FIDDLER AT 50, The Maccabeats, GREASE Sing-Along and More Set for JCCSF's 2014 Season

The highly successful Arts & Ideas program at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF) continues into 2014 with an array of fascinating thinkers, writers and entertainers. Theatrical and musical presentations include:

Tonight, Jan. 4, 7 pm
Fiddler at 50: Celebrating a Half-Century of Fiddler on the Roof
With Alisa Solomon, Columbia University
Drama critic and Jewish historian Alisa Solomon's captivating new book, Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof, describes the enduring story of the Broadway musical that speaks to our deepest conflicts and desires - fraying traditions, generational tension, the loss of roots - resonating with people across borders and time. Presented in partnership with the Jewish Community Library and part of the Bay Area-wide Fiddler at 50 Initiative. Tkts: $15

Fridays & Saturdays, Jan. 4 - 11, 2014 8 pm
Sundays, Jan, 6 & 12, 2014 3 pm
Jonathan Reinis Productions and Shotgun Players present Sea of Reeds
Written and performed by Josh Kornbluth
Why would a lifelong atheist decide to get bar-mitzvahed, in Israel, at age 52? What does playing the oboe have to do with the Book of Exodus? And how might a monologist deal with having a whole group of people on stage with him? These questions - and more - are answered in Sea of Reeds, Josh Kornbluth's brand-new comedy, directed by David Dower. Tkts: $25 - $35

Friday, Jan. 24, 8 pm
Angélique Kidjo: Conversation and Songs
Grammy-winning Beninoise singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo is considered one of Africa's greatest living divas. She is acclaimed for her uplifting and dynamic music, a blend of tribal and pop rhythms of her West African heritage with zouk, jazz, and Latin, sung in English, French, Fon and Yoruba. Her new book, Spirit Rising, tells the story of her harrowing escape from Communist Benin into France, her rise from poverty to became an international sensation, and her tireless advocacy work for women's rights and the education of African girls. Tkts: $35

Saturday, Jan. 25, 8 pm
Mark Cantor's Giants of Jazz: Treasures from the Archives
Film clips showcasing some of the finest names in big band and small combo jazz, including many never before screened at the JCCSF. Featured artists include Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Shorty Rogers, Buddy Rich and Thelonious Monk. Tkts: $25

Sunday, Jan. 26, 11 am and 2 pm
Circus Bella
Kids of all ages thrill to the breathtaking aerialists, gravity-defying gymnasts and outrageous slapstick antics of San Francisco's own Circus Bella. A kaleidoscope of thrilling feats of balance and strength, grace and poise are accompanied by live music by Rob Reich. Tkts: $15 - $20

Monday, Feb. 10, 7 pm
Off the Page Series Presents
All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones
In a world haunted by history and secrets, a young African-American Korean War vet sets out to solve a murder and discovers more than he bargained for. In this "Washington D.C. noir," by Pulitzer-prize winning author Edward P. Jones, African-American and Jewish communities overlap. This Off the Page staged reading is presented by San Francisco's own Word for Word Performing Arts Company. Suggested donation: $18

Thursday, Feb. 13, 8 pm
Bettye Lavette In Concert
With a voice as powerful as Etta James' and a story as compelling as Tina Turner's, Grammy-nominee Bettye Lavette is finally gaining the superstar status that has eluded her since the 1960s. The New York Times proclaimed that LaVette "now rivals Aretha Franklin as her generation's most vital soul singer," and her velvet-rich voice and gospel-based blues have earned the admiration of everyone from Paul McCartney, to Bonnie Raitt, to Elvis Costello. Tkts: $35 - $45

Friday, Feb. 14, 8 pm
San Francisco Contemporary Music Players presents
Origins: A Steven Schick Recital
One of the leading musicians of the contemporary percussion tradition, Steven Schick, will perform his first solo San Francisco recital in over 30 years, with works by Stockhausen, Feldman, Lachenmann, Globokar, Tenney and Xenakis. This will be Schick's only 2014 West Coast solo recital. Tkts: $20 - $40

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2 pm and Sunday, Feb. 23, 2 pm
Says You!
Says You!, public radio's game of wordplay and wit, returns to the City by the Bay as two teams of panelists are pitted against one another in a game that creates comedy. Host Richard Sher is always quick to remind listeners that although the questions are challenging, it isn't important to know the answers. It's important to like the answers! So come play along! Seats are limited for these two live tapings. Tkts: $35

Saturday, March 15, 2 pm & 7:30 pm
Grease Sing-Along
Sing along to on-screen lyrics as John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and a star-studded cast sing and dance their way into our hearts in this 35th anniversary release of Grease. Since it's Purim Eve, don those pink jackets, grease up your hair and let your inhibitions go! Pre-show costume competition, goody bags and an audience hand-jive. Grease is rated PG-13. Tkts: $18

Tuesday, March 18 Zydeco Dance lesson at 7:30pm, Concert & Dance Party 8 pm
Zydeco Magic Dance Party
Andre Thierry and his band Zydeco Magic will have the audience up on its feet and swinging all night long to infectious French Creole music. With an original sound that merges traditional Zydeco with hip-hop, blues, jazz and rock, the band has been Grammy nominated and was named the Best Zydeco Group by the Bay Area Blues Society. Cajun food and specialty cocktails will be available for purchase. Tkts: $15 - $20

Saturday, March 22, 8 pm
Mark Cantor's Giants of Jazz on Film - Showtime at the Apollo
The stage shows at the Apollo had it all: jazz bands and combos, vocalists, R&B, dance and comedy routines. Join us to watch clips of Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra, Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five, "Moms" Mabley, The Berry Brothers, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and many more. Tkts: $25

Sunday, March 23, 5 pm
The Maccabeats
Formed as Yeshiva University's student a capella group, the Maccabeats perform an eclectic mix of Jewish, American and Israeli songs. Their breakthrough piece, Lecha Dodi, combines beloved words of Jewish liturgy with Leonard Cohen's melodic Hallelujah. With more than one million YouTube views, the Maccabeats have made numerous TV appearances and two albums: Voices From The Heights and Out Of The Box. Tkts: $25

Friday & Saturday, April 11 & 12, 8 pm
UnderCover & Faultline Studios Present
Paul Simon's Graceland
Guest Music Director, Robert Shelton of DRMS
UnderCover Presents is a grassroots collective that gathers performers from throughout the Bay Area music community to celebrate the broad influence of classic albums. The concept is simple: one band per song, with a variety of genres represented. Eleven musical ensembles, visual projections and an array of dancers pay tribute to Graceland, Paul Simon's iconic album that brought the sounds of South African music to audiences around the world. Tkts: $30 & $40

Thursday, May 1, 8 pm
Keren Ann
The Tel Aviv, Paris and New York-based chanteuse writes meticulously crafted songs that are at turns lilting and upbeat. Steeped in pop française, Lower East Side rock and cinema noir, she is an invigoratingly raw performer, equally adept at affecting ballads, bouncy art-pop and punchy rock. Tkts: $20 - $25

Saturday, May 3, 8 pm
Mark Cantor's Giants of Jazz on Film - Broadway to Hollywood and All That Jazz
A lot of the repertoire of classic jazz can be largely traced to the Broadway stage and Hollywood musical. This will be an evening of film featuring jazz performances of compositions by the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer and many more. Tkts: $25

Saturday, May 3, 2 pm & 5 pm
Family Performance
ODC/Dance, San Francisco's own world-renowned contemporary Dance Company, performs a range of repertory that audiences of all ages enjoy. ODC's dancers delight and inspire with their signature athleticism, virtuosity and spirit. Young audience members are invited to take a turn onstage as the dancers teach them some movements from the performance. Tkts: $15 - $20

Thursday, May 22, 6:30 pm
The CJM and the JCCSF present
The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book
(At the Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA)
The incredible story of the Sarajevo Haggadah will be explored through a stirring live musical and multi-media performance created by composer and accordianist Merima Kiju?o, in collaboration with artist Ruah Edelstein. Drawing on the musical traditions of Spain, Italy, Austria and Bosnia and Herzagovina, Kiju?o's compositions chart the journey of the legendary Haggadah. Tkts: $15 - $25
(Tickets at or 415/655-7881)

The JCCSF is located at 3200 California Street at Presidio. For tickets, call the Box Office at 415/292-1233 or visit

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