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Jewish Journal

Tag: Theater

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  • Calendar

    By Amanda Epstein

    November 22, 2016 | 3:21 pm

    WED  |  NOV 23

    “MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG”

    Come experience a rarely seen Stephen Sondheim musical, based on a 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The story focuses on a talented composer of Broadway musicals who turns his back on his songwriting career to become a...

  • Female boxer goes toe-to-toe with violence in ‘The Wholehearted’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 22, 2016 | 2:10 pm

    In 2012, playwright and director Deborah Stein was riveted by a conversation with her artistic partner, Suli Holum, who described a startling newspaper article she had read on a female boxer, Christy Martin. 

    Martin, a world champion, had been the first woman in that sport to...

  • ‘Blueprint for Paradise’:  A Nazi incursion in California

    By Iris Mann

    August 11, 2016 | 8:42 am

    Few people may be aware that, during the weeks just before the United States’ entry into World War II, a Nazi compound intended as a training center and base of operations, under the assumption that Germany would be victorious and Adolf Hitler would come to rule the Western U.S.,...

  • Jewish actor Mark Nelson relishes chance to be part of ‘Cabaret’

    By Ryan Torok

    July 27, 2016 | 2:34 pm

    When a brick is thrown through his shop window at the start of the second act of the musical “Cabaret,” the character Herr Schultz, a Jewish widower and fruit vendor, tries to convince his non-Jewish fiancée that prankster schoolchildren, not Nazis, are responsible.

    But she is...

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  • What we learn from ‘Oslo’

    July 27, 2016 | 2:24 pm

    If you want to see the Middle East that could have been — and, with any hope, could still be — you will have to wait for another production of  “Oslo.”

    J.T. Rogers’ drama of diplomacy just closed its brief, sold-out and critically acclaimed run at the Lincoln Center Theater in...

  • Guns, God and politics in “Church and State”

    By Iris Mann

    July 27, 2016 | 11:01 am

    In the new play “Church & State,” onstage at the Skylight Theatre in East Hollywood, a conservative Southern Christian politician running for re-election to the United States Senate has a crisis of faith. After a school shooting in which 39 children are massacred, including two...

  • Baring their soles: Holocaust shoes tell unusual saga

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 6, 2016 | 10:36 am

    There have long been rumors — never authenticated — that the Nazis made lampshades and other merchandise from the skin of human victims at Auschwitz.

    Testimony at a war crimes trial asserted that such items were produced at Dachau, according to Aaron Breitbart of the Simon...

  • ‘Disgraced’ takes searing look at religion and identity

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    June 9, 2016 | 9:08 am

    Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Disgraced,” opening at the Mark Taper Forum on June 19, offers a provocative meditation on contemporary Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, as well as faith and identity in the post-9/11 world.

    Amir (Hari Dhillon) is a Pakistani American, a...

  • From screen to stage: Blog posts come to life

    By Kylie Ora Lobell

    June 9, 2016 | 8:30 am

    Entertainment runs in the Newman family’s blood. 

    Tracy Newman was the co-creator and executive producer of the TV sitcom “According to Jim,” a writer on Ellen DeGeneres’ ’90s sitcom “Ellen” and a founding member of The Groundlings improv group. Her sister, Laraine Newman, was an...

  • Anti-bullying: The musical

    By Michelle K. Wolf

    June 8, 2016 | 10:47 am

    Where will you sit at lunch?” Anyone who is now or has ever been a high school student can relate to that question. 

    I remember well the cliques from my high school in Southern California many years ago. We had the “jocks,” the “drama kids,” “the “stoners” and the “nerds,” to...

  • ‘Camp David’ recalls historic pact

    By Evan Henerson

    May 18, 2016 | 12:42 pm

    Is peace possible? This question, simultaneously simplistic and complex, is not one normally asked of an actor. Yet for the past six weeks, veteran stage and film actor Ned Eisenberg has been living inside the skin of former Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize-winner...

  • Latina Jews put stories onstage

    By Roberto Loiederman

    May 11, 2016 | 11:38 am

    During a recent Jewish Women’s Theatre (JWT) rehearsal, a young actress reads a solo scene from a show that’s about to open. She plays the role of a woman who steps into an old-fashioned New York hardware store and is suddenly flooded with warm memories of a similar store run by...

  • Family strife, from biblical to modern times

    April 20, 2016 | 11:59 am

    The implications of a potentially Earth-shattering find at an archeological project in Israel are examined in the new play “the DIG: death + Genesis + the double helix,” a production of the Latino Theater Company, currently running at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

    Playwright...

  • Making the murderer of ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 13, 2016 | 11:56 am

    “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” the musical currently at the Ahmanson Theatre, is a jaunty tale about a serial killer. But he’s hardly Sweeney Todd.

    Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey) is an impoverished young man in Edwardian England who has just learned he is actually an...

  • Playwright purges painful emotions in ‘Love & Sex’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 9, 2016 | 1:56 pm

    Back in the 1990s, Bathsheba Doran went to a nightclub where the comedian onstage wasn’t getting much attention from the crowd. “So he said to the audience, ‘What are you, a bunch of lesbians?’ And he got this huge laugh,” recalled the British-born playwright, now 40, who at the...

  • The David and Goliath story of a Holocaust survivor

    March 4, 2016 | 12:10 pm

    The amazing life history of a 90-year-old antique/junk-shop owner in midtown Manhattan who challenges a big development company unfolds in the solo show “Altman’s Last Stand,” now onstage at the Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood.

    In the play, Franz Altman (Michael Laskin), a Holocaust...

  • ‘Dirty Dancing’ boogies over to Pantages Theatre

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 3, 2016 | 10:45 am

    Back when Eleanor Bergstein was trying to sell the screenplay for her iconic 1987 film, “Dirty Dancing” — the story of a sheltered Jewish teenager’s sexual and political awakening as she learns sensual dance moves at a Catskills resort in 1963 — she would jump up on a table when...

  • Michael Greif takes on ‘If/Then’

    December 30, 2015 | 11:08 am

    Some choices are no-brainers.

    If the musical team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey were in need of a director to pilot their musical follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Next to Normal,” then the director and guiding force behind that production, Michael Greif, was going to get a...

  • ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ creator has magic touch

    November 11, 2015 | 2:58 pm

    The day may arrive when writer-actor Albie Selznick declares his magic-infused theatrical performance “Smoke and Mirrors” a finished product, but audiences probably shouldn’t hold their breath. Given that Selznick is a self-described perfectionist and workaholic — and because there...

  • Chat rooms, seniors and modern love in ‘Romance.com’

    October 28, 2015 | 3:21 pm

    Senior dating in the digital age is the comically rendered theme of “Romance.com,” a production of the West Coast Jewish Theatre at the Pico Playhouse in West Los Angeles. 

    As the play opens, Nora (Marcia Rodd) has spent four years mourning the death of her husband and living...

  • Al Pacino reopens debate over pro-Nazi celebs

    June 8, 2015 | 3:40 pm

    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...

  • 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...

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