"The MeshugaNutcracker!" tells the tale of eight citizens of Chelm, the mythical shtetl of fools, who gather every year to perform at their Chanukah festival. Through the course of the two-act musical, each tells a story of Chanukah heroes from the time of the Maccabees through today.
Narrated in the first person, present tense (always risky), "Love With Noodles" follows Gelder's canoodling with a string of women who enter his life just as he emerges from mourning his late beshert, Ellen. Gelder lives alone. His grown son, Eric, faces financial ruin. What's worse, Eric is planning to marry a non-Jew.
Oakland-based singer/songwriter Hyim has a Middle East peace proposal he'd like to float: Send 10,000 kids to the region, have a heart-to-heart with their Arab and Israeli counterparts and then get 'em all singing.
"Keeping Ahead of Winter" written and illustrated by Ruth Silnes (Xlibris Corporation, $21.99).
Run a Google search of "Jews" plus "boats" and you'll likely come up with something about steamships and Ellis Island.
Then there's Ruth Silnes, one Jewish mariner who refuses to go into dry dock.
Esther Weintraub is a stand-up comic who can't stand up.