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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Isrock festival to celebrate Israel's birthday

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In celebration of Israel’s 65th Independence Day, Motek Cultural Initiative presents the Isrock Festival, featuring top Israeli entertainers, including the renowned Israeli hip-hop ensemble Hadag Nahash, the popular Israeli rock band Mashina and Israel’s new “it girl,” Yael Deckelbaum.

The event also features authentic Israeli cuisine and more. Sound Academy, 11 Polson St. Sunday, April 28, doors open 7 p.m., concert starts 8 p.m. General admission $65, students $55. VIP tickets $180 include pre-reception, open bar, reserved box seating, artist meet and greet, and more. For details or to order tickets, visit www.motekculturalinitiative.com or http://www.motekToronto.com

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Golden Oldies for a Good Cause: Adath Israel Congregation hosts a doo-wop concert as a “Guys & Dolls Nite Out” in support of the Jewish National Fund. Stellar list of performers includes Charlie Thomas of the Drifters, David Somerville of the Diamonds, Kenny Vance and the Planotones, the Marcels, Kathy Young and Jay Siegel’s Tokens. Hear such oldies as The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Blue Moon, Stand by Me, Under the Boardwalk, Why Do Fools Fall in Love? and more.

General admission $100, premium admission $250 (reserved section). Partial tax receipts available. Adath Israel, 37 Southbourne Ave. Tuesday, May 28. Doors open 6 p.m., concert starts 7 p.m. Funds raised help renovate schoolyards of the Ilanot Special Needs School in Jerusalem. 416-638-7200, ext. 130; email jnftoronto.ca  

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Classical Music: Pianist Daniil Trifonov and violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg make their Koerner Hall debuts on April 14 and 19 respectively. As part of the Invesco Piano Series, the charismatic young Russian, Trifonov, whom the Washington Post has described as “freakishly brilliant,” plays a program of Scriabin, Liszt and Rachmaninov’s Variations on a Theme of Chopin. Salerno-Sonnenberg and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott perform Dark & Light, a concert of works by Arvo Pärt, Prokofiev and César Franck. 416-408-0208, www.performance.rcmusic.ca

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Tribute to Marlene Dietrich: Hungarian-born singer-model Masi (Eisler), who studied at the Budapest Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, performs the signature hits of legendary singer Marlene Dietrich, accompanied by Norman Amadio at the piano. Numbers include Lili Marlene, Falling in Love Again and The Boys in the Back Room. Barbara Frum Library, Wednesday, April 10, 2 p.m.

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Educational Outreach with Film: FilmMatters is the Toronto Jewish Film Festival’s popular educational outreach program for students. The screenings are free and include a special guest speaker from the film, as well as a teacher resource package, prepared by FilmMatters curator Susan Starkman. The films are screened at the Royal Ontario Museum Theatre on April 15, 16, 18 and 19, and are recommended for students of varying ages who attend with their classes from school.

This year’s lineup includes the Azrieli Short Film Series with guest Judy Abrams, author of the memoir Tenuous Threads; Nono, the Zig Zag Kid, a Dutch-Belgian production based on a novel by David Grossman; Louder Than a Bomb, which tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the world’s largest youth slam, with guest Nate Marshall, slam poet featured in the film, 400 Miles To Freedom, about the ancient Beta Israel community of Ethiopian Jews, with film director Avishai Yeganyahu in attendance.

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Arts in Brief

• Pianist Fern Lindzon, also gifted on the harmonium and melodica, plays during the Toronto Silent Film Festival presentation “1000 Laffs: Slapstick Smorgasbord.” Fox Theatre, 2236 Queen St. E. $12. Sunday, April 7, 4 p.m. www.ebk-ink.com. Lindzon also plays piano and sings with various artists at the Rex Jazz and Blues Bar, 194 Queen St. W., on April 9, 16, 23 and 30, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. http://therex.ca

• Critic Adam Nayman presents “The Coen Brothers in Nayman’s Terms,” a series of discussions of the films of the acclaimed film artists Joel and Ethan Coen. The focus is on “Adaptation and Americana” as Nayman discusses the films O Brother, Where Art Thou? and No Country for Old Men at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Monday, April 8, 7 to 9 p.m. $12 drop-in per class, students $6. 416-924-6211, ext. 606.

• Awakening the Voice, Sounding the Soul is a Jewish chanting circle with Rabbi Miriam Margles. Chants range from stirring traditional prayers and chassidic niggunim to contemporary Jewish chants. Miles Nadal JCC, Wednesday, April 10, 7:30 to 9 p.m. $10 drop-in.

• Active Seniors and Boomers presents Osnat Lipa discussing influential Jewish artists. $36 series, $15 at the door. Miles Nadal JCC, Tuesdays, April 16, 23 and 30.

• Alexander Showcase Theatre and the Al Green Theatre present Young Frankenstein, the new Mel Brooks musical that is “lab-tested and scientifically guaranteed to be electrifyingly exuberant entertainment.” Al Green Theatre, Miles Nadal JCC, Thursday, April 11 to Sunday, April 21. $32, students and seniors $27. 416-324-1259. 

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