12 Jewy Things To Do in Au­gust

Forward Magazine - - Contents - By Talya Zax

Wel­come to Au­gust: You’re tired of the heat. A chance to walk ro­man­ti­cally through fall­ing leaves — maybe even while wear­ing a sweater, of all things — is be­gin­ning to sound ap­peal­ing, and you’ve suf­fered too many sun­burns to be coaxed back to the pool. Never fear! With great new tele­vi­sion pre­mieres, mu­sic and the­ater fes­ti­vals ga­lore, and the open­ing of a thrilling new mu­seum ex­hibit or two, you, too, can en­joy the end of your sum­mer. Here are 12 ways to cel­e­brate the month: 1. Sail away with Rodgers & Ham­mer­stein. Lin­coln Cen­ter The­ater’s pro­duc­tion of “The King and I” went all-out, com­plete with sets so en­chant­ing as to be al­most alarm­ing. Res­i­dents of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., who missed the pro­duc­tion’s New York run will have a chance to catch it at the Kennedy Cen­ter, where it will play through Au­gust 20. Then they, like their Man­hat­tan fel­lows, can spend the next year get­ting “Get­ting To Know You” out of their heads.

2. Pay homage to Broad­way’s Prince. Pro­ducer and di­rec­tor Harold Prince has won 21 Tony Awards for shows as iconic as “West Side Story,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Phan­tom of the Opera.” Come Au­gust, se­lec­tions from the 34 works he’s mounted on Broad­way will ap­pear to­gether in “Prince of Broad­way,” a mu­si­cal mak­ing its Amer­i­can pre­miere on the Great White Way. If you’re a sucker for show tunes, this is the ex­trav­a­ganza you’ve been wait­ing for — es­pe­cially as it fea­tures all-new ar­range­ments of the fa­mous songs Prince helped bring to the stage, cour­tesy of Ja­son Robert Brown, him­self a three-time Tony win­ner. 3. Wit­ness an un­usual world pre­miere. The il­lus­tra­tor and writer Maria Kal­man has won hearts for her in­ven­tive ex­am­i­na­tions of sub­jects rang­ing from the fic­tional ca­nine poet named Max Stravin­sky to a very adult ex­pe­ri­ence of Amer­i­can democ­racy. At the Ja­cob’s Pil­low Dance fes­ti­val, lo­cated, like Wil­liamstown, in the Berk­shires, wit­ness the world pre­miere of John Hegin­botham’s evening-length pro­gram based on Kal­man’s writ­ing and art. Called “The Prin­ci­ples of Un­cer­tainty,” the work will fea­ture an orig­i­nal score by vi­o­lin­ist and com­poser Colin Ja­cob­sen of Brook­lyn Rider and of the Silk Road En­sem­ble.

4. Un­wind at Ravinia. Ravinia, a well-loved out­door mu­sic venue in the north­ern sub­urbs of Chicago, plays host to an eclec­tic

fes­ti­val each sum­mer. This Au­gust the hits in­clude an evening of works by the ever-mor­bid com­poser Gus­tav Mahler back-to-back with a per­for­mance by Gla­dys Knight. No mat­ter how var­ied your tastes, we think you’ll find a match. 5. Lis­ten to Gersh­win un­der the Cal­i­for­nia sky. The Los An­ge­les Phil­har­monic’s sum­mer pro­gram­ming at the Hol­ly­wood Bowl is full of treats, from the dream­ily con­ceived “Gersh­win Un­der the Stars” to a guest ap­pear­ance by vi­o­lin­ist Joshua Bell, who will try his hand at Stravin­sky. (No, not the dog.) An All-Men­delssohn pro­gram Au­gust 8 is also not to be missed.

6. Speak­ing of Gersh­win…. Chicagoans, get whisked off to Paris! The Broad­way pro­duc­tion of the Gersh­win-heavy “An Amer­i­can in Paris” ar­rived in the Windy City in late July and will de­part come mid-Au­gust. Don’t miss a chance to see the gor­geously chore­ographed mu­si­cal, di­rected by bal­let wun­derkind Christo­pher Wheel­don, and tap your foot — qui­etly — to some clas­sic tunes. As Ge­orge and Ira Gersh­win would say: “‘S won­der­ful! ’S marvelous!”

7. And speak­ing of Joshua Bell…. Lin­coln Cen­ter’s Mostly Mozart Fes­ti­val is an an­nual fa­vorite, and Bell will ap­pear there be­fore head­ing to Hol­ly­wood, play­ing Brahms with cel­list Steven Isserlis. An­other fes­ti­val high­light will be Gil Sha­ham’s take on Tchaikovsky’s Vi­o­lin Con­certo. Two Jewish vi­o­lin dy­namos in one month? Why not! 8. Seek the next great Amer­i­can play­wright. There’s a strong tra­di­tion of great Amer­i­can Jewish play­wrights — to put it lightly — from Arthur Miller and Lil­lian Hell­man to Tony Kush­ner and An­nie Baker. Who will be next to join their ranks? Head to Wil­liamstown, Mas­sachusetts, where the an­nual Wil­liamstown Theatre Fes­ti­val of­ten her­alds great new work, to find out. The Au­gust lineup in­cludes works by the young play- wrights Hal­ley Feif­fer, rep­re­sented by a new take on An­ton Chekhov’s “Three Sis­ters,” and Anna Ziegler, whose “Ac­tu­ally” is a con­tem­po­rary take on priv­i­lege and mo­ral­ity.

9. Ex­pe­ri­ence Eich­mann’s trial. It doesn’t of­fi­cially open un­til Septem­ber, but if you’re a mem­ber or friend of Man­hat­tan’s Mu­seum of Jewish Her­itage — A Liv­ing Me­mo­rial to the Holo­caust, get a sneak peek at the new ex­hibit “Op­er­a­tion Fi­nale: The Cap­ture and Trial of Adolf Eich­mann” in Au­gust. The im­mer­sive ex­hibit, which in­cludes newly de­clas­si­fied ar­ti­facts never pre­vi­ously ex­hib­ited out­side Is­rael, re-cre­ates the set­ting of the 1961 trial of the in­fa­mous Nazi of­fi­cial who over­saw the de­por­ta­tions of Euro­pean Jews to con­cen­tra­tion camps. 10. En­gage in the re­li­gious life

of early Amer­ica. Be­fore round­ing the cor­ner into the High Hol­i­days, visit Wash­ing­ton, D.C.’s Na­tional Mu­seum of Amer­i­can His­tory as it plays host to an ex­hibit on the re­li­gious life of the early United States. Jews were a tiny mi­nor­ity in the new coun­try, but far from in­vis­i­ble; one of the ob­jects in the ex­hibit will be a To­rah scroll from Man­hat­tan’s Span­ish­mu­sic Por­tuguese Con­gre­ga­tion Shearith Is­rael, founded in 1654. 11. Head back to camp with old friends. “Wet Hot Amer­i­can Sum­mer,” a clas­sic early-2000s send-up of sum­mer camp, re­ceived an un­ex­pect­edly de­light­ful re­boot in the 2015 Net­flix se­ries “Wet Hot Amer­i­can Sum­mer: First Day of Camp.” Come Au­gust 4, the old gang, in­clud­ing Paul Rudd’s ar­ro­gant man-child, El­iz­a­beth Banks’s high-pow­ered if eth­i­cally con­flicted jour­nal­ist, and Michael Showal­ter’s un­lucky-in-love-and-hair­styles Coop, re­turns in “Wet Hot Amer­i­can Sum­mer: Ten Years Later.” Ex­pect a talk­ing can, dead­pan hu­mor and bad make-outs, and to laugh un­til you cry.

12. And get high with Abbi and Ilana. Crav­ing ’80s hair­styles, frank dis­cus­sions of mas­tur­ba­tion, mer­ci­less ridi­cul­ing of SoulCy­cle, screams of “Yass” and a gen­uinely enor­mous amount of mar­i­juana? Hur­ray for you: “Broad City” is com­ing back. Fol­low the cringey-comedic ex­ploits of aim­less New York 20-some­things Abbi and Ilana when they re­turn to Com­edy Cen­tral on Au­gust 23.


The Kennedy Cen­ter’s re­vival of ‘The King and I’ plays through Au­gust 20.


The Ravinia Fes­ti­val in Chicago’s north­ern sub­urbs will fea­ture both Gla­dys Knight and works by Gus­tav Mahler.


REBOOTING THE RE­BOOT; The un­ex­pected 2015 Net­flix re­vival of ‘Wet Hot Amer­i­can Sum­mer” gets an­other in­stall­ment on Au­gust 4.

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