Included among the prodigious programming of the 20th annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival, which is screening about 100 films from May 3 to 13, is a 12-part series on the lives and works of Jewish composers who write cinematic soundtracks.
The Sound of Movies: Masters of the Film Score explores the predominant and extraordinary role that Jewish composers have played in the movies as well as in popular culture. The series incorporates special guests, rarely screened gems and events that showcase some of the most renowned composers of all time.
Special guests include composer David Shire, who introduces the screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation and the teleplay Evening Primrose, and discusses his art with critic Kevin Courrier.
Steven North, son of composer Alex North (Spartacus, Death of a Salesman, A Streetcar Named Desire), talks about his father’s life and work at a screening of The Last Butterfly, a feature about the Terezin concentration camp. At a screening of Planet of the Apes, composer Mychael Danna (Moneyball, The Sweet Hereafter) talks about Jerry Goldsmith’s score of that film.
The festival is also screening rare documentaries on Goldsmith, Lalo Schifrin, Bernard Hermann and the Hollywood Sound (about the Jewish exiles who invented film music), as well as an illustrated talk by Courrier. Other offerings focus on Elmer Bernstein, Michael Nyman, Howard Shore and Danny Elfman. www.tjff.com.
* * *
Stagecraft Production: Holy Blossom Temple Stagecraft Company presents The Triangle Factory Fire Project by Christopher Piehler with Scott Alan Evans, directed by Eric Kirsh. The play focuses on the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that caused the deaths of 146 garment workers in New York in March 1911. Lasting only 18 minutes, the fire was instrumental in improved building codes and the establishment of unions and labour laws that changed the nature of work in North America.
Holy Blossom Temple, 1950 Bathurst St. Thursday, May 3 and Saturday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. 416-789-3291, ext. 511.
* * *
Names in the News: Shirim, the Los Angeles-based Jewish poetry journal, has dedicated a double issue to Jewish Canadian poetry. The 68-page issue was edited by University of Ottawa professor and poet Seymour Mayne and contains works by Mayne and Asa Boxer, Elizabeth Brewster, Jason Camlot, Leonard Cohen, Susan Glickman, Shel Krakofsky, Rochelle Mass, Isa Milman, Sharon H. Nelson, Marty Newman, Merle Nudelman, Ruth Panofsky, B. Glen Rotchin, Robyn Sarah, Karen Shenfeld, Kenneth Sherman, David Solway, Rhea Tregebov and Elana Wolff.
* * *
Arts in Brief
• Jerry Seinfeld performs standup comedy at the Sony Centre, Toronto, May 4 and 5. www.sonycentre.ca
• Critic Adam Nayman continues In Nayman’s Terms, his series of lectures with film clips, with a look at Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita and Dr. Strangelove. May 7, 7 to 9 p.m. $12 drop-in per class, students $6. 416-924-6211, ext .606.
• Active Seniors presents the Toronto Jewish Film Festival documentary Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom, followed by refreshments and discussion with festival programmer Larry Anklewicz. The film chronicles the actor’s stormy childhood, meteoric rise, artistic successes and failures, romantic life, and involvement in the civil rights movement. Miles Nadal JCC, Thursday, May 10, 12:15 p.m. $11. 416-924-6211, ext. 155.
• The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company presents Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers, with Marion Ross, Linda Kash, Ari Cohen and Sheila McCarthy. St. Lawrence Centre, Jane Mallett Theatre, May 12 to June 10. $42.50 to $79.50. 416-366-7723, www. stlc.com
* * *
At the Galleries
• Spark – Igniting with Photography is a collection of photographic portraits by artists from Shoot With This, a film and photography mentorship program for at-risk youth in the Jane-Finch community. Presented as part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in partnership with the Al Green Theatre. Miles Nadal JCC, May 2 to 29.
• The Bruce Cassidy Ensemble “plays” the paintings of Judy Singer in Heart to Heart, a fascinating live performance highlighting the interrelationship of music and painting. Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst St. Thursday, May 10, 8 p.m.
• The 23 members of the Israeli Artists Group of Toronto present their fourth annual arts show in celebration of Jerusalem Day. J.E.H. Thoreau MacDonald House, 121 Centre St., Thornhill. May 17 to 20. Opening night, Thursday, May 17, 6:30 to 9 p.m. www.israeliartistsgroup.com
• The Koffler Centre of the Arts presents an exhibition of the photographs of Tel Aviv photographer Adi Nes, whose “meticulously crafted interpretations of biblical, mythological and literary subjects propose a critical view of the present while seeking to uncover a universal humanism.” 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