David Nowakowsky (1848-1921) and his music were almost wiped off the face of the earth, and even his tombstone was destroyed. Thousands of his manuscripts were smuggled out of Russia to his granddaughter Sofie in Germany after the Bolsheviks seized Odessa’s Brody Synagogue in 1922. In 1937, Sofie hid the music on a farm in occupied France before fleeing with her family to Switzerland.
Cantor Ronald Graner gives a talk on “Music of a Forgotten Master – Searching for David Nowakowsky,” focusing on the music, how it survived, the people involved in its rescue and their family trees. Presented by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto. Temple Sinai, 210 Wilson Ave. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 8 p.m. www.jgstoronto.ca
* * *
Chai Tea and Movie: Toronto Jewish Film Festival presents Hello I Must Be Going, a 2012 American-made comedy by director Todd Louiso that opened the last Sundance Film Festival. The Minskys are nearly finished remodelling their “empty nest” when their newly separated daughter, Amy, returns home and, after a period of self-pity, falls for the handsome son of her father’s potential business partner.
With Melanie Lynskey, Blythe Danner and Christopher Abbott. Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas, 4861 Yonge St. at Sheppard. $15. Sunday, Jan. 27. Tea at 4 p.m., movie at 5 p.m. 416-324-9121, www.tjff.com
* * *
Jewish Playwriting Festival: The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company presents the return of In the Beginning: A Jewish Playwriting Festival. The festival is designed as an opportunity for emerging theatrical voices that offer fresh perspectives on Jewish history, heritage and experience. Sponsored by the RBC Foundation, it offers Canadian playwrights the chance to workshop scripts with professional actors and directors culminating in a staged public reading.
Submissions are invited and should include the script, a synopsis of the play and the playwright’s resume. Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, Attn: Avery Saltzman, 121 Parkway Forest Dr., Suite 107, Toronto M2J 5H4. The festival takes place at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, from June 17 to 20, 2013.
* * *
Arts in Brief
• Soundstreams presents “The Three Faces of Jerusalem,” a pluralistic afternoon of music and poetry with various performers of Jewish, Islamic and Christian fare. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. Sunday, Jan. 27, 3 p.m. $65 to $20. 416-408-0208, www.soundstreams.ca
• Film critic Kevin Courrier continues his series on “Woody Allen Past and Present” with a segment on “The Contemporary Comic Voice,” featuring a discussion with clips of What’s Up Tiger Lily?, Bananas, Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin), Jaws (Steven Spielberg), She’s Gotta Have It (Spike Lee), Annie Hall and Lovesick (Marshall Brickman). $12 drop-in, students $6. Miles Nadal JCC, Monday, Jan. 28, 7 to 9 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 606.
• Singer Ilana Waldston performs songs from her jazz and cabaret repertoire with piano and bass accompaniment. Musideum, 401 Richmond St. W., Monday, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. $20. 416-599-7323, www.jazznlaughs.com.
• Dolly Beil gives a PowerPoint presentation on her recent book, Growing Up Jewish In China, to inaugurate an exhibition of about 50 photographs. Robarts Library, 130 St. George St. Jan. 30, 2 p.m.
• Michael Mandel presents an illustrated talk on “Jewish Toronto as Reflected in the Yiddish Press, 1935 to 1953.” Active Seniors & Boomers, Miles Nadal JCC, Thursday, Jan. 31, 1:30 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 155.
• Songwriting workshop with Kobi Hass helps students find their voice, sharpen their craft, and create memorable songs. Miles Nadal JCC, Thursdays from Jan. 31 to April 5, 7 to 9 p.m. $200. Registration, 416-924-6211, ext. 0.
* * *
At the Galleries
• The Wonderment of Life, a new collection of 15 whimsical paintings by Minsk-born contemporary mixed-media artist Julia Hacker, is on view at the Wychwood Barns Gallery, 76 Wychwood Ave., Feb. 1 to 3. For times please visit www.artjuliahacker.com or call 647-999-5130.
• Pipe Dreams of Madame Recamier, an exhibition of works by sculptor Clint Neufeld, continues at the Koffler Gallery Off-Site. At General Hardware Contemporary, 1520 Queen St. W., until March 3.