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J*Fest aims to bring the community together around issues of Jewish identity, history, and culture, fostering thought, discussion, and understanding.

festival schedule

Sun, Jun 8, 5 pm
Aquatic Information
Written and performed by Wendy Luck

Created as part of Luck’s doctoral work and utilizing contemporary multimedia performance practices, Aquatic Information presents the story of her grandmother's escape from Bolshevik Russia. Ms. Luck, a flautist, singer, actress, and comedienne, also employs audio recordings of her grandfather, a cantor, and video projections. She plays multiple roles and employs her myriad musical talents to create a performance ritual like none other.

Sun, Jun 8, 7:30 pm
What Next?
Written by Terri Klein
Produced by Mark Perman

Martin and Steven are both on their way to the D'Angelo kid's bar mitzvah, when Steven is accidentally killed. Martin feels guilty. Steven can't find his way to the afterlife. Is there some divine reason Steven's ghost is talking to Martin or is Martin going nuts? What Next? is a comedy that leaves audiences questioning the world around them.

Mon, Jun 9, 7 pm
David Michael Finklestein's Bar Mitzvah
Written and produced by Sue Fabisch

What’s the point of a bar mitzvah? Is it welcoming a young man into the community as an adult (even though, let’s face it, at thirteen nobody’s an adult) or is it about showing off to everyone you've ever met in your entire life? The family at the heart of David Michael Finklestein’s Bar Mitzvah may not have their priorities straight, but their hearts are in the right place. A hysterical, commercial musical.

Tue, Jun 10, 6 pm
The Second Sun
Written by James Patrick Nelson
Produced by Zachary Perez

Can you be another person’s fate? When Max and Joy meet unexpectedly one stormy night, a shocking revelation binds them together forever, as they teach each other how to hope in the face of unimaginable obstacles. Loosely based on a true story, The Second Sun is an uncommon love story of endurance and survival.

Tue, Jun 10, 8 pm
The Rigano Songbook
Written and performed by David and Paul Rigano
Produced by Festival Arts

Up-and-coming cabaret stars David and Paul Rigano occasionally refer to themselves as pizza bagels. Their mom, Rita, is of Italian extraction; their father Ron is Jewish. Growing up with their mother’s last name because their father's extended family disowned him, David and Paul nonetheless identify with their Jewish heritage. They have performed various Rigano Songbooks at famed New York cabaret venues like Don’t Tell Mama and The Duplex. J-Fest is proud to host the world premiere of their Jew-ish Edition. Mixing songs by the Rigano boys and stories from their lives with classic cabaret and musical theatre repertoire, this promises to be a fabulous, fun-filled show about the way secular Jews honor their cultural heritage.

Wed, Jun 11, 6 pm
Uncle Philip's Coat
Written by Matty Selman, produced by Iris Burnett

Uncle Philip’s Coat is a one-man piece about an actor, Larry’s, relationship with his now-deceased uncle. The black sheep of the family, Larry’s Uncle Philip was a colorful character.

Wed, Jun 11, 8 pm
The Gefilte Fish Chronicles
Written by Iris Burnett and Matty Selman
Produced by Iris Burnett

Gefilte Fish Chronicles the Musical is a celebration of the power of family. Irresistible and compelling, heart-warming and touching, inspirational and hilarious, it was inspired by the award-winning documentary of the same name shown nationwide on over 70 PBS stations. Recounting the colorful story of the Dubroff family, we see the importance of passing on memories, music and stories from one generation to the next, ensuring that their beloved departed will remain alive in the hearts and minds of all generations that follow. Gefilte Fish Chronicles the Musical answers the question: What happened to Tevye and so many other Jews when they left Russia and emigrated to the United States?

Sun, Jun 22, 10 am
Three Challahs
Written by Hili Shali
Produced by Yeladudes Theatre Company

Three Challahs is the children’s entry to J-Fest. Employing Hebrew and English, music, puppetry, and storytelling elements, Three Challahs teaches children ages 3-10 and their families about the mitzvah of sharing and the love of Shabbat. It manages to educate without being pedantic, and entertain without talking down to its youthful audience.

Individual Tickets: $15/$20
Festival Pass for all 8 shows: $100

to purchase tickets.
the JCC in Manhattan