"The Kid From Brooklyn," a musical based on the life of Danny Kaye, now playing at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood, takes us back to the heyday of Kaye (born David Daniel Kaminsky), a versatile performer whose tongue-twisting verbal artistry and physical high jinks have influenced such modern-day performers as Robin Williams and Jim Carrey.
Shelley Berman is 80 years old and hot, hot, hot. When he cups his hand over the phone and yells to his wife: "Where am I this week, Sarah?" he's not having a senior moment. Fresh from playing Larry David's father on the HBO series, "Curb Your Enthusiasm," he's got bookings in Las Vegas, feature film shoots and network television tapings on top of his regular slate of teaching classes at USC. Shelley's current schedule would kill a person half his age, which is why, at 44, I'm functioning as his occasional producer, acolyte and coffee bringer ("Last time someone brought me hazelnut -- can't a person get an honest cup of coffee any more?") at 24th Street Theatre, where we're in the middle of a live Shelley Berman minifestival.
What's the best way to celebrate 350 years of Jewish life in America? If you're the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, you fete one of the top cultural achievements of American Jews -- the movie business -- with that favorite all-American pastime, the top 10 list.