Arts + Ideas’ star-studded spring lineup announced at JCC Manhattan

The Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan has announced a lineup of star-studded conversations, performances and events, which will take place in person in the renovated Goldman-Sonnenfeldt Auditorium and on the rooftop of the MMJCCM, as well as some programs will take place virtually, from April 20 to June 22.

This spring, the JCC will host 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. Nyle DiMarco (Next American 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 first 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-famous confectionery company Joyva, and the return of The Oy Gevalt Comedy Show in partnership with West Side Comedy Club. This is the first full Arts + Ideas season since the onset of the pandemic, when the MMJCCM pivoted to offering unique Arts + Ideas virtual programs and events.

“To say I am excited about our upcoming spring season is an understatement,” said Jason Blitman, director of programs at the Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas. “Not only do we get the in-person return of our landmark Abigail Pogrebin Conversation Series with stellar guests, but we get a glimpse of a new musical adaptation of a beloved book, a behind-the-scenes conversation with a company synonymous with Jewish cuisine, a conversation about motherhood and social change with best-selling authors, and much more!In addition, we will continue to offer selected virtual programs for those who are not local to New York or who are not not yet comfortable joining us in person. Programming at TCG this spring is truly “in full swing”, as there is something for everyone to enjoy and experience across all mediums, and we look forward to share them.”

In the hit series, What Everyone’s Talking About with Abigail Pogrebin, host Pogrebin unpacks controversies, careers and current events with fascinating guests. Kicking off the fourteenth season of the star-studded conversation series, Julianna Margulies will discuss her first memoir, Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life, and Jennifer Egan will talk about her latest novel, The Candy House. Past series guests include Roxane Gay, Ellie KemperMalcolm Gladwell, Nora EphronIsabel Wilkerson and many others.

“After two long years of gathering remotely, I couldn’t be more excited to return to the MMJCCM – in person – with some amazing interview guests this spring,” shares Abigail Pogrebin, journalist, author and host of What Everyone’s Talking About. “The JCC is one of our most treasured, welcoming and innovative hubs of community and conversation. I am truly grateful to return to their beautiful theater, where we hosted so many memorable sold-out conversations, of Madeleine Albright to Charles M. Blow.

On May 16, the JCC will present a one-night preview performance of the world’s first musical, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, adapted from EL Konigsburg’s classic NYC-centric novel. Following the presentation at the Goldman-Sonnenfeldt Auditorium, Gretchen Rubin, a super-fan of the novel, will lead a conversation with the musical’s creative team, including Jessica Penzias (Book), Christyn Budzyna (Lyrics), Adam Ben David (Music) and mia walker (Director). The company for the presentation of the concert 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 confectionery company, JOYVA. As a descendant of the company’s founders, Radutzky will share a behind-the-scenes video of the Brooklyn-based company, discuss the company’s future and its upcoming brand refresh, and talk about the famous confections that have become synonymous with Jewish culture.

The JCC partners with The Strand to offer discounted books for each of the Author Conversations. Customers can use code MMJCCM for 10% off online purchases of books covered in the Spring 2022 range.

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


Other 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 joins us to discuss his moving and captivating memoir, Deaf Utopia, stories of navigating a hearing world and celebrating Deaf cultural identity. From growing up a difficult childhood in Queens with his large and loving Italian-American family, to becoming the actor, producer, advocate and model he became, DiMarco has always been driven to explore beyond- beyond the limits given to it. Through his stories and those of his deaf brothers, parents and grandparents, he opens windows on the deaf experience. Nyle will be joined in the conversation by Deaf educator, producer and performer Shelly Guy.

May 9, 7:30 p.m. – In person
From the acclaimed author of Like a Mother comes a reflection on the state of caregiving in America and an exploration of motherhood as a means of social change. Angela Garbes will be joined in the conversation by New York Times bestselling author Xochitl Gonzalez (Olga Dies Dreaming). How, in our current circumstances that leave us alone, exhausted, and financially strained, could we demand more of American family life? In Essential Labor, Angela Garbes argues that while the work 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 exhausting work of meeting a child’s bodily and emotional needs as opportunities to find meaning, nurture a deeper sense of self, pleasure, and belonging. This is a highly skilled workforce, work that impacts 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 birth of her latest novel and dig deeper into its themes and secrets. lead the conversation. There will be spoilers. Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this “delightful” novel (New York Times Book Review) about a fourteen-year-old girl’s coming-of-age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight family and the progressive family she takes care of. -who secretly hides a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.

May 12, 7:30 p.m. – In person
Julianna Margulies joins Abigail Pogrebin to discuss her memoir, Sunshine Girl. Known for her outstanding performances in the groundbreaking television series The Good Wife and ER, Julianna Margulies skillfully recounts his life and work in this deeply powerful memoir. Filled with intimate stories and revealing moments, Sunshine Girl is both unapologetically honest and insightful. It’s a compelling self-portrait of a woman whose resilience in the face of turmoil will leave readers intrigued and inspired.

May 16, 7:00 p.m. – In person
Join us for a preview of the all-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 include a concert presentation hosted by five-time New York Times bestselling author, podcaster and speaker 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 launch of the Modern Loss global platform’s latest book, The Modern Loss Handbook.

May 26, 7:00 p.m. – In person
Unorthodox podcast host Stephanie Butnick sits down with Richard Radutzky, chairman of Joyva and descendant of the founders, to talk about the famous sweets that have become synonymous with Jewish culture. You won’t want to miss this unique event where we will learn how halva is made and celebrate 115 years of Joyva.

June 13, 7:30 p.m. – In person
Following a successful winter event, the Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas continues its partnership with the West Side Comedy Club to present an evening of comedy not to be missed.

June 15, 7:30 p.m. – In person
Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan will talk with Abigail Pogrebin about her latest book The Candy House, the “sister novel” to A Visit From the Goon Squad. The Candy House is a bold and brilliant imagination of a world moments away. Egan takes to stunning new heights his “deeply intuitive forays into the darker sides of our tech-driven, image-saturated culture” (Vogue). The Candy House offers an absolutely extraordinary combination of intelligence and fierce, uplifting heart.

Out Loud: An LGBTQIA+ Forbidden Book Event

June 22, 7:00 p.m. – In person
In a study by PEN America from July 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, 1,586 book bans took place in 86 school districts in 26 states. 379 tiles explicitly deal with LGBTQIA+ themes, or have prominent protagonists or secondary characters who are LGBTQIA+. Join us for a panel to discuss these books and what these bans mean as we chat with authors and scholars.

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