Danny Elfman is a huge success, but he doesn't want you to know it. Humility is a hard thing to hang your hat on when you've accumulated four Academy Award nominations, taken home a Grammy, and an Emmy and written some of the most popular theme music of all time, notably for “The Simpsons” and his many collaboration with filmmaker Tim Burton. But that doesn't stop Elfman from trying.
As far as he has traveled, from Israel to Southern California, Ben-Binyamin has come an even greater distance in recent years in his transition from the IDF to the circus, a change he refers to as "extreme."
When I heard that the circus was coming to town, I couldn't wait to take my daughter. I'm talking about the Greatest Show on Earth, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, appearing in Orange County until Aug. 5.
Some of my best friends are clowns. I know that sounds like a line, but it's true. Jewish clowns, too. Back East, there's Dr. Meatloaf and Dr. Noodle (aka Stephen Ringold and Ilene Weiss). They're in the CCU, the "Clown Care Unit" of the Big Apple Circus. Like badchens (Yiddish for clown) for the broken up, they play hospitals instead of weddings.
7 Days in the Arts
I'm drinking at a bar called the Dirty Horse on Hollywood Boulevard. Well, that's not the real name, but I never got a look at the sign and that name seemed right.
In the days of communism's fierce grip on the Soviet Union, there lived a Chasidic Jew named Reb Mendel Futerfas. Reb Mendel repeatedly put his life at risk with his efforts to promote Jewish education behind the Iron Curtain and for some 14 years was incarcerated in prisons and labor camps for his "crime" of teaching Torah.
Edy Greenblatt is best known in Los Angeles as an energetic, knowledgeable folk dance teacher. But in search of a more stable career, she studied organizational behavior at the Harvard Business School, in a joint doctoral program involving Harvard's graduate schools of psychology and sociology.
7 Days In The Arts
After Stanford University graduate Jonna Tamases survived two different cancers in the 1980s, her life took an unexpected turn: She ran off to join the circus.
On a cool and drizzly night in this Indian Ocean port city, a vast white tent standing in the middle of a cricket field seemed to fit in with the circus atmosphere of the U.N. World Conference Against Racism, one Jewish observer said.
This was no regular circus that had come to town, however, but a viciously anti-Israel, anti-Jewish circus that had carried on all week and was about to reach its apex.
It got so bad on Monday, just halfway through the official governmental conference that began Aug. 31 and ends Sept. 7, that the United States and Israel recalled their delegations.
The U.S. delegation said it would not continue working in such a "racist," anti-Semitic atmosphere.