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The Schmooze

The Chicago Cubs’ Curse, Masha Gessen’s Russia And More To Read, Watch And Do This Weekend

It’s Sukkot, so ideally you’ll be spending your weekend eating traditional stuffed foods in a sukkah, whether one that costs $10,000 or, uh, otherwise. In your free time, look to our weekend culture picks to supplement.

1) Read

Masha Gessen’s newly released “The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia,” a finalist for the National Book Award in non-fiction is a thoroughly-reported history of a dismal sequence of events with a strong, engaging narrative and central set of characters. Also new in history, if such a thing is possible, are Rich Cohen’s “The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse” and David E. Fishman’s “The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis.” If you’re in the market for pure fun, look to cartoonist Roz Chast’s “Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York,” and spare a moment for my recent profile of Chast, who is as delightful as you might anticipate.

2) New York

Get thee to the theater! Among the best new options: Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song,” directed by Moisés Kaufman at the Second Stage Theater, “The Band’s Visit,” the Broadway transfer of which is currently in previews, and Zoe Kazan’s post-apocalyptic “After the Blast,” directed by Lila Neugebauer at Lincoln Center Theater.

3) Washington, D.C.

Theater is promising in D.C. this weekend, as well; Wooly Mammoth Theatre’s new take on Max Frisch’s “The Arsonists” and Ford’s Theatre’s “Death of a Salesman” are both promising choices. Also worth attending will be a Saturday performance by Michael Feinstein of Great American Songbook fame at the AMP by Strathmore.

4) Chicago

Arthur Miller’s work makes an appearance in Chicago, this weekend, as well: Catch Ivo van Hove’s “A View From The Bridge” at the Goodman Theatre before it closes next weekend. If you’re musically-minded, head to PianoForte Studios on Saturday night for a performance by Israeli jazz pianist and composer Tamir Hendelman, or to Naperville’s Congregation Beth Shalom on Sunday for the a cappella program “Funny, That Doesn’t Sound Jewish.”

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