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Friday, December 19, 2014

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 Koffler centre presents stunning images by Israeli photographer

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The Koffler Centre of the Arts presents an exhibition of the stunning, bold and often controversial photographs of Tel Aviv-based photographer Adi Nes, who infuses his sense of marginality into his work. His “meticulously crafted interpretations of biblical, mythological and literary subjects propose a critical view of the present while seeking to uncover a universal humanism.”

Koffler Offsite at Olga Korper Gallery, 17 Morrow Ave. May 3 to June 2. Opening reception, Thursday, May 3, 6 to 9 p.m. Nes gives a talk at Eaton Theatre, Rogers Communication Centre, 80 Gould St., Monday, May 7, 7 p.m. Free admission. www.kofflerarts.org

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Multimedia Version of Hatikvah: Israeli musicologist-pianist Astrith Baltsan’s multimedia performance of Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, contains music by Mozart, Chopin, Smetana, Jewish and Israeli folk, pop and rock tunes, and rare historical recordings and video clips. Baltsan has performed the piece throughout Israel and the United States. Her only Canadian performance, in Toronto, is presented by the Canadian Committee for the Haifa Foundation. $90. Glenn Gould Studio, Sunday, May 6, 7:30 p.m. 416-593-4828, www.roythomson.com.

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Names in the News: Bella (Bel) Kaufman, who is hoping to celebrate her 101st birthday on May 10, is a granddaughter of the legendary Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916) and as such, was interviewed for the 2011 documentary film Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, which recently enjoyed a Toronto run. 

Born in Berlin in 1911, she came with her parents to New York in 1923, earned a degree in literature, and worked as a high school teacher. A writer of occasional pieces for Esquire and other magazines, she also penned a grittily realistic novel about her teaching experiences. Published in 1965 as Up the Down Staircase, it became a runaway bestseller and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 64 weeks. 

Last year, at age 99, Kaufman was hired by a New York college to teach about Jewish humour. “I’m too busy to get old,” she remarked at the time.

Her second husband, Sidney J. Gluck, runs the Sholem Aleichem Memorial Foundation. She was five years old when her famous grandfather died, and, according to a New York Times story that appeared when she turned 100, she “believes she is the last person alive who remembers him and his impish humour.”

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Arts in Brief

• A free screening of the 55-minute documentary, Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference, takes place at Beth Torah Synagogue, 47 Glenbrook Ave. Thursday, April 26, 7:30 p.m. Another screening, sponsored by Aish Toronto, is at Shaarei Shomayim Congregation, 470 Glencairn Ave., June 5, 8 p.m.

• Marquee Theatrical Productions presents Hairspray, the Broadway Musical. City Playhouse Theatre, 1000 New Westminster Dr., Vaughan. April 26 to 29. $27, $22.50. www.cityplayhouse.ca, 905-326-7469.

• Encore Entertainment presents Wrong for Each Other, a romantic comedy by Norm Foster, which producer Merle Garbe calls “an insightful comedy, full of honest humour and sprinkled with poignancy.” Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, April 27 to May 6. $29.50, $28. 855-985-2787, www.encoreshows.com

 • The Toronto Jewish Film Society presents Hungry Hearts, a classic silent film from 1922 with speaker Shirley Kumove and live piano accompaniment by Jordan Klapman. Produced by Samuel Goldwyn, this stirring drama filled with pathos and melodrama focuses on a family of Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side. Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Al Green Theatre. Sunday, April 29, 4 and 7:30 p.m. $15, $10. 416-924-6211, ext. 606.

• Film critic Adam Nayman presents “In Nayman’s Terms,” an analysis with film clips of the Stanley Kubrick films The Killing and Paths of Glory. Miles Nadal JCC, Monday, April 30, 7 to 9 p.m. $12 drop-in, students $6. www.mnjcc.org

• The 20th annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival opens with the feature film A Bottle in the Gaza Sea, filmed in Israel by French director Thierry Binisti, and co-produced by a Canadian company from Montreal. The festival is screening 102 films from May 3 to May 13. For details, visit www.tjff.com or phone 416-324-9121.

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At the Galleries

 • Photographs by Aaron Vincent Elkaim documenting the history of Jewish Morocco are on view during the month of May at the Pikto Gallery, Distillery District, as part of the Contact Photography Festival.

• Nothing Is Hidden, an exhibition of 31 photographs by Montrealer Lynn Cohen, goes on view May 3 at the Design Exchange, 234 Bay St. A Governor General’s Award winner whose work is in many international galleries, Cohen is known for capturing domestic and institutional spaces devoid of people, and often reflecting social and political themes with a wry sense of humour. Until June 30. www.dx.org, 416-363-6121.

• Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris, is on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario, May 1 to Aug. 26. www.ago.net  

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