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Agenda: The Dead Sea Scrolls in Times Square, Legado screens in Chicago, Arab-Israeli culture in London, Joan Rivers in Fort Worth, and more

Stephanie Butnick
October 28, 2011

Agenda is Tablet Magazine’s weekly listing of upcoming cultural events.

East: The Dead Sea Scrolls debut in Times Square, that epicenter of ancient culture, joining C.S.I: The Experience as an exhibit at Discovery Times Square (through Apr. 15, 2012, $25). Edward Sorel’s Masters Series at the School of Visual Arts is nearing the end of its run; be sure to catch the political satirist’s unmatchable take on the 10 Commandments before next weekend (through Nov. 5, free). Roy Lichtenstein’s Entablatures series is on view at the Paula Cooper Gallery (through Nov. 12, free). German-born photographer Julian Voloj opens his exhibit featuring images of local, urban Jewish life on Sunday at the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (through Dec. 30, free). Voloj is offering a tour of the exhibit on Sunday (Oct. 30, 1:30 p.m., free).

Jane Trigère’s installation, “Women of the Balcony,” which pays tribute to the women of a now-closed upper Manhattan synagogue by creating works with the materials Trigère found abandoned there, opens Sunday at the Derfner Judaica Museum, with a reception to follow (Oct. 30 through Feb. 5, 2012, 3 p.m., free). The Brooklyn Museum today unveils Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, featuring 140 works, including pieces by Edward Hopper, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston (through Jan 29, 2012, $10 suggested donation).

Jesse Eisenberg’s new play, Ascuncion, (which he wrote) begins its run at the Cherry Lane Theater in the West Village, featuring a cast that includes him and Justin Bartha, of The Hangover and The Hangover 2 (through Nov. 27, 8 p.m. weekdays plus weekend matinees, $76). David Hyde Pierce’s theatrical directorial vehicle, It Shoulda Been You–which boasts an ever-original description that begins, “The bride is Jewish. The groom is Catholic”–is in its final few weeks at the George Street Theater in New Jersey (through Nov. 6, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., prices vary). A play called Guts—about playwright Liat Ron’s Israeli-American alter-ego, Hellthy—begins Wednesday at P.S. 122 in New York City and features Middle Eastern dance and what Ron herself calls a “multi-media fantasia” (through Nov. 20, 8 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, $20).

On Sunday, Tony Kushner hosts a benefit concert at Joe’s Pub for the Jenin Freedom Theater, whose director, Juliano Mer-Khamis, was murdered in April in the West Bank (Oct. 30, 7 p.m., $100). Violin and oud virtuouso Simon Shaheen brings together international musicians on Friday for “Songs for the People: Voices of the Arab Renaissance,” a program featuring music from the 1950s and ’60s (Oct. 29, 8 p.m. $30). The much-acclaimed, Jerusalem-based Vertigo Dance Company performs Saturday and Sunday as part of the Fall for Dance festival (Oct. 29 and 30, 8 p.m., $10). If Russia’s more your thing, head to the Performa Hub in Cooper Square for 33 Fragments of Russian Performance, an archival exhibit of photographs and videos of, well, Russian performance in the 20th and 21st century (reception Nov. 2, 5 p.m., free; exhibit on view through Nov. 23). Hungarian pianist András Schiff, fresh off his run with the Budapest Festival Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, where he is a Perspectives artist, presents a program of Bach, Bartok, and Beethoven on Monday (Oct. 31, 8 p.m., $18-$98).

Jeffrey Eugenides takes on Washington with a Monday visit to the Sixth and I Synagogue (hosted by the bookstore Politics and Prose) to discuss his latest book, The Marriage Plot (Oct. 31, 7 p.m., $12 in advance). The Boston Jewish Film Festival is under way, with daily screenings through Nov. 13. Don’t miss Jonathan Lee’s soulful documentary, Paul Goodman Changed My Life (Nov. 3, 6 p.m., $12). For the more sartorially (and historically) inclined, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston presents Beauty as Duty, an exhibit on textiles in Britain during World War II (through May 28, 2012, museum hours, $22). In Baltimore, the ambitious exhibit “Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture, and American Identity” is on view at the Jewish Museum of Maryland (through Sep. 30, 2012, $8).

Legado, a Yiddish- and Spanish-language film (with English subtitles) about the Jews who fled Czarist Russia for Buenos Aires, Argentina, screens Sunday at Spertus, a Jewish educational center in Chicago (Oct. 30, 2 p.m., $18). Prints from German architect Jurgen Mayer H.’s indecipherable collection of encrypted envelope linings, Wirrwarr (German for “chaos”), are on display at The Art Institute of Chicago (through Jan 22, 2012, $18). And, if you’re in the windy city tonight, celebrate Chicago being named the most mustache-friendly city of 2011 by the American Mustache Institute at ’Stash Bash, an event benefitting prostate cancer research (Oct. 28, 8 p.m., $25 in advance). In New Haven, Yale University celebrates Czeslaw Milosz’s upcoming centennial birthday next weekend with Milosz in America, a two-day conference on the Polish poet (Nov. 4, 1 p.m. to Nov. 5, 9 p.m., free with registration).

West: The inimitable Joan Rivers takes the stage Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas, to remind everyone that notwithstanding her reality television career and QVC sideshow, she’s a comedian first (Nov. 2, 7 p.m., $158). In San Francisco, an exhibit of architect Stanley Saitowitz’s contemporary, design-infused take on Judaica (see orb-like etrog box) opens at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (through Oct. 16, 2012, $12). Musicians Sharon Bernstein and Carolyn Reisner perform the hits of Tin Pan Alley to celebrate the opening of “A Fine Romance,” an exhibit based on the Nextbook Press book of the same name, at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco(Nov. 3 through Dec. 22, 7 p.m., free).

Abroad: In Canada, Nextbook Press author and Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt headlines opening night of the 31st annual Holocaust Education Week at Toronto’s Holocaust Education Center (Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m., free). Toronto also launches the third volume of Living Legacies, a collection of non-fiction writing by Canadian Jewish women, with readings and a reception at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (Oct. 30, 10:30 a.m., free). Berlin’s Jewish Museum winds down a week of celebrations for its 10th anniversary with a “distorted klezmer” concert Saturday featuring Detroit-based musician Daniel Kahn (Oct. 29, 8 p.m., $10). In London, the Jewish Community Center kicks off a new season of their Arab-Israeli Book Review series with what promises to be an engaging discussion by writers Ariel Kahn and Samir El-Youssef (Nov. 1, 8 p.m., $10). In Tel Aviv, to tide you over until Liza Minnelli arrives next month, check out the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, which opens a new season with a performance Wednesday (Nov. 2, 8 p.m., $38).

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.