Nephesh Theater (Through Jan. 29, showtimes, $18). Also premiering Thursday is Lazarre Seymour Simckes’ latest play Open Rehearsal, which tells the tale of a Jewish family clamoring for the spotlight—literally, since the play takes place as though it were what the title says (through Feb. 5, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m., $12). A highlight of the ongoing Times Square International Theater Festival is self-described Isramerican Sivan Hadari’s ensemble piece 1,934 Days, which features 10 actors of different nationalities reading monologues inspired by soldier Gilad Shalit’s return to Israel—and a Gavin Degraw song (Jan. 18 and Jan 21, 10 p.m.; Jan. 22, 6 p.m., $18).
Stephen Sondheim and Tony Kushner meet again at NYU’s Skirball Center, discussing Sondheim’s new lyric anthology to a sold-out crowd (Jan. 17, 8 p.m., check back for ticket availability). On Tuesday, the 92Y kicks off programming centered around its new exhibit on the culture of Terezin with a performance by chamber group Nash Ensemble and Wolfgang Holzmair (Jan. 17, 8 p.m., from $38).
Frank London joins Tablet contributor Jake Marmer to celebrate the release of Marmer’s new book, Jazz Talmud, with a concert at the Sixth Street Community Synagogue in New York’s East Village (Jan 19, 8 p.m., $10).
Elsewhere: Further south, the North Carolina Art Museum’s exhibit, Rembrandt in America (the show’s only East Coast venue) is in its final weeks, so mosey down to Raleigh as soon as you can (through Jan. 22, $18). In Seattle, Shirley Lauro’s play All Through the Night begins its three-week run. The play tells the stories of four young German women–Ludmilla, Gretchen, Angelika, and Friederike–growing up under Nazism (Through Feb. 12, showtimes, $34.50).
Judy Gold brings her brash comic act to the West Coast, performing Saturday at San Diego’s Jewish Community Center (Jan. 14, 8 p.m., $27). Also performing in Cali that night, north of San Francisco, is Joan Rivers, so choose wisely (Jan. 14, 8 p.m., from $30). Finally, this week’s best-named event takes place Saturday morning in Los Angeles, when Charles Perry discusses “A Thousand and One Fritters: Food in the Arabian Nights”–specifically, what all the food mentioned in Tales From the Thousand and One Nights actually was (Dec. 14, 10:30 a.m., free).
The upper-crust Edwardians of Downton Abbey, now back on PBS, are as bound by tradition as the shtetl Jews of Fiddler on the Roof