John Logan’s two-person play, “Red,” which spotlights the legendary Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko, is set a decade before the notoriously prickly painter committed suicide in 1970. The drama, which opens at the Mark Taper Forum on Aug. 12, begins as Rothko (Alfred Molina) has accepted a hefty commission to create a series of murals for the swanky Four Seasons restaurant in New York’s iconic Seagram Building. He intends his luminous, contemplative paintings to transform the space into a “temple,” while his initially timid new assistant, Ken (Jonathan Groff), grows bolder and insists that the work will merely serve as décor for pricey boozing and dining.
The Four Seasons banquet room was teeming with Spielbergs, but for once it wasn’t producer/director Steven, nor sisters Nancy, Sue or Anne, who were in the spotlight.
Prior to becoming a food writer and restaurant reviewer for The Jerusalem Post, I always thought of kosher food as limited and bland. But Israel demands competitive kosher cuisine — hotels generally adhere to kashrut laws; corporate lunch meetings must often accommodate observant clientele alongside secular counterparts who’d prefer a Tel Aviv bistro serving sautéed shrimp. This is true even though, at the same time, at the heart of Israeli culture are Jews who, no matter how much they like to think of themselves as the new Hebrews, still fondly recall their grandmother’s traditional kosher Jewish specialties.