Rank and File: Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'In the Heights' Reaches Jerusalem

Plus Haim Watzman’s 'Necessary Stories: Between Worlds' in Jerusalem and this year's 12 Initiative for Zionist Innovation finalists

Shir Arbiv, left, Shimi Herman, Maya Kristal Tenembaum and Yair Farkas in Starcatcher's production of "In The Heights."
Yona Kaplan

SCALING THE ‘HEIGHTS’: Before Lin-Manuel Miranda’s monster success “Hamilton,” there was “In the Heights,” which tells the story of Hispanic immigrants in New York. Between next Thursday and March 9, Starcatcher will present the show in Jerusalem. Director and designer Eli Kaplan-Wildmann told Haaretz the show is particularly relevant in Jerusalem “because we are a community of either immigrants or kids of immigrants, and it is really cool to be able to identify with and find the differences with our stories.” Kaplan-Wildmann, who moved to Israel as a child but later went back to New York, where he studied design and worked on Broadway, said the huge cast is dealing with new kinds of dance like hip-hop, breakdancing and salsa. “They have proven to be up to the task,” he added. The lead actors include Shimi Herman, a new immigrant from Miami, Maya Kristal Tenembaum, Shir Arbiv and Yair Farkas. For more info, visit: https://www.beitshmuel.co.il/In_The_Heights

JERUSALISM IN JERUSALEM: Next Wednesday, Jerusalism – which fosters the local literary community in Jerusalem – will present Haim Watzman’s “Necessary Stories: Between Worlds” at the Harmony Cultural Center. The play is based on stories from the regular column he began writing at the Jerusalem Report over a decade ago. “My actress friend Annabelle Landgarten three years ago had read one of the stories and said, ‘This really needs to be on stage,’” the Washington-raised Watzman told Haaretz. “I was delighted to hear that, because when I was at Duke I wrote plays. I do tend to write and see the characters on the stage,” he added. The show is now enjoying its third annual edition. Landgarten, from London, and Jane Golbert, who hails from New York, will perform the stories along with Watzman. There will be a discussion with Watzman following the performance, which commences at 8 P.M. For tickets, search “necessary stories” and “Jerusalem” at www.eventbrite.com.

INNOVATIVE IMMIGRANTS: Nefesh B’Nefesh has chosen 12 finalists for its 2019 Initiative for Zionist Innovation, together with the Steinmetz Herskovitz Family Fund. All winners receive seed money and logistical support to further their projects. “The Steinmetz Herskovitz Family Fund believes in the potential of olim to improve the communities they live in, specifically because they have already done so in their previous Jewish communities,” said Marty Herskovitz, an immigrant and philanthropist. The recipients of the grants (and their project) are Eden Adler (Olim in Tech Hackathon); Rebecca Jennings (Therapeutic Studio); Becky Kupchan Berkman (Be’erot Beit Midrash); David Lasday (Community Lacrosse Clinics); Louie Miller (Baseball in Northern Israel); Kathy Poodiack (Thrivacious Peer Connection Program); Menucha Saitowitz (Kochav Darom Community); Jodi Samuels (Dine & Date); Sam Sank (Inter Aliyah Club); Sylvie Schapira (Big Clean); Mia Schon (The Mosaic Project); and Bryan Van Doorninck (FC one-two).

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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