Agenda: I.B. Singer, Stephen Sondheim, Tony Kushner, and Gilad Shalit-inspired monologues in New York, Joan Rivers in California, and more

By Stephanie Butnick|January 13, 2012 7:00 AM

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 [1] performances by the Israel-based Nephesh Theater [2] (Through Jan. 29, showtimes [1], $18 [3]). Also premiering [4] 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 [5]). A highlight of the ongoing [6] Times Square International Theater Festival is self-described Isramerican [7] Sivan Hadari’s ensemble piece [8] 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 [8]).

Stephen Sondheim and Tony Kushner meet again at NYU’s Skirball Center, discussing [9] Sondheim’s new lyric anthology [10] to a sold-out crowd (Jan. 17, 8 p.m., check back [9] for ticket availability). On Tuesday, the 92Y kicks off programming centered around its new exhibit [11] on the culture of Terezin with a performance [12] by chamber group Nash Ensemble and Wolfgang Holzmair (Jan. 17, 8 p.m., from $38 [13]).

Frank London joins Tablet contributor [15] Jake Marmer to celebrate [16] the release of Marmer’s new book, Jazz Talmud [17], with a concert at the Sixth Street Community Synagogue in New York’s East Village (Jan 19, 8 p.m., $10 [16]).

Elsewhere: Further south, the North Carolina Art Museum’s exhibit [18], 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 [19] Jan. 22, $18 [20]). In Seattle, Shirley Lauro’s play [21] 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 [21], $34.50 [22]).

Judy Gold brings her brash comic act to the West Coast, performing [23] Saturday at San Diego’s Jewish Community Center (Jan. 14, 8 p.m., $27). Also performing [24] in Cali that night, north of San Francisco, is Joan Rivers, so choose wisely (Jan. 14, 8 p.m., from $30 [25]). Finally, this week’s best-named event takes place Saturday morning in Los Angeles, when Charles Perry discusses [26] “A Thousand and One Fritters: Food in the Arabian Nights”–specifically, what all the food mentioned in Tales From the Thousand and One Nights [27] actually was (Dec. 14, 10:30 a.m., free [26]). [28]

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