The 2012 Israel Festival will open on May 14 in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Below are a number of recommendations for theater, dance and musical performances for the whole family.

Theater

The theme of this year's festival is "sons of." First on the list is Charlie Chaplin's daughter Victoria Chaplin, who will not attend the festival but will be represented by her daughter Aurélia Thiérrée. Thiérrée stars in a play directed by Chaplin, "Murmures des Murs" (Whispering Walls). The play takes place in an imaginary world, where Thiérrée, who plays a woman expelled from her home, meets strangers in a strange and moving structure, alongside flights of stairs with no stairs, floods and sea monsters.

Murmures des Murs, NIS 220 or NIS 80 in back seats, May 27, 21:30, The Jerusalem Theater, Sherover Hall

Milos Forman's children are also keeping busy, trying to make a name for themselves as innovative creators. The Forman brothers bring to Israel a two-hour cabaret circus, which will take place in the Jerusalem Theater Plaza.

The Forman Brothers, NIS 140, May 28, 21:00, Jerusalem Theater Plaza

"Parade," directed by Moshe Kepten, includes 28 actors from Broadway, the West End and Israel, and has won nine Tony awards. The plot follows the true story of a Jewish-American accountant named Leo Frank, who was tried and convicted for raping and murdering a 13-year-old girl in 1913. The trial, which was widely covered in the press, provoked serious interracial tensions and a wave of anti-Semitism in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Parade, NIS 150, NIS 80 in the back seats, June 7, 21:00, Jerusalem Theater

Dance

"Botanica," the new number by the MOMIX group, explores the ties between evolution, life and the four seasons. The concept of nature is portrayed onstage through acting, acrobatics, pantomime, dance, music, extravagant costumes and stage dynamic.

Botanica, NIS 220, NIS 80 in the back, June 10, 21:00, Jerusalem Theater

"KungFu revelations" is not exactly a dance show, nor is it a theater piece. It is a harmonic combination of Chinese dance and martial arts, requiring remarkable precision and technical skill.

KungFu revelations, NIS 180, NIS 80 in the back, May 31, 20:30, Jerusalem Theater

The last dance performance in the festival is "Mirrors and Music" by Japanese choreographer Saburo Teshigawara. The production features eight dancers and a solo performance by Saburo himself. The dancers explore the body and its relationship to mirrors and music, and reveal their physical abilities in a new reality filled with music and light.

Mirrors and Music, NIS 220, NIS 80 in the back, June 7, 21:00, Jerusalem Theater

Music

The festival's musical flagship is without a doubt Verdi's Requiem. The requiem tells the story of the Jewish prisoners at the Terezin concentration camp during the Second World War. The production includes photographs and filmed testimonies of the survivors.

Verdi's Requiem, NIS 140, NIS 80 in the back, NIS 40 for students, May 31, 20:00, International Convention Center, Jerusalem

Meir Banai, Aliza, Din Din Aviv, Mark Eliyahu, Yehuda Saado and others will represent Israeli music in the festival, at a concert called "The Voice will be Speaking" at the Tower of David Museum. This concert brings together traditional liturgical and Jewish music.

The Voice will be Speaking, NIS 80, June 3, Tower of David Museum, Jerusalem

Jazz lovers won't want to miss the John Scofield Quartet. Scofield, a renowned guitarist, has played with jazz greats like Miles Davis and Charles Mingus over a career spanning four decades. He will be joined by Mike Eckroth on piano, Ben Street on bass and Bill Stewart on drums. 

John Scofield Quartet, NIS 220 (NIS 80 for back seats), June 4 at 21:30 at the Jerusalem Theater, Sherover Hall

Musical Performance

The Flying Karamazov Brothers is a hysterical juggling group, made up of four Jewish brothers from New York. In a stunning and humorous performance, they juggle everything from burning torches to knives.

The Flying Karamazov Brothers, NIS 130, first performance on June 6, 17:30, Jerusalem Theater

Taiko Yamato is a Japanese percussion group founded in 1993. The group's 17 members create modern music using traditional instruments. Their performances are dynamic and full of humor - two hours of rhythm and energy for the whole family.

Yamato, the Drummers of Japan, NIS 220, NIS 80 for back seats, first performance May 24 at 20:00, Hebrew University Amphitheater, Mount Scopus

The multidisciplinary artist Pep-Bo will perform in Holon, Modi'in and Be'er Sheva with a new and magical performance in the language of soap bubbles. Using water, soap, pipes, lighting, smoke machines and various other devices the artist creates a wondrous world beyond imagination.

Clink! Too Happy, NIS 130, first performance May 24, 18:00, Mediateque Holon

Click here to read the festival's full program

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