Star-studded Spring Arts + Ideas lineup announced at JCC Manhattan

The Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan has announced the lineup for star-studded talks, performances and events taking place in-person at the MMJCCM’s renovated Goldman-Sonnenfeldt Auditorium and rooftop, as well as select programming, from April 20-28 April to June 22 virtually.

This spring, JCC welcomes the return of the popular talk series What Everyone’s Talking About with Abigail Pogrebin, in which 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 program will also include Writer Talks 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 preview of the world premiere musical based on the popular novel From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, starring 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 the West Side Comedy Club. This is the first full Arts + Ideas season since the pandemic began, when the MMJCCM transitioned to offering one-off virtual Arts + Ideas programs and events.

“To say I’m excited about our upcoming spring season is an understatement,” says Jason Blitman, program director for the Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas. “Not only do we have the personal return of our marquee talks series with Abigail Pogrebin with standout guests, we also have a sneak peek at a new musical adaptation of a beloved book, a behind-the-scenes conversation with a company synonymous with Jewish food, a Talking about motherhood and social change with best-selling authors and more! We will also continue to offer select virtual programs for those who aren’t residents of NYC or don’t yet feel comfortable visiting us in person. Programming at the JCC is truly in ‘bloom’ this spring “as there is something for everyone to enjoy and experience and we can’t wait to share it.”

In the blockbuster series What Everyone’s Talking About with Abigail Pogrebin, host Pogrebin unpacks the controversies, careers and events of the news with fascinating guests. Kicking off the fourteenth season of the star-studded talk series, Julianna Margulies will discuss her debut memoir, Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life, and Jennifer Egan will discuss 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 meeting remotely, I couldn’t be more excited to return to MMJCCM in person this spring with incredible interview guests,” said Abigail Pogrebin, journalist, author and host of What Everyone’s Talking About. “The JCC is one of our most valuable, welcoming and innovative centers for community and conversation. I am truly grateful to be returning to your beautiful theater where we have had so many memorable sold-out talks from Madeleine Albright to Charles M. Blow.”

On May 16, JCC presents a one-night 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 EL Konigsburg. Following the presentation in the Goldman Sonnenfeldt Auditorium, Gretchen Rubin, a die-hard fan of the novel, will speak to the musical’s creative team, 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, president of 115-year-old world-renowned confectionery company JOYVA. As a descendant of the company’s founders, Radutzky will share a behind-the-scenes video of the Brooklyn-based company, discussing the company’s future and upcoming brand refresh, and talking about the famous confectionery that has become synonymous with Jewish culture.

The JCC is working with The Strand to offer discounted books for each of the Author Talks. Patrons can use the code MMJCCM for 10% off online purchases of books included in the Spring 2022 Collection.

Conversations are sponsored by Zabar’s and Virtual programming at 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.

April 20, 7:00 p.m. – Virtual
Nyle DiMarco talks to us about his moving and compelling memoir, Deaf Utopia, stories about navigating a hearing world and celebrating the cultural identity of the deaf. Raised from a rough childhood in Queens with a large and loving Italian-American family to the actor, producer, advocate and model that he has become, DiMarco always strived to push the boundaries given to him. Through his stories and those of his deaf brothers, parents and grandparents, he opens windows into the deaf experience. Nyle is joined into the conversation by Shelly Guy, deaf educator, producer and performer.

May 9, 7:30 p.m. – in person
From the acclaimed author of Like a Mother comes a reflection on the state of nursing in America and an exploration of motherhood as a vehicle for social change. Angela Garbes is accompanied in conversation by New York Times bestselling author Xochitl Gonzalez (Olga dies dreaming). How can we ask more of American family life in our current circumstances that leave us lonely, exhausted, and financially strained? In Essential Labor, Angela Garbes argues that while the work of raising children is devalued in America, the act of motherhood offers radical potential to create a more just society. Garbes defines the physically and mentally demanding work of meeting a child’s physical and emotional needs as an opportunity to find meaning and foster a deeper sense of self, pleasure, and belonging. This is highly skilled work, work that affects society at its most fundamental level.

May 10, 7:00 p.m. – Virtual
Join us for a thoughtful virtual conversation with author Jessica Anya Blau about the making of her latest novel and delve deeper into its themes and mysteries. You have the opportunity to post questions and comments ahead of time, and these will inspire you and inspire the conversation. There will be spoilers. Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this “lovely” (New York Times Book Review) novel about the coming of age of a fourteen-year-old girl in 1970s Baltimore, torn between her straight family and the progressive family for which she is a nanny. is caught – who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.

May 12, 7:30 p.m. – in person
Julianna Margulies talks to Abigail Pogrebin about 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 work in this deeply powerful memoir. Filled with intimate stories and insightful moments, Sunshine Girl is unabashedly honest and sensitive at the same time. It is a compelling self-portrait of a woman whose resilience in the face of turmoil will fascinate and inspire readers.

May 16, 7:00 p.m. – in person
Join us for a sneak peek at Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’s brand new musical From the Mixed-Up Files. This theatrical adaptation of the popular classic novel tells the story of 11-year-old Claudia Kincaid and her younger brother Jamie who run away from home and hide out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That evening will feature a concert presentation hosted by five-time bestselling author, podcaster, and New York Times anchor Gretchen Rubin.

May 17, 7:30 p.m. – in person
Join us as we welcome Modern Loss author and co-founder Rebecca Soffer in conversation with Vanessa Kroll Bennett to celebrate the release of the latest book on Modern Loss global platform, The Modern Loss Handbook.

May 26, 7:00 p.m. – in person
Unorthodox podcast host Stephanie Butnick sits down with Richard Radutzky, Joyva’s president and a descendant of the founders, to talk about the famous candy that has become synonymous with Jewish culture. You should not miss this unique event where we learn how the halva is made and celebrate 115 years of Joyva.

June 13, 7:30 p.m. – in person
After a successful winter event, the Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas continues its partnership with West Side Comedy Club to present a night of stand-up comedy not to be missed.

June 15, 7:30 p.m. – in person
Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan will speak to 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 take on a world just moments away. Egan reaches breathtaking new heights with 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 wild, exciting intelligence and heart.

Out Loud: An LGBTQIA+ Banned Book Event

June 22, 7:00 p.m. – in person
In a July 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022 study by PEN America, 1,586 book bans have occurred in 86 school districts in 26 states. 379 tiles explicitly address LGBTQIA+ issues or have protagonists or prominent supporting characters who are LGBTQIA+. Join a panel to discuss these books and the meaning of these bans as we speak with authors and scholars.

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