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Jonathan Slaff

Jonathan Slaff
Jonathan Slaff writes on cultural events from the brainy, the edgy and the good. He helps us keep ahead of the curve in the world of the arts and culture.
kids and yiddish poster.

Kids & Yiddish: learning Yiddish painlessly

FOLKSBIENE THEATER WELCOMES HANNUKAH WITH "KIDS & YIDDISH" DECEMBER 25 Satirical songfest enables kids to learn Yiddish painlessly. Multilingual revue is 10% Yiddish, 90% English...
Song for Progressive America.

That Song for Progressive America: Where is it?

The progressive movement has needed a good song for some time. America has a history of socially-conscious songs and some of them, from marching...

Origins of The Frankenstein Story: ‘Villa Diodati’ Opera

Villa Diodati by Mira J. Spektor, an opera about the origins of the Frankenstein story, and Libertaria by Sabrina Pena Young, a futuristic animated comic book opera.

‘In White America’ Traces The American Quest for Racial Equality

The famed documentary play traces the American quest for racial equality from the earliest days of the republic to the Little Rock crisis of 1957.

‘Wives’ and ‘The Academy’ Illustrate Battle of Sexes From Postwar and...

From October 8 to 25, Theater for the New City will present the world premiere of a new play by Mario Fratti, 'Wives,' in a double-bill with his breakthrough play, 'The Academy.' Taken together, the two plays illustrate the changing nature of the ba
Alyssa Simon as the former wife. In mirror: Laurence Cantor as The Minister, Mary Baynard as his housekeeper.

‘The Storm’ Tells Story of Marriage and Revenge

August Strindberg Rep presents Strindberg's play, The Storm in October, 2015 as part of a month-long exploration of the author's final works.
two sisters

Blood is Thicker Than Love in ‘Sister’s Keeper’

Three very close African American women grapple with friendship, sisterhood, love, life, faith and HIV in our modern world as they take different paths.

‘Your Name on My Lips’ Musical Depicts Power of Love Against...

Your Name on My Lips, a Musical by Eric Sirota: True Art. True Love. Looks at the way we crave love and how hard we will work to sustain it.

‘Inch by Inch’ Tells Story of Grief and Acceptance

A woman is trapped inside her family's vegetable garden, inhabiting a space that forces her to confront her own identity and legacy.

‘hOMAge’ Conveys Traumatic Story of World War II Refugee

Play by Clearing Collaborative Ensemble is a journey through the letters of a World War II refugee who breaks from the inherited trauma of the past.

‘Escaping Queens’ Tells Funny Tale of Italian/puerto Rican Immigrant Family

The story of an immigrant family and their struggle to stick together. Music, with original songs by composer Joe Ortiz, embodies a variety of styles.

‘Daddy’s Boy’ Depicts Battle of Values in Boxing Ring

The boxing ring becomes a battleground for issues of sexuality, family and identity, as a wrestling champion faces off against his childhood best friend.

‘A Casual Gathering’ Traces Intimate Reunion of High School Friends

A high school reunion forces old friends to reconcile the lives they dreamed of with how their lives turned out.

‘Bubbleheads’ Depicts Hard Realities of Divorce and Remarriage

In a surreal, dreamlike world we experience the impact of divorce through the eyes of a child, and the confusion and frustration a child feels as she watches her family fall apart.

‘The Boom’ Documents Life of Standup Comic Behind Stage

The backstage world of stand-up comics isn't so funny, in The Boom, that examines the life of a stand-up comic behind the stage, written by Vinnie Nardiello.

‘Baby’s Breath’ Tells Extraordinary Tale of Baby Growing in Woman’s Lung

Beatrice is pregnant, but the baby is growing inside her lung, sucking in air with each breath she takes. The baby represents a fresh start, a new breath.

Theater for The New City Presents ‘Artaud Artaud’

After playwright Antonin Artaud's physical form is usurped by a double, he struggles to maintain control of his own individuality.

‘The Accidental Kiss’ Depicts Modern Day Reincarnations of Romeo and Juliet

A woman wakes up in an abandoned theater with a complete stranger who claims he is in love with her. He is her only hope of figuring out what happened the night before and of saving herself.

‘4 Wars’ Tells Interdisciplinary Journey of People in 1968 Amid Unrest

An interdisciplinary journey back to the year 1968 and the unrest that exploded across the world. a young woman tries to convince her parents to let her take part in the student protests.
Cast ensemble

‘Macbeth’ Play Goes ‘Latino’ Style

Macbeth and Banquo reminded director Jesse Ontiveros of Fidel and Che, and that was the genesis for his idea to set 'Macbeth' in a banana republic.