The FriendCenter at the The Jewish
Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF) today announced details of its
comprehensive Performing Arts programming for 2008/09.The eclectic array of performances in
intimate Kanbar Hall will include solo performances by luminaries such as Bebe
Neuwirth, Phoebe Snow and Arlo Guthrie, and five fascinating thematic series:
Abracadabra: an exploration of the conjuring arts and Jewish tradition; a
salute to American icon Leonard Bernstein; an Italian Jewish film series; Let
the Games Begin, a series of sports related programming; and Evolve, part of a
city-wide celebration of Charles Darwin's 200th birthday.
This explosive new series is designed to expose the origins
of Jewish Magic, mysticism and the paranormal, and includes several lectures
The first in the series is the Bay Area exclusive of An
Evening with Ricky Jay on Saturday, November 1 at 8 p.m.The world renowned sleight-of-hand master and
magician, and source on the subject for the Encyclopedia Britannica is also
known for his stage and screen work with David Mamet and his acting roles in
hits like HBO's Deadwood.Recommended
for mature audiences only.
Abracadabra: Jews and Magic, presented by magician and
historian, Manny Sperling pays homage to legendary Jewish magicians from
Houdini to Copperfield.Not recommended
for children, the event is presented on Sunday, December 7 at 2 p.m.
Master Magician Jay Alexander appears in Kanbar Hall with a
family program on Sun., Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. (See family section)
Celebrating Leonard Bernstein
The JCCSF salutes the American icon and musical genius whose
Jewish voice reverberated throughout every piece he wrote, conducted or
Events in this series include Reaching for the Note, the
acclaimed PBS documentary documenting Bernstein's musical and personal life be
screened on Thursday, November 20th at 7 p.m.Admission is free, but reservations are required.On Thursday, December 4 at 8 p.m. pianist Jeffrey
Siegel offers The Anniversaire Pieces, Bernstein's musical tributes written for
friends, family and fellow composers, as well as Meditation on a Wedding, and
El Salon Mexico.Cantor Roslyn Barak presents Lenny's Voice:
Bernstein's Humor and Jewish Spirit on Sunday, December 14 at 7 p.m.
Also in the series is the JCCSF's benefit event: 100%
Michael Feinstein Bernstein & Friends on Sunday, November 23 with
cocktails at 5 p.m., and performance at 7 p.m. when Michael Feinstein reprises
his memorable Carnegie Hall tribute to his friend and mentor.
The Italian Jews During Fascism
In collaboration with the Museo Italo Americano's exhibition
"Il Ghetto: Forging Italian Jewish Identity," and curated and co-presented by
the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, The Italian Jews during Fascism series
includes three films:
The Truce (La Tregua) based on Italian writer Primo Levi's
The Reawakening, directed by award-winner Francesco Rosi, and starring John
Turturro. The Truce will be screened on Wednesday, October 15 at 7 p.m.
The definitive documentary Memoria by Ruggero Gabbai will be
screened on Wednesday, November 5 at 7 p.m. These compelling interviews of 90
Italian Jewish survivors of Auschwitz examine the rise of fascism in Italy
Italian experience in the camps.
Unfair Competition (Concrrenza Sleale), a bittersweet comedy
by Oscar-nominated director Ettore Scola, will be presented on Wednesday,
December 17 at 7 p.m.Set in Rome, home to an ancient
Jewish Community, the film deals with the friendship of neighbors.
Evolve is a San Francisco citywide celebration in which more
than 20 local institutions are hosting performances, lectures and activities in
celebration of the sesquicentennial of the publishing of Charles Darwin's The
Origin of Species.
and L.A. Theatre Works present The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial by Peter
Goodchild on Thursday, January 22 at 8 p.m.Based on original transcripts from the 1925 "Monkey Trial, this staged
radio play's subject remains relevant and controversial today.
On Thursday, March 26 ay 8 p.m., noted anthropologist at the
American Museum of Natural History, Richard Milner offers his one-man musical
Charles Darwin: Live and in Concert, a witty blend of song, history and
Let The Games Begin
The JCCSF is proud to be hosting the 2009 JCC Maccabi Games
in August next year, and in conjunction with the games, is offering a series of
sports-related programming: The Bay Area Premiere of the documentary, The First
Basket, David Vyorst's fascinating look at the impact of basketball on modern
Jewish history (Monday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.) and Orthodox Stance, about
prizefighter Dmitriy Salita, also a fervently Orthodox Jew living in Brooklyn.
(Monday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.)
Great American Songbook
Kicking off the season at Kanbar Hall on Sunday, October 5
at 7 p.m. is the Emmy and Tony Award winning singing actress Bebe Neuwirth
(Sweet Charity, 1986 and Chicago, 1996). Television audiences know her best as
Frasier's long-suffering wife, Lileth.She
was last seen in San Francisco
three years ago in Here Lies Jenny and returns in concert with An Evening of
Kurt Weill and Kander & Ebb.
On Saturday, October 25 at 8 p.m., singer/songwriter Phoebe
Snow makes a long-awaited return to the concert stage.A vocal phenomenon who has been entertaining
audiences since the 1970s, Snow has performed with the Who's Who of prolific
artists including Lou Rawls, Jackson Brown, Paul Simon, Dave Mason, Thelma
Houston, and a host of others.
The Great Broadway Sing-Along, produced by Ellie Mednick,
makes its annual holiday appearance in Kanbar Hall on Thursday, December 11 at
8 p.m. This popular evening of song by such luminaries as Rodgers and
Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin and others, will also
include "Bernstein on Broadway," A special tribute to Leonard Bernstein's
unforgettable Broadway scores.
Jewish and World Music
Affectionately known as the "Jewish Pavarotti" Greek-born
tenor Alberto Mizrahi has appeared worldwide in recitals, symphony concerts and
operas.He appears at the JCCSF in
concert on Sunday, November 16 at 7 p.m. with his unique repertoire that spans
nine languages and confirms his status as one of the world's leading
interpreters of Jewish music.
The Ninth Annual San Francisco World Music Festival will be
presented on Friday, November 21 with a discussion at 7 p.m., followed by a
performance at 8 p.m.Featuring the
sonic riches of the world's reed instruments in the premiere of "The Reeds Give
Way to the Wind," the evening focuses on performers from places as diverse as Azerbaijan, China,
Italy and Turkey.
The Klezmer Conservatory Band, led by the legendary Hankus
Netsky, offers its distinctive foot-stomping mix of Yiddish music on Saturday,
December 6 at 8 p.m.Since its
formation in 1980 the KCB has performed from coast to coast. In 1990, the
Klezmer Conservatory Band made its debut abroad, with concerts in Germany and a remarkable performance at the
first-ever International Yiddish Festival in Krakow, Poland.
The band has toured Europe regularly, and has also appeared at Australia's Adelaide Festival, New Zealand's
International Festival of the Arts, and Womad.
The Sisters of Sheynville, Canada's premier all-female
swing-klezmer sextet makes its West Coast debut on Saturday, March 28 at 8:30
p.m. Inspired by the Barry Sisters of the 1930s and 1940s, this vintage band
takes Yiddish swing to new heights with airtight three- and four-part
harmonies.The group is presented in
association with the 24th Annual Jewish Music Festival.
An Acoustic Evening with John Sebastian and David Grisman A
rare, intimate performance by two legendary performers on Saturday, November 15
at 8 p.m. will feature traditional folk tunes, blues, instrumentals and classic
favorites. John Sebastian and David Grisman's musical history dates back to the
1960s when their Even Dozen Jug was part of the Greenwich
Village folk revival.Sebastian went on to perform with The Lovin' Spoonful, while Grisman
spearheaded an acoustic music revolution with "Dawg music."