Ten leading Toronto cultural organizations are joining forces for Spotlight on Israeli Culture, a first-time two-month showcase of Israeli contemporary music, drama, dance, art, film, video and photography, with many events both free and ticketed during February and March.
Organized with the Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation, Spotlight on Israeli Culture presents various breakthrough Israeli talents in venues across the GTA. Participating organizations are Dancemakers, Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, Julie M. Gallery, Koffler Centre of the Arts, Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Toronto Downtown Jazz, Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Toronto Jewish Film Society, Union Events and Volcano Theatre.
Theatrical events include the Hani Theatre’s production of An Israeli Love Story presented by the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, and a reading of Israeli playwright Motti Lerner’s play Benedictus, by Toronto’s Volcano Theatre.
Cinematically speaking, the Toronto Jewish Film Festival is screening Evegeny Ruman’s Igor and The Cranes’ Journey.
Musically, an Israeli Jazz Showcase features the Gilad Hekselman Trio, the Shai Maestro Trio and the Toronto-based David Buchbinder Ensemble. As well, singer-songwriter-musician Asaf Avidan performs a solo acoustic performance.
Israeli choreographers Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor will also participate in a conversation on Israeli contemporary dance. And three visual-art exhibitions focus on video, photography and painting, respectively. For further details, please visit www.SpotlightOnIsraeliCulture.com
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New Teatron Production: Teatron Toronto Jewish Theatre Company presents Handle With Care, a romantic comedy by Jason Odell Williams and directed by Teatron artistic director Ari Weisberg. “Delivers a bundle of laughs… excellent,” said the Syracuse New Times. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Feb. 20 to March 2. $19 to $48. www.teatrontheatre.com
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Names in the News: Gallery owner Edward Epstein, a native of New York City, has been living in Toronto since marrying a Canadian in 1987. A music programmer, he established Gallery 345 in the city’s west end in 2005. A large, L-shaped space with 12-foot wood ceilings and plaster and brick walls, Gallery 345 is on the first floor of a century-old warehouse at 345 Sorauren Ave., a block from Roncesvalles Village.
With its concert grand piano, the space has been the venue for a continuing series on “The Art of the Piano,” as well as many other concerts, art and photo exhibitions and other cultural events. Some 20 musical events are scheduled between now and March 1. www.gallery345.com
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Names in the News II: The 12th annual Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival unfolds on five stages in various venues around the Broadview-Danforth intersection of Toronto. More than 150 artists are slated to perform at the fest, which features 98 free and four paid events. A highlight is the tribute concert for musician Tony Quarrington featuring, among others, Soozi Schlanger, Noah Zacharin, the Yiddish Swingtet, Brian Gladstone and Howard Gladstone. Brian Gladstone is the festival director, and both Brian and Howard Gladstone are brothers to this columnist. Feb. 14 to 16, www.winterfolk.com
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Arts in Brief
• Film critic Shlomo Schwartzberg continues his series on director Steven Spielberg with “Erratic Years: Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun and Always.” $11.25 drop-in; students $6. Miles Nadal JCC, Monday, Feb. 3, 7 to 9 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 606.
• The Adult 55+ group presents The Magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein, with pianist Jordan Klapman. Sing along and learn about Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I, The Sound of Music and other musicals. Miles Nadal JCC, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2 p.m. (Doors open 1:30 p.m.) Drop-in $4. 416-924-6211, ext. 155.
• Toronto Jewish Film Festival’s Chai Tea & A Movie presents Igor and the Cranes’ Journey, an Israeli film by Evgeny Ruman. $15. City Playhouse Theatre, 1000 New Westminster Dr., Vaughan. Sunday, Feb. 9, tea 4 p.m., film 5 p.m. www.tjff.com
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At the Galleries
• In Harissa, Honey & Hyssop, photographer Nelli Sheffer journeys to find the origins of North African foods that tantalize the Israeli palate. Miles Nadal JCC Gallery until Feb. 24.
• The Royal Ontario Museum’s 20th annual Silver Lecture is “Tales from the Vault: A Peek Inside the World’s Greatest Jewelry Boxes from Queen Mary to Gina Lollobrigida.” ROM, Tuesday, Feb. 11, registration from 4:45 p.m. on. Viewing of the Gem and Gold Gallery, 4:30 to 5:20 p.m., lecture 5:45 to 7 p.m. Light refreshments. $40, $45. Pre-registration required. www.rom.on.ca/whatson