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Jewish Journal

Tag: Theater

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  • Al Pacino reopens debate over pro-Nazi celebs

    3 weeks ago

    The decision by actor Al Pacino to withdraw from a Danish play because its author supported the Nazis during World War II has reopened a long-simmering debate over cultural contributions by individuals whose racial or political views are anathema.

    Pacino, the Academy Award...

  • Shifting sands of truth unravel in ‘The English Bride’

    March 18, 2015 | 3:47 pm

    As the play “The English Bride” begins, the audience is immediately thrust into a near cataclysm with a burst of police sirens and an announcement over a loudspeaker: “Attention! Attention! All passengers on El Al flight 1540 to Dusseldorf and Tel Aviv. The flight is canceled.”  

    ...
  • We’re all ‘Old Jews’ at heart

    March 4, 2015 | 12:34 pm

    An old Jewish man walks into a restaurant, walks up to the maitre d’ and says: “Pardon me, how do you prepare your chicken?” The maitre d’ says, “We tell ’em right up front they ain’t gonna make it.”

    That’s just one of the many jokes that exemplify Jewish humor in the comedy...

  • Jewish slave owners and a seder for the ages

    February 12, 2015 | 10:14 am

    The son of a Jewish, slave-owning family from the South confronts two of his former slaves just as the Civil War ends in the play “The Whipping Man,” which played at the West Coast Jewish Theatre in Los Angeles, has been produced by theater companies around the country and is now...

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  • Two literary giants, a lawsuit and Dick Cavett

    January 28, 2015 | 2:16 pm

    It was the talk of the literary and legal worlds in the early 1980s. Noted playwright Lillian Hellman (“The Little Foxes,” “Another Part of the Forest” and numerous others), sued literary critic and author Mary McCarthy (her novel “The Group” had a long run on the New York Times...

  • Harvey Fierstein, ‘Kinky Boots’ step out on national tour

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    October 29, 2014 | 11:32 am

    Harvey Fierstein, the six-time Tony Award-winning actor, playwright and gay activist, laughed as he recalled how a reporter once shamelessly rifled through his New York-area apartment. “She went through the entire house and kept opening all the closets,” he said during a recent...

  • London theater will host Jewish film fest after all

    August 15, 2014 | 12:21 pm

    A London theater that refused to host a Jewish film festival because of the event’s Israeli government funding has reversed course.

    The Tricycle Theatre decided to continue serving as a venue for the UK Jewish Film Festival after the theater’s initial refusal earlier this month...

  • Jason Alexander brings Neil Simon’s ‘Broadway Bound’ to L.A.

    August 6, 2014 | 10:59 am

    It has been nearly 30 years since actor/director Jason Alexander, perhaps best known for his role as George Costanza on the TV series “Seinfeld,” appeared in the original New York production of Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound,” the third play in a trilogy that included “Brighton Beach...

  • Michael Urie is Barbra Streisand in ‘Buyer & Cellar’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 23, 2014 | 12:23 pm

    “I’ve always found Barbra Streisand a fun character because she’s a combination of a megastar and my [Jewish] mother,” said playwright Jonathan Tolins, whose play “Buyer & Cellar,” now at the Mark Taper Forum, spotlights Babs’ relationship with an admiring employee. “I feel like...

  • Theater as addiction therapy in ‘Bliss Point’

    June 18, 2014 | 9:45 am

    The healing power of theater underlies the collaboration between the Cornerstone Theater Company and rehabilitation centers around the city, which resulted in the company’s production of “Bliss Point,” a play about addiction and recovery, through June 22 at the Odyssey Theatre in...

  • Safdie weighs challenges of making art from ashes

    April 30, 2014 | 10:47 am

    "Can you express the Holocaust in the form of original art?” 

    That’s one of the questions playwright-director Oren Safdie asks in his work, “False Solution,” about a famous architect who has won a competition to design a Holocaust museum in Poland. The play premiered last summer...

  • Awarding a Broadway ‘Wonder’

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    February 26, 2014 | 3:28 pm

    Few figures of popular culture are quite so beloved or beguiling as the character of Tevye, the pious but philosophical dairyman who reached his most celebrated incarnation in the Broadway hit musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” Yet Tevye himself and the musical in which he is showcased...

  • Finding tikkun olam in ‘Lion King’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 26, 2013 | 2:29 pm

    When Ben Lipitz trundles onto the stage as Pumbaa, the malodorous but genial warthog in the hit musical “The Lion King,” the character and his meerkat pal, Timon, stumble across Simba, the dejected lion cub who has fled his kingdom because he erroneously believes he has killed...

  • How ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ took flight

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 26, 2013 | 2:15 pm

    As a child, you think it would be fantastic to be Peter Pan,” the effusive, droll Rick Elice, playwright and lyricist of the “Peter Pan” prequel, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” said in an interview from his home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. 

    “You’d have no bedtime, no homework,...

  • Holiday preview calendar

    By Laura Donney

    November 25, 2013 | 4:34 pm

    MON | DEC 2

    HA HA Hanukkah

    If you like to laugh and hear happy Chanukah songs, then this is the show for you. It will be a special night of funny people, including Stephanie Blum, Jimmy Brogan and Mark Schiff. Hosted by Kenny Ellis, who has long made it a mission to marry the...

  • This week from Israel

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    December 31, 2012 | 10:17 am

    Rare findings from the First Temple era were found near Jerusalem
    Road excavation at a new section of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway led to a unique archeological discovery from the first temple era. The ritual building that was found is one of very few findings from Judea during...

  • Observant life in progress

    December 5, 2012 | 4:06 pm

    Barbara Heller likes to refer to herself as a “growing Jew.” 

    The actress/singer has created a biographical show, “Finding Barb,” that traces her life from her dysfunctional family in Boca Raton, Fla., through her disappointing pursuit of an acting career in New York, to her...

  • ‘Coney Island’: A Christmas Story for Jews

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 21, 2012 | 12:50 pm

    Donald Margulies was in his New Haven study when a surprising call came from Gil Cates, the renowned artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse.

    Cates — who died last November at 77 — had overseen four Margulies productions at the Geffen, had just directed the Pulitzer...

  • Surviving a Survivor

    October 10, 2012 | 4:24 pm

    It’s an age-old, common dilemma faced by adult children of aging parents: What is the right thing to do when those parents begin to lose their faculties? That theme is at the heart of “Surviving Mama,” by playwright Sonia Levitin, which opens Oct. 12 at the Edgemar Center for the...

  • ‘Jewtopia’s’ universal truths

    September 27, 2012 | 1:39 pm

    David Katz knew minutes into watching Bryan Fogel’s “Jewtopia,” a star-studded independent film adapted from the hit comedic play about interfaith dating, that it would anchor his Malibu International Film Festival. Unfortunately, Katz had his epiphany at 3 a.m.

    “It was so...

  • Actor feeds off ‘Mormon’s’ racy humor

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 5, 2012 | 11:22 am

    "My favorite kind of comedy is so wrong that it's right," actor Jared Gertner said.

    So it's fitting that he's starring in the blessedly twisted megahit musical "The Book of Mormon," which after scoring nine Tony Awards and a reputation for almost impossible-to-snag tickets has...

  • Stage dramedy tackles interfaith marriage taboo

    August 15, 2012 | 11:00 am

    If you take Israel out of the equation, there’s little in the Jewish world that gets people as riled up as the idea of intermarriage. For most secular and liberal Jews, intermarriage, which once carried a huge social stigma, has become more acceptable. Visit any Reform synagogue in...

  • August 11-17, 2012

    By Ryan Torok

    August 8, 2012 | 1:55 pm

    SAT | AUG 11

    NEIL DIAMOND
    The Grammy-winning pop-rock icon played a series of sold-out shows at the Greek in the summer of 1972, which led to the multiplatinum double live album, “Hot August Night.” Forty years later, Diamond returns to the Greek stage to celebrate the anniversary...

  • Delijanis put historic theater district back in the spotlight

    By Karmel Melamed

    August 1, 2012 | 1:23 pm

    The classic Los Angeles Theater at Broadway and Sixth Street is not much to look at from the outside—situated alongside a host of busy retail shops, its sidewalk is lined with street vendors selling toys and trinkets. But upon entering the theater’s French Baroque-style lobby, with...

  • Brooke Shields, Richard Chamberlain and Teller on “Exorcist’s” demon [SLIDESHOW]

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 6, 2012 | 11:04 am

    What’s the character of the demon like in John Pielmeier’s “The Exorcist,” adapted from William Peter Blatty’s novel, opening July 11 at the Geffen Playhouse? “He’s actually rather inventive and playful, in the sense that he likes to play with people’s lives,” said...

  • America the Beautiful

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    June 21, 2012 | 1:38 pm

    The seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake. As much as I love Israel, my many visits in the US made me wish some American features were transferred here so that we can enjoy them as well.  It took me a while, but I narrowed my “wish list” to five American features you are...

  • From “Immigrant” to American

    By  Tom Tugend

    June 1, 2012 | 11:14 pm

    There is no more archetypical American story than that of the greenhorn immigrant, who first ekes out a living by the sweat of his brow, works his way up and kvells as his children and grandchildren become 100 percent American doctors or lawyers – or writers.

    Such is the story of...

  • Starring in ‘Godot’ ... and Remembering Beckett

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 29, 2012 | 5:08 pm

    In his art-filled Brentwood living room, actor Alan Mandell approached a bookcase filled with volumes on the late existential playwright Samuel Beckett, reverently pulling a file from a shelf. Inside was a rare treasure:  a copy of the script Beckett gave the now 84-year-old Mandell...

  • Paul Weitz on dads, De Niro and “Being Flynn”

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 5, 2012 | 2:18 pm

    Father figures emerge prominently in the films of Paul Weitz—as do complex relationships between fathers and sons.  The last time I spoke with the convivial filmmaker was regarding “About a Boy”, the 2003 film Weitz made with his brother, Chris Weitz (“A Better Life”), about a...

  • The Cinderella stories of Aline Brosh McKenna

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    December 30, 2011 | 7:30 pm

    When Aline Brosh McKenna pitched her very first script in her first screenwriting class circa 1990, her words were met by a hushed, possibly startled, silence.  The setting was an extension course at New York University: “I just remember somebody writing something about an art...

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