Celebrating independence, coronavirus or not

“Residents are invited to step out onto their balconies with Israeli flags, to wave, dance and rejoice, together, from their homes.”

THE JERULIVE program kicks off tonight with 52 mobile shows in city neighborhoods. (photo credit: JERUSALEM MUNICIPALITY)
THE JERULIVE program kicks off tonight with 52 mobile shows in city neighborhoods.
These are hard times for most of us, and that goes for culture consumers, too. Normally, the country’s Independence Day festivities program would be replete with big shows, with A-lister rock, pop and other performers raking it in as they strut their stuff in front of gargantuan merry crowds.
Of course, none of the aforementioned live entertainment will go ahead Tuesday night and Wednesday, but fear not, there will plenty going around on the Internet and virtual media, and even the odd peripatetic public offering of music.
The Tel Aviv Municipality, for example, is rolling out its Celebrating Independence Together – From Afar program with “singing trucks” patrolling the city’s streets to offer residents an earful of feel-good vibes.
The municipal cast takes in four trucks and eight smaller vehicles which will do the urban rounds Tuesday evening, 8 p.m.-11 p.m., loaded with artists.
The bands will make their way right across the city, through the north, downtown, south and Jaffa, with the groups performing a suitably cheery playlist of Hebrew pop and rock songs.
All the locals need to do is open their windows and step outside to the balconies, raise a glass and shake a leg. To paraphrase an oft-cited saying, if you can’t get to the music, the music will come to you.
In addition to the live slots, eight smaller vehicles will pass through various areas of the city, suitably dressed up in national celebratory paraphernalia, playing Israeli musical nuggets through loudspeakers.
There will also be some digitally facilitated entertainment courtesy of DJ Itai Galo, who will do his high-energy thing from the municipality roof, Wednesday, between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The set will be broadcast via Zoom and the municipality’s Facebook page.
Over in Jerusalem, the municipality has pulled out all the stops to try to engender some celebratory spirit, and compensate for the lack of freedom of movement, and the absence of the traditional picnic gatherings in the city’s parks and other open spaces.
The expansive JeruLive program kicks off Tuesday evening with a full 52 mobile shows, with stellar performers trundling their way around the city neighborhoods for four hours from 9 p.m. The lineup includes the likes of Avraham Tal, Ethnix, Hadag Nahash and Mooki.
As the official blurb has it: “Residents are invited to step out onto their balconies with Israeli flags, to wave, dance and rejoice, together, from their homes.”
There will be more door-to-door entertainment Wednesday, in Jerusalem, during the course of the day, with Zaza mobile units joining forces with the Train Theater company, bringing family shows to eight areas of the city. The itinerant lineup includes acrobatics, fire artists, stand-up shows, percussion wizardry and sing-alongs.
Petah Tikva will also get in on the mobile entertainment act Tuesday evening, with 12 musical-artist-laden trucks stopping off at 71 locations around the city. Wednesday, younger residents will be catered for with the trucks hosting child-oriented fare.
There will be a similar rollout in Ra’anana, with five “idudyot” mobile units taking light shows and DJ acts around the city from 8:15 p.m. Tuesday evening, with a live broadcast, starring stand-up comedian Nicki Goldstein hosting a live show from the roof of the local Yad Lebanim center.
Ra’anana Mayor Haim Broide is among the local authority leaders who thought it would be prudent to cancel municipal fireworks displays, given the coronavirus-fueled economic crisis.
The Ra’anana Independence Day agenda also features a celebratory prayer service led by cantor Yitzhak Meir, which will be broadcast via social media, and the Ra’anana Symphonette Orchestra will be driven around town, performing under conductor David Sebba, with pop singer Tal Sondak adding some vocal sparkle.
NATURALLY, THERE will be plenty of online entertainment and other cultural offerings all over the place.
The Israel Story podcast has put together the variegated IsraPalooza “corona-days virtual event.” The program features a bunch of celebs, including Israeli-born violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman, Arab-Israeli TV show host Lucy Aharish and mixed media artist Hanoch Piven, with flamenco-pop-rock guitarist and vocalist David Broza also performing live.
The daylong Zoom program also takes in intimate conversations, interviews, family-friendly workshops, cooking classes and concerts.
The Jewish Agency will be flying the flag as high and far-flung as possible, Wednesday, across an online platform. The six-hour Facebook-facilitated broadcast agenda incorporates stellar pop-rock-reggae-rap artist Matisyahu, actor Joshua Malina and singer-songwriter Ben Platt joining super chefs Haim Cohen and Adeena Sussman in a cookery session, while famed crooner Rita will team up with Broadway star Cassie Levy in a special rendition of “Hatikvah.”
And if you’d like to just sit and goggle for a while, the Online at Shapira Documentary festival starts today. The five-dayer focuses on local productions and a wide range of social issues, offering a platform for local artists, particularly at a time when Israeli artists and cultural institutions are suffering the brunt of the pandemic lockdown. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/2692476310851284/