It has been yet another hard week in the world, and if you intend to spend your weekend curled up nicely on the couch, we don’t blame you. If, on the other hand, you have the chutzpah to venture out in the world, find our top weekend culture picks below.
The acclaimed novelist Marilynne Robinson is a devout Christian, but her deep and rigorous moral thinking has universal relevance. In her newly-released essay collection “What Are We Doing Here?” Robinson explore issues of faith, conscience, American identity and intellectual integrity. For a more thrilling read, turn to Laura Lippman’s new suspense novel “Sunburn.” And if you’ve yet to read Daniel Riley’s profile of new Hollywood star Timothée Chalamet — yes, he’s Jewish! — it’s essential preparation for the Oscars.
This week, the Forward’s Sam Bromer interviewed Raoul Peck about his new film “The Young Karl Marx.” Read the interview, then go see the film. If you could use some cheering up, the offbeat teen romance “Every Day,” based on a book by David Levithan, looks very heartwarming.
3) New York City
The New York Public Library knows just what the weary adults of the city need: A night to be treated like kids, but in an adult way. (Like, with alcohol.) Head to “The Library After Hours: Young at Heart” on Friday night for story time, crafting and a one-night-only exhibit of the NYPL’s collection of children’s literature. This weekend heralds the opening of the New York International Children’s Film Festival, which features selections like “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm.” (Amy Oringel wrote about that short film for the Forward in January.) If you’ve a yen for Broadway, check out a preview of the latest revival of “Carousel,” Rogers and Hammerstein’s second musical.
4) Washington D.C.
It’s a theatrical weekend in the capital. Theatre J’s “Becoming Dr. Ruth” tracks the remarkable life of the legendary sex therapist; Amy Oestreicher presents her one-woman show “Gutless and Grateful” as part of the Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Intersections Festival; and on Sunday afternoon, the JCC of Northern Virginia presents staged readings of three new Jewish plays for its 2018 Jewish Playwriting Contest.
This weekend, swing by a decidedly different kind of art exhibit: The Chicago Pancakes & Booze Art Show, which features a free pancake bar and the work of local artists. Sunday afternoon, the Spertus Institute will screen the documentary “On the Banks of the Tigris,” which explores the history of Jewish involvement in Iraqi music. Also worth checking out is the Mercury Theater’s “Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner, a Sort of Love Story.”
6) Los Angeles
“The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk,” a play about the love story of Marc and Bella Chagall, won top honors at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Catch its latest staging at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Arts. On Saturday, head to the Santa Monica Playhouse for Stogie Kenyatta’s one-man show “The World is My Home — The Life of Paul Robeson”; before you go, read the Forward’s coverage of Robeson’s lifelong ties to Yiddish. And Sunday, AirTalk will host an Oscars preview with film critics from the Los Angeles Times, MTV News and more.