When I first moved to California from Philadelphia in 1978, Leon Brown, editor of the Jewish Exponent, told me to look up his friend Sol Weinstein.
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Purim spoof cover
Inspired by this week's Jewish pastime of movies and Chinese food, the Los Angeles "Rocky Horror Picture Show" cast Sins o' the Flesh is hosting an inaugural Jewish-themed send-up of the midnight cult classic at the Landmark Nuart Theatre in West Los Angeles on Saturday, Dec. 22.
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Marc Kessler, who conceived the show, along with Ken Davenport, said they first conceptualized a four-person band. But then they realized they could add "the outsider" archetype, and who would better fit that than a Jewish character?
In their previous screenplay collaborations, Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy have satirized such offbeat subjects as small-town theatrical productions ("Waiting for Guffman"), championship dog shows ("Best in Show"), and old folk music groups ("A Mighty Wind").But for their latest, "For Your Consideration," they've really gone out on a limb with an obscure target -- Purim movies."For Your Consideration" chronicles the making of a tear-jerking melodrama, "Home for Purim," in which the dying matriarch of a Southern Jewish family, Esther Pischer (Catherine O'Hara), waits for the holiday-season return of her wayward daughter, Rachel (Parker Posey). Both the Yiddish and the southern accents are thick.
David Zucker sees threats to America and Israel mounting, and he believes the Democrats are unable or unwilling to confront those challenges, so he has decided to go public with his belief that the Democrats have lost their way.
But at least I'm succeeding at one thing: sloth. Yes, one of the quote/unquote seven deadly sins can actually be viewed as a virtue -- no, a lifestyle program, according to Wendy Wasserstein's new book, "Sloth: The Seven Deadly Sins" (The New York Library/Oxford, 2005).
On the sunny porch of his Santa Monica cottage, a scruffy-looking Harry Shearer, Los Angeles' preeminent satirist, is describing his fascination with an all-male power retreat called the Bohemian Grove. It began about nine years ago when the caustic, 58-year-old humorist started interviewing Grove guests -- and hookers -- about the super-exclusive Northern California resort. The interviews eradicated every conspiracy theory he'd had about the place: "These guys aren't micromanaging the world," says Shearer, best known for voicing myriad "Simpsons" characters and for his National Public Radio program, "Le Show."