In New York City this Sum­mer Cul­tural Events Abound

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - BRye: p hMuen­nachem

If you’re in the Big Ap­ple this sum­mer, there are no short­age of ways to spend your time. Whether rid­ing the el­e­va­tor to the top of the Em­pire State Build­ing, brows­ing the aisles in the mas­sive Strand Book­store, or strolling through Cen­tral Park on a warm af­ter­noon, New York City has it all. If you’re look­ing for cul­ture and en­ter­tain­ment, a trip to the the­ater may be the way to go, given the im­pres­sive ros­ter of plays lined up this sea­son.

One of the plays fea­tured on the New York Times July 1 list of “must-see” the­ater is the Pub­lic The­ater’s pro­duc­tion of Ham­let. With Os­car Isaac (of Coen Broth­ers and Star Wars fame) in the lead role, and Kee­gan Michael-Key (one half of the “Key and Peele” com­edy duo) as Ho­ra­tio, the play is the lat­est Shake­speare stag­ing by Pub­lic fol­low­ing its re­cent pro­duc­tion of Julius Cae­sar, which sparked con­tro­versy for de­pict­ing the Ro­man Em­peror as a thinly-veiled Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. It is not yet known whether Ham­let will in­spire the same heated re­sponse.

Ge­orge Or­well’s dystopian clas­sic 1984 has en­joyed a resur­gence this past year, hit­ting the best-seller list in Jan­uary. Those fas­ci­nated by the story can now ex­pe­ri­ence Or­well’s night­mar­ish vi­sion as it comes to the stage. Run­ning at the Hud­son The­ater through Oc­to­ber, the play is adapted from Or­well’s novel by play­wrights Robert Icke and Dun­can Macmil­lan. For those un­fa­mil­iar, 1984 is the story of Win­ston Smith, a Bri­tish cypher liv­ing un­der a to­tal­i­tar­ian regime ruled by the all-see­ing “Big Brother.” The play is a cau­tion­ary tale about the sup­pres­sion of in­di­vid­ual lib­erty and free­dom of thought that has res­onated with read­ers since its pub­li­ca­tion in 1949. 1984 has come and gone, but the chills re­main.

For those seek­ing plays with Jew­ish and Is­raeli themes, di­rec­tor Amos Gi­tai will be bring­ing his 2015 film “Rabin: The Last Day” to the stage this month as “Yitzhak Rabin: Chron­i­cle of An As­sas­si­na­tion.” The play, which gar­nered a men­tion on the New York Times must-see plays list, ex­am­ines Prime Min­is­ter Yitzhak Rabin’s as­sas­si­na­tion and the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing it through the me­moirs of his wi­dow, Leah Rabin. Ac­cord­ing to French Cul­ture. org, the play fea­tures two women, one Is­raeli and the other Arab, who use the me­moirs to fig­u­ra­tively “travel back through time to ex­plore the vi­o­lence that led to Rabin’s as­sas­si­na­tion, trau­ma­tiz­ing a coun­try and send­ing shock­waves across the world.” Take the whole fam­ily to the the­ater this sum­mer and gain in­sight into Jew­ish history, pol­i­tics, and life.

Run­ning at the Hud­son The­ater through Oc­to­ber, the play is adapted from Or­well’s novel by play­wrights Robert Icke and Dun­can Macmil­lan. For those un­fa­mil­iar, 1984 is the story of Win­ston Smith, a Bri­tish cypher liv­ing un­der a to­tal­i­tar­ian regime ruled by the all-see­ing “Big Brother.”

- For those seek­ing plays with Jew­ish and Is­raeli themes, di­rec­tor Amos Gi­tai will be bring­ing his 2015 film “Rabin: The Last Day” to the stage this month as “Yitzhak Rabin: Chron­i­cle of An As­sas­si­na­tion.”

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