Arts and Culture

The four ‘sons’ as characters from ‘Glee’

NEW YORK (Forward) — On a Tuesday night in April, millions of people will gather together for the tale of four Jewish children, each of whom embodies contemporary Jewish consciousness in a different way. The evening is filled with song, multiple narratives and insights into Jewish identity. I’m talking,… Read more »

Set in ’50s, new play to probe sales ethics

(L-R) Josh Silvain (David), Bill Epstein (Murph), Tenoch Gomez (Pete) and Dan Colecchia (Mitch) in “Fronting the Order”

“Fronting the Order,” a new play by Warren G. Bodow, opens today at the Beowulf Alley Theatre, with 11 performances running through April 23. Set in a diner in a small upstate New York town on a summer evening in 1959, “Fronting the Order” follows the fortunes of four… Read more »

Photographer dedicates JCC show to Giffords

Painter and printmaker Sylvia Garland and photographer Edlynne Sillman will exhibit their work at the Tucson Jewish Community Center from April 14 to May 19. Garland’s exhibit, “Abstract Botanical Expressions,” features oil paintings and one of a kind prints on paper. Sillman is dedicating her “America the Beautiful” exhibition… Read more »

Emigre’s steamy dancing will ‘Burn the Floor’

Sasha Farber

When Sasha Farber’s family emigrated from Belarus to Australia in 1991, becoming a dancer was probably the last thing on the 7-year-old’s mind. “We left because of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster,” Farber told the AJP, and also because “we had to keep it quiet that we were Jewish.” Farber,… Read more »

What the Civil War meant for American Jews

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War is upon us. April 12 is the anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter, the war’s opening shot. From then, through the sesquicentennial anniversary on April 9, 2015 of Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House and five days later of… Read more »

‘Crybaby Brigade’ author/comedian to perform at Men’s Night Out

Joel Chasnoff, author of "The 188th Crybaby Brigade"

Unlike aspiring doctors or lawyers, would-be artists have no set career path, says author and stand-up comedian Joel Chasnoff. But even by the free-wheeling standards of the arts, the former Ivy Leaguer’s path took an unusual detour — right through the Israel Defense Forces, an experience he chronicles in… Read more »

Moosewood Cookbook legend Mollie Katzen dishes on her Jewish roots

Moosewood Cookbook author Mollie Katzen Lisa Keating)

BERKELEY, Calif. (JTA) – Cookbook maven Mollie Katzen is in her Berkeley kitchen whipping up a little dinner for her daughter, who is home visiting from college. “Steamed artichoke and mashed parsnips,” Katzen says, describing the contents of the two pots on the stove. “Last night was eggplant in… Read more »

Film explores power of one woman’s kindness

“A Small Act,” an award-winning documentary about a Holocaust survivor’s $15 a month contribution to educate a child in Kenya, will be screened Sunday, April 10 at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. In the 1930s, Hilde Back’s parents sent her from Germany to Sweden to escape… Read more »

Discrimination focus of museum exhibit, film

The Jewish History Museum will exhibit “Discrimination Yesterday & Today: A Look at the Cause of the Holocaust,” April 3 through May 14. The exhibit will feature the FBI’s “Enduring Eyes” Holocaust posters and anti-Semitic literature and artifacts from the JHM permanent collection, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the… Read more »

Potok’s ‘Asher Lev’ comes to Arizona Jewish Theatre Co.

Chaim Potok’s widow, Adena Potok, center, advised the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company production of ‘My Name is Asher Lev.’ From left: Andrea Dovner, Layne Racowsky (director), Michael Kary, Ben Tyler (Mark Gluckman)

The Arizona Jewish Theatre Company in Phoenix will present the Arizona premiere of “My Name is Asher Lev,” written by Aaron Posner, and based on the novel by Chaim Potok, March 24-April 3. “My Name is Asher Lev” had its world premiere in Philadelphia in January 2009. Set in… Read more »

Latin jazz, klezmer fusion to aid teen coalition

Klezmer Company Orchestra

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Tucson Jewish Community Center will present a benefit concert, “Beyond the Tribes: A Latin Jazz and Klezmer Extravaganza,” featuring the Miami-based Klezmer Company Orchestra on Tuesday, March 29 at the JCC. The evening will start at 6:45 p.m. with Latin dance… Read more »

UA Hillel snags busy Joan Rivers for benefit concert

Joan Rivers wouldn’t mind meeting a nice Jewish man who is affluent, healthy and can drive — that is, if she can find the time. “It would be nice, but at my age? My god, the curtain is down, the hotel is closed,” jokes Rivers from her home in… Read more »

After cancer, biblical scholar James Kugel considers religious belief

Biblical scholar James Kugel speaking about his new book, "In the Valley of the Shadow," in Pasedena, Calif., Feb. 3, 2011. (Sue Fishkoff)

PASADENA, Calif. (JTA) — When Jewish biblical scholar James Kugel was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of cancer in 2000, he didn’t find religion. The world-renowned academic and author of numerous books, including the acclaimed “How to Read the Bible,” already was a practicing Orthodox Jew. Instead, Kugel… Read more »

Danish Jewish film director behind Oscar documentary winner

Susanne Bier, director of "In a Better World" [Sony Picture Classics]

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Film director Susanne Bier, whose Danish movie, “In a Better World,” won the Oscar on Feb. 27 for best documentary, is an anomaly. She is a woman director in an overwhelmingly male profession, and she is emphatically Jewish in a country and industry in which… Read more »

Festival of Books bonanza of Jewish authors

In just two years the Tucson Festival of Books has been astonishingly successful: It ranks fourth among book festivals around the United States, with 80,000 book lovers attending last year. The 2011 festival will take place March 12 and 13 on the University of Arizona campus. “What’s unique is… Read more »

Tony winner to lead ATC’s ‘Lost in Yonkers’

Maxx Carlisle-King, Judy Kaye and Ryan DeLuca in Arizona Theatre Company's Lost in Yonkers. (Photo:Tim Fuller/Arizona Theatre Company)

Arizona Theatre Company will bring the Kurnitz family to life in Neil Simon’s Pulitzer and Tony-winning “Lost in Yonkers” Feb. 26 through March 19. Called “the best play Simon ever wrote” by the New York Post, “Lost in Yonkers” chronicles the Kurnitz family’s efforts to stay together during World… Read more »

End of the line for Holocaust-themed films?

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Is the Holocaust passe for Hollywood and the world’s filmmakers? This is the first year in at least half a century that not a single Oscar or Golden Globe entry has focused on the horrors of the Shoah. Equally ignored, with one peripheral exception, are… Read more »

Tucson Symphony quartet to play music from Terezin as prelude to film

In a scene from the film "Inside Hana's Suitcase," Hana arrives at Auschwitz in October 1944.

Hallonot, Hebrew for windows, is an annual Coalition for Jewish Education program providing windows into different aspects of the Jewish world. CJE has partnered with the Tucson International Jewish Film Festival and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra to present this year’s Hallonot, “Voices and Views on the Holocaust,” which will… Read more »

For Justin Bieber, ‘Scooter’ and the Shema play a major presence

Producer "Scooter" Braun, left, and Justin Bieber in "Never Say Never," a film the recounts the meteroric rise of the young singer. (Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Is “Never Say Never,” the biographical documentary and concert film that recounts the rise of Justin Bieber, also a message film of “Hear O Israel?” The film, which opens Feb. 11 in wide release, has a genuine Jewish backstory due to the onscreen presence and… Read more »

‘Columbo’ creator to lead off Brandeis mystery/history fest

William Link

The Tucson chapter of the Brandeis National Committee will hold two Book and Author events next month, an evening soiree on Feb. 9 and a lunch program on Feb. 10. Featured authors ­— all with a mystery or history bent — are William Link, Douglas Starr, Rhys Bowen and… Read more »