Chutzpah Festival unveils 2018 lineup with names like Roy Assaf Dance, Idan Raichel, Mary Walsh, and Troker

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      Dance names from as far afield as Italy and Israel, a solo piano concert by Idan Raichel, and Mary Walsh’s new one-woman show are some of the highlights in the just-anounced Chutzpah Festival lineup, February 15 to March 15, 2018.

      Amid the strong dance programming at the annual celebration of Jewish culture, Israeli company Roy Assaf Dance debuts with Six Years Later and The Hill. Elsewhere look for the Canadian premiere of Ezralow Dance, genre-jumping choreographer, writer, and performer Daniel Ezralow’s American company; and the North American premiere of choreographer Michele Merola’s MM Contemporary Dance bringing Rite of Spring and Bolero here from Italy (presented with the Italian Cultural Centre).

      Chutzpah will also stage the premiere of Salomé: Woman of Valor, a multidisciplinary work created by the Klezmatics’ Frank London and spoken-word artist Adeena Karasick that mashes up live music, text, video, and dance.

      Standouts on the music roster include Idan Raichel’s solo piano show; Mexico’s Troker, with its blend of jazz, hip-hop, mariachi, and more; the concert Perla Batalla In the House of Cohen, featuring the singer who once toured with Leonard Cohen; local spoken-word talent Barbara Adler in a double-bill with U.S. musician-poet Jake Klar; and Toronto’s Eurofolk fusionists Beyond the Pale.

      Comedian Mary Walsh

      On the comedy schedule, look for This Hour Has 22 Minutes star Mary Walsh; New Zealander Deb Filler with her I Did It My Way in Yiddish (in English)!; and former host and creator of CBC’s Wiretap, humourist Jonathan Goldstein.

      In the theatre lineup, Michael Rubenfeld’s We Keep Coming Back is a multimedia exploration of Polish-Jewish history and culture, incorporating archival materials and video.

      The fest is centred at the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre, with additional shows at the Scotiabank Dance Centre, Rickshaw Theatre, and Fox Cabaret.

      Single tickets and “Chutzi packs” go on sale today at, where there's also a full schedule and more info.

      Mexico's style-mashing Troker.