Teatron Jewish Theatre Company presents Aaron Posner’s stage adaptation of the Chaim Potok novel My Name Is Asher Lev, which opens in North York on Nov. 7.
The story focuses on a young Jewish man with a prodigious talent for art who is torn between his Chassidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his artistic promise. When his artistic genius threatens to destroy his relationship with his parents and community, Asher Lev realizes he must make a difficult choice between art and faith.
Posner, who had previously worked with Potok on adapting his novel The Chosen for the stage, said he found My Name Is Asher Lev to be deeply rooted in Potok’s own life story. “Many think of it as his most emotionally autobiographical novel, and the fact that it is told in the first person and covers more than 20 years made it a particular challenge for adaptation.” Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre Nov. 7 to 18. www.teatrontheatre.com
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Toronto Israel Film Festival: The fifth annual Toronto Israel Film Festival presents six Israeli films over three days, including Melting Away and Lipstikka by Toronto-born director Jonathan Segal on opening night. The others are Restoration, My Australia, Obsession and Blank Bullet. Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas, Oct. 28 to 30. Hebrew with English subtitles. $65 for all six or $14 each. 416-622-2442, www.israelfilmfestival.ca
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Toronto Jewish Film Society: The Society presents Dear Mr. Waldman, a film set in 1960s Tel Aviv, and the exquisite short film I Was the Child of Holocaust Survivors, with guest author Bernice Eisenstein. Presented as part of Holocaust Education Week, restricted to persons 18+. Miles Nadal JCC, Al Green Theatre, $15, $10. Sunday Nov. 4, 4 and 7:30 p.m.
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TJFF Screening: Toronto Jewish Film Festival presents a free screening of Never Forget to Lie, a film by Marian Marzynski, whose previous works include the landmark film Shtetl. In the autobiographical film Marzynski explores his wartime childhood along with the experiences of other child survivors. He will be present at the screening. Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Centre, 4861 Yonge St. In English and Polish with English subtitles. Monday Nov. 5, 7 p.m. Pre-registration required. holocausteducationweek.com, 416-631-5689, ext. 5153.
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Arts in Brief
• Guitarist Brian Katz plays a mix of music ranging from klezmer to jazz to Katz originals with percussionist-vocalist Jim Gelcer, formerly of the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band. Mezzetta Restaurant, 681 St. Clair Ave W. at Christie. $7; Wednesday Oct. 24, 9 and 10:15 p.m. Reservations, 416-658-5687.
• Encore Entertainment presents Fiddler On The Roof with a cast of 25 including Derrick Evans as Tevye and Sarah Haley Matte as Golde. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St. Oct. 25 to Nov. 4. www. encoreshows.com
• Film maven Shlomo Schwartzberg presents the next installment of “The Social Cinema of Sidney Lumet” with an examination of Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, The Pawnbroker and The Verdict. Miles Nadal JCC, Monday Oct. 29, 7 to 9 p.m. $12 at the door. 416-924-6211, ext. 606.
• Life in Stills, a film by Tamal Tal, won the DocAviv Film Festival prize in Tel Aviv. It’s being shown at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., Thursday Nov. 1, 7 p.m. $12, $10. Presented by Koffler Centre of the Arts. A post-screening soiree features Ben Peter from the film at a nearby venue. www.kofflerarts.org
• Acclaimed author Nathan Englander, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, reflects on how collective memory of the Holocaust has influenced his creative process at a free event that launches Holocaust Education Week. Royal Ontario Museum, Samuel Hall Currelly Gallery, Thursday Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. For full schedule of events, please visit holocausteducationweek.com or phone 416-631-5689.
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At the Galleries
• The German Consulate presents the exhibition Names Instead of Numbers as part of Holocaust Education Week. The exhibition tells the stories of 22 former prisoners of Dachau as assembled in the Dachau Remembrance Book, including the story of Toronto Rabbi Erwin Schild, who is keynote speaker at the opening. 2 Bloor St. E., 25th floor. Opens Oct. 30, on view until Nov. 30. 416-642-2920.
• In the exhibit Silk Stones, Toronto artist Rochelle Rubinstein blends biblical narratives, cultural legends, liturgy and poetry with her own personal stories to create abstracted yet recognizable images of family, community and history. Presented with Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre for Holocaust Education Week. Miles Nadal JCC Gallery, Oct. 24 to Nov. 12.
• Harry Enchin juxtaposes more street scenes from prewar Toronto and the city of today in Toronto Transformed, a new series of computer-altered photos. Opens Nov. 7 in the Roundhouse building, Steam Whistle Brewery, 255 Bremner Blvd. Opening reception 7 to 11 p.m.
• New Work, an exhibition of drawings, sculpture, prints and functional objects by Toronto-based artist Rick Oginz, goes on view at Brock Studios, 267 Brock Ave., Suite 303 (two doors south of Dundas). Sunday Nov. 4, 2 to 4 p.m. www.rickoginzart.com, 416-533-4508.
• In the first part (5 to 6:30 p.m.) of Honesty, a “performance intervention” by Jordan Tannahill with Honest Ed’s bargain emporium, Virgilia Griffith performs the duties of 10 Honest Ed’s employees. People are encouraged to interact with her as she goes quietly about working as a real employee would. In the second part (7:30 to 9 p.m.) she performs monologues while impersonating various employees. Presented by the Koffler Centre of the Arts and Suburban Beast. Continues thru Nov. 4.