Star-Studded Spring Arts + Ideas Lineup Announced At JCC Manhattan

Spring highlights include behind the scenes event with Joyva candy & sneak peek of a musical adaptation of the novel, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

By: Apr. 14, 2022

The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan's Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas, has announced the line-up for star-studded conversations, performances, and events, happening in-person in the renovated Goldman-Sonnenfeldt Auditorium and on the MMJCCM rooftop, plus select programs will take place virtually, from April 20 through June 22.

This Spring, the JCC will welcome the return of the popular conversation series, What Everyone's Talking About with Abigail Pogrebin, where Pogrebin will speak with Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award-Winning actress Julianna Margulies (ER, The Morning Show) on May 12 and Pulitzer Prize-Winning author Jennifer Egan (Manhattan Beach, A Visit from the Goon Squad) on June 15. The Spring line-up will also include author conversations with Nyle DiMarco (America's Next Top Model, Dancing with the Stars), Jessica Anya Blau (Mary Jane), Angela Garbes (Like a Mother, Essential Labor), and Rebecca Soffer (Modern Loss); a sneak peek of the world premiere musical adapted from the beloved novel From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler with Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project); a behind the scenes look at the past and future of world renowned candy company Joyva, and the return of The Oy Gevalt Comedy Show in partnership with West Side Comedy Club. This marks the first full Arts + Ideas season since the pandemic began, when the MMJCCM pivoted to offering one-off virtual Arts + Ideas programs and events.

"To say I'm excited by our upcoming Spring season is an understatement," says Jason Blitman, Program Director of the Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas. "Not only do we have the in-person return of our marquee conversation series with Abigail Pogrebin featuring stellar guests, we have a sneak peek of a new musical adaptation of a beloved book, a behind the scenes conversation with a company synonymous with Jewish food, a conversation around motherhood and social change with bestselling authors, and so much more! Plus, we'll continue to offer select virtual programs for those who aren't local to NYC or aren't comfortable joining us in person just yet. Programming at the JCC this Spring is really in "full bloom", as there's something for everyone to enjoy and experience across all mediums, and we can't wait to share them."

In the blockbuster series, What Everyone's Talking About with Abigail Pogrebin, host Pogrebin unpacks the controversies, careers, and events in the news with fascinating guests. Kicking off the fourteenth season of the star-studded conversation series, Julianna Margulies will discuss her debut memoir, Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life, and Jennifer Egan will speak about her latest novel, The Candy House. Past guests of the series include Roxane Gay, Ellie Kemper, Malcolm Gladwell, Nora Ephron, Isabel Wilkerson, and many others.

"After two long years of remote gathering, I could not be more excited to be coming back to the MMJCCM-in person-with incredible interview guests this Spring," shares Abigail Pogrebin, journalist, author, and host of What Everyone's Talking About. "The JCC is one of our most invaluable, welcoming, and innovative hubs of community and conversation. I am truly grateful to be headed back to their beautiful theater, where we've hosted so many memorable sold-out conversations, from Madeleine Albright to Charles M. Blow."

On May 16, the JCC will present a one-night-only sneak peek performance of the world premiere musical, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, adapted from the classic NYC-centric novel by E. L. Konigsburg. Following the presentation in the Goldman-Sonnenfeldt Auditorium, Gretchen Rubin, a super-fan of the novel, will lead a conversation with the creative team of the musical, including Jessica Penzias (Book), Christyn Budzyna (Lyrics), Adam Ben-David (Music), and Mia Walker (Director). The company for the concert presentation will be announced at a later date.

On May 26, Unorthodox podcast host Stephanie Butnick will interview Richard Radutzky, the president of the 115 year old world renowned candy company, JOYVA. As a descendent of the company founders, Radutzky will share a behind the scenes video of the Brooklyn-based company, discuss the future of the company and its upcoming branding refresh, and speak about the famous confections that have become synonymous with Jewish culture.

The JCC is partnering with The Strand to offer discounted books for each of the author conversations. Patrons may use the code MMJCCM for 10% off online purchases of the books covered in the 2022 Spring line-up.

Conversations are sponsored by Zabar's and Virtual programming in the Lambert Center is made possible by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.


Additional events for the Spring season will be announced at a later date.
Dates and times are subject to change.

Deaf Utopia: In Conversation with Nyle DiMarco

April 20, 7:00 PM - Virtual
Nyle DiMarco joins us in conversation to discuss his moving and engrossing memoir, Deaf Utopia, stories of navigating a hearing world and celebrating Deaf cultural identity. From growing up in a rough-and-tumble childhood in Queens with his big and loving Italian-American family, to the actor, producer, advocate, and model he's become, DiMarco has always been driven to explore beyond the boundaries given him. Through his stories and those of his Deaf brothers, parents, and grandparents, he opens windows into the Deaf experience. Nyle will be joined in conversation by Deaf educator, producer, and performer, Shelly Guy.

Mothering As Social Change: Conversation with Author Angela Garbes, Essential Labor

May 9, 7:30 PM - In Person
From the acclaimed author of Like a Mother comes a reflection on the state of caregiving in America, and an exploration of mothering as a means of social change. Angela Garbes will be joined in conversation by New York Times bestselling author, Xochitl Gonzalez (Olga Dies Dreaming). How, under our current circumstances that leave us lonely, exhausted, and financially strained, might we demand more from American family life? In Essential Labor, Angela Garbes contends that while the labor of raising children is devalued in America, the act of mothering offers the radical potential to create a more equitable society. Garbes reframes the physically and mentally draining work of meeting a child's bodily and emotional needs as opportunities to find meaning, to nurture a deeper sense of self, pleasure, and belonging. This is highly skilled labor, work that impacts society at its most foundational level.

Great Big Community Book Club: Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

May 10, 7:00 PM - Virtual
Join us for a thoughtful virtual conversation with author Jessica Anya Blau about how her latest novel came to be, and take a deeper dive into its themes and secrets.You'll have the opportunity to provide questions and comments in advance and those will inspire and drive the conversation. There will be spoilers. Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this "delightful" (New York Times Book Review) novel about a fourteen-year-old girl's coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for-who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.

What Everyone's Talk About with Abigail Pogrebin and Julianna Margulies

May 12, 7:30 PM - In Person
Julianna Margulies joins Abigail Pogrebin to discuss her memoir, Sunshine Girl. Known for her outstanding performances on the groundbreaking television series The Good Wife and ER, Julianna Margulies deftly chronicles her life and her work in this deeply powerful memoir. Filled with intimate stories and revelatory moments, Sunshine Girl is at once unflinchingly honest and perceptive. It is a riveting self-portrait of a woman whose resilience in the face of turmoil will leave readers intrigued and inspired.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Concert + Conversation with The Happiness Project's Gretchen Rubin

May 16, 7:00 PM - In Person
Join us for a sneak peek of the brand-new musical From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. This theatrical adaptation of the beloved classic novel tells the story of 11-year-old Claudia Kincaid and her younger brother Jamie, as they run away from home and hide out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This evening will feature a concert presentation hosted by five-time New York Times bestselling author, podcaster, and speaker, Gretchen Rubin.

The Modern Loss Handbook Book Launch: Rebecca Soffer in Conversation with Vanessa Kroll Bennett

May 17, 7:30 PM - In Person
Join us as we welcome author and Modern Loss cofounder Rebecca Soffer in conversation with Vanessa Kroll Bennett to celebrate the launch of the latest book in the global platform Modern Loss, The Modern Loss Handbook.

Joyva: Behind the Scenes of the 115-Year-Old Company

May 26, 7:00 PM - In Person
Unorthodox podcast host Stephanie Butnick sits down with Richard Radutzky, president of Joyva and a descendant of the founders, to talk about the famous confections that have become synonymous with Jewish culture. You won't want to miss this unique event where we'll learn how the halva gets made and celebrate 115 years of Joyva.

Oy Gevalt: Comedy Show with West Side Comedy Club

June 13, 7:30 PM - In Person
Following a successful Winter event, The Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas continues its partnership with The West Side Comedy Club to present a night of stand-up comedy you won't want to miss.

What Everyone's Talk About with Abigail Pogrebin and Jennifer Egan

June 15, 7:30 PM - In Person
Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Egan will speak with Abigail Pogrebin about her latest book The Candy House, the "sibling novel" to A Visit From the Goon Squad. The Candy House is a bold, brilliant imagining of a world that is moments away. Egan takes to stunning new heights her "deeply intuitive forays into the darker aspects of our technology-driven, image-saturated culture" (Vogue). The Candy House delivers an absolutely extraordinary combination of fierce, exhilarating intelligence and heart.

Out Loud: A LGBTQIA+ Banned Book Event

June 22, 7:00 PM - In Person
In a PEN America study from July 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, 1,586 book bans have occurred in 86 school districts in 26 states. 379 tiles explicitly address LGBTQIA+ themes, or have protagonists or prominent secondary characters who are LGBTQIA+. Join us for a panel to discuss those books and what these bans mean as we speak with authors and scholars.


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