Lord of the Dance laces up for Israel World famous dance production Lord of the Dance is returning to Israel after a three-year gap with a series of 14 shows at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv, the Congress Center in Haifa and Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem, beginning on January 15. The Irish musical and dance production, created, choreographed, and produced by Irish-American dancer Michael Flatley, premiered in 1996, a year after Flatley left the production of Riverdance. The show has since become a staple on world stages.An advertising campaign to promote the shows on HOT TV entitled “Oh Lord” has proven so successful that the international marketing division of Lord of the Dance is considering adopting it for the show’s performances internationally. Israeli musical acts to strut their stuff Following last summer’s Jerusalem Music Conference which brought international promoters and bookers to Israel to hear a slew of Israeli acts, the International Music Showcase Festival is taking place in November, with two separate events – The Jazz & World Music Showcase from November 21-24 and the Rock and Indie Music Showcase from November 28-December 1.The event comes a year after the first showcase, focusing only on jazz and world music, where some 40 music industry representatives from abroad heard sets from 28 leading Israeli ensembles. This year, over 90 guests, including representatives from the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas and the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, are expected to arrive for the showcases, which will feature dozens of Israeli acts performing at Levontin 7 in Tel Aviv and The Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem.Among the artists will be Dudu Tessa, Barry Sacharov, Avishai Cohen, Eatliz and Boom Pam. The festival is a joint production of The Yellow Submarine, the Foreign Ministry and the Culture and Sport Ministry. Harlem Choir to harmonize in Israel The much-lauded Harlem Gospel Choir will make their maiden voyage to Israel next month for three shows – November 29 at Zappa Tel Aviv, November 30 at Zappa Herzliya and December 1 at Zappa Jerusalem. Touring with nine singers and two support musicians, the choir was founded in 1986 by Allen Bailey and presents the cream of singers from the black churches in the New York area.The soulful group has appeared before world leaders from President Barack Obama to Pope Benedict XVI and has performed with everyone from U2 and The Chieftains to Jimmy Cliff and Lyle Lovett, with a repertoire ranging from traditional spirituals to adaptations of songs by Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. Israeli and Munich theater to collaborate The Habima National Theater and Munich’s Residenz Theater are collaborating on an adaption for the stage of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, in turn based on August Strindberg’s The Stronger. Habimah’s Yevgenia Dodina and Residenz’ Juliane Kohler play the leads. Persona tells the story of successful actress Elizabeth who is struck dumb during a performance, and of Alma, the nurse hired to take care of her. Performances at Habima start November 11. ‘Wozzeck’ opens Israel Opera season Israel Opera music director David Stern will conduct the IO’s season opener of Wozzeck, Alban Berg’s modern classic based on Georg Buchner’s tale of brutality and exploitation.To support his family, Private Wozzeck (baritones Philip Horst, Julian Tovey), works two jobs. He’s batman to his Captain and experimental guinea-pig to a crazed physician.But his lover Marie (mezzo Maria Ricarada Wesseling, soprano Merav Barnea) betrays him. In a fit of jealous rage Wozzeck kills her and is himself then executed. Performances at the Tel Aviv performing Arts Center are November 26 – December 1.Return of Israel Song Festival Haven’t you longed to write that great Hebrew song? After a 30-year break, the Israel Song festival has returned.Channel 1 and Mifal Hapayis are cosponsoring the festival, that will pick the best Hebrew song from among the 10-12 selected as finalists. The big night will be at the Kiryat Motzkin auditorium on January 31, 2013, and the big prize is NS 100,000. The deadline for submission is 4 p.m. on November 29, and you’ll find all you need to know about the rules at www.iba.org.il.