As speakers lauded his 33-year tenure as the...
How the Chabad rebbe helped create food stamps, and other Jewish Medal of Freedom stories
Russia and Turkey refuse to back down in row over jet downing
Jonathan Pollard’s job offer stands
Book about mental illness — created by a Jewish father and son — wins National Book Award
Obama administration: Still a ‘big no’ on supporting settlement building
March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pmA few weeks ago, Gordon Davidson stood up in the Gershwin Theatre on New York's Broadway and, amidst the plaudits of his peers, was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame, in recognition of his lifetime achievement in the American theater.
February 10, 2000 | 7:00 pmAugust Wilson's "Jitney," currently playing at the Mark Taper Forum, focuses on Pittsburgh's black Federal Hill District in 1977; the setting: a run down car hire office where half a dozen black men hang out, answer the telephone and take their turn picking up passengers.
Like most of...
February 3, 2000 | 7:00 pmRetired bookseller Leo Bretholz, a Holocaust survivor, can hand you his own death notice.
There is his name, listed among the 1,000 passengers who rode transport No. 42 from Drancy, France to Auschwitz, of whom only five survived. Bretholz isn't listed among the survivors. Yet survive...
February 3, 2000 | 7:00 pmI have been thinking about "performance" for about two weeks now -- its virtues, its limitations, its prevalence even when unintended. In short, I have been trying to figure out what makes a performance work, what makes it succeed.
This question of performance was stimulated for me by...
January 20, 2000 | 7:00 pmComic Andy Kindler thinks prime-time TV has too many shows that play on racial stereotypes. So he has come up with his own idea. "I'm still trying to get my sitcom, "Jewey," off the ground," he confides. "In the pilot episode, I get chased by a pig."
Then there's New-Age-Jewish...
November 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm
You Can Go Home Again
But in David Mamet's 'The Old Neighborhood,' it's a place marked by open wounds and unanswered longing
By Diane Arieff, Contributing EditorWhen David Mamet, the son of brilliant but emotionally abusive parents, was growing up in Chicago, his mother told him,...
November 4, 1999 | 7:00 pmA play with both wit and heart is a compelling combination, and it's one that playwright Donald Margulies' pulls off in his mostly rewarding "Collected Stories."
"Stories" drew critical praise and a 1997 Pulitzer Prize nomination following it's world première at Costa Mesa's South...
October 14, 1999 | 8:00 pmPerhaps no professional marriage counselor has a surer grip than Neil Simon on the unending nuances and permutations of the marital state.
Both from personal experience -- he recently introduced what I believe is his fourth wife at the Skirball Cultural Center -- and through some 30...
October 14, 1999 | 8:00 pmNo one ever said Anton Chekhov was an easy fit for American actors. In Chekhov, there may be scoundrels, but no villains; interesting, appealing women, but no heroine; a central figure perhaps, but flawed. Under the surface, it is the human condition that he unfolds for us.
June 10, 1999 | 8:00 pmFor the last few months, I have been involved with "Speaking of Evil," an original play based on the life of Kurt Gerstein. Gerstein was a member of the Waffen S.S., one of the most deadly and heartless arms of the Third Reich. According to his memoirs and letters, he entered the...
May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pmLinda Lavin has some advice for Ruth Steiner, the aging Jewish intellectual she portrays in Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama, "Collected Stories," at the Geffen Playhouse.
Be wary of writers. They're always desperately looking for material. "If you don't want your...
May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pmNovelist Abel Znorko, a Nobel laureate, has lived in solitude for 12 years on a remote Norwegian island, so close to the Arctic Circle that there are only two seasons -- six months of day and six months of night.
His self-exile is broken only occasionally by a ferry that unloads his...
February 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm
Steve Spill's father was one of the first managers of the Magic Castle. Not surprisingly, growing up around the Castle cast its spell on Spill, who went on to forge a 20-year career as a professional magician.
Last September saw the debut of his new venture, the Magicopolis Theater of...
November 12, 1998 | 7:00 pmIt is hard to believe that "The Cripple of Inishman" was written only a few years ago by a contemporary Irish playwright, Martin McDonough. The play, which has just opened the Geffen's new season looks, feels and sounds like something Lennox Robinson or Lady Gregory might have dashed...
October 29, 1998 | 7:00 pmThe question in regard to Lillian Hellman is not so much, What is her place in the American theater? Rather, it's, Is she even entitled to one?
Since she burst into prominence in 1934 with "The Children's Hour" and then consolidated her position five years later with "The Little...
September 17, 1998 | 8:00 pmJohn Barrymore's career can be divided into four acts: a reigning matinee idol in the silent era, America's most conspicuous classical actor in the 1920s, a somewhat medium-sized Hollywood star in the 1930s and, in the final days, a crapulous has-been whose main stock in trade was...
August 27, 1998 | 7:59 pm
Venice" is 400 years old. The play was first entered on the register of the Stationer's Company in July 1598, along with a proviso that it shouldn't be published till the Lord Chamberlain gave his consent. And that didn't happen until 1600. It may...
August 7, 1998 | 8:00 pm
Jewish Journal theater critic Charles Marowitz writes from Malibu.
Ibsen for Dummies
The trick in Henrik Ibsen's "Enemy of the People" -- now in a Royal National Theatre production at the Ahmanson -- is realizing that a...
July 9, 1998 | 8:00 pm
When the Jewish Women's Theatre Project askedSusan Merson to write its first commissioned play last year, theactress/writer recalled a bizarre TV news item.
"This 85-year-old man woke up one morning, turnedto his wife of 50 years and choked her to death," says Merson, theformer...
June 18, 1998 | 8:00 pm
Jewish Journal theater critic Charles Marowitz writes from Malibu.
Watch Your Language
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, with front-runners such as T.S. Eliot, Christopher Fry and Archibald Macleish, there was a...
June 11, 1998 | 8:00 pm
No matter how impressive Nathan the Critic ever becomes, he is constantly subverted by Nathan the Dandy, the man who is more concerned with witty badinage and flip cynicism than he is hard, critical reasoning.
George Jean Nathan: A True Critic...
May 28, 1998 | 8:00 pm
Scenes from "Thanks of a Grateful Nation." Photos courtesy of Showtime
Uncovering Gulf War Syndrome
Showtime's 'Thanks of a Grateful Nation' explores the malady plaguing so many...
May 7, 1998 | 8:00 pm
As a metaphor for life, there is nothing to beatgambling. Raising the ante, bluffing, keeping a poker-face, winning,losing, staying in the game, these are all transactions whichsymbolize the pressures, conquests and defeats which characterize ourdaily lives. Of all of them, the most...
March 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm
British director Tyrone Guthrie, a non-Jew, oncesaid: "If all the Jews were to leave the American theater, it wouldclose down about next Thursday."
Maybe that explains why there's so much Jewishtheater now in Los Angeles. Here's a roundup of the offerings: Wecan't guarantee they're...
March 5, 1998 | 7:00 pmActor-composer Hershey Felder, 29, has a way with politicians.
Mayor Richard Riordan has asked him to collaborate on a musical. And Felder is writing another musical with Kim Campbell, Canada's former prime minister and the country's current consul general in Los Angeles. Last week,...
March 5, 1998 | 7:00 pm
Anne Meara's "After-Play," a conversation piecenow at the Canon Theater in Beverly Hills, is a kind of "Look Back inAnguish" conducted by two middle-aged couples whose lives seem toencompass all the failings of the past half century: broken families,marital spite, psychoanalytical...
February 26, 1998 | 7:00 pm
'We have a profound understanding of whatit is not to belong'
-- Moisés Kaufman, director of'Gross Indecency'
The Jewish Connection
to Oscar Wilde
By Naomi Pfefferman,Senior Writer
Above, (left to right), J. Todd Adams, MitchellAnderson, Michael Emerson, Edie Bowz and Benjamin Livingston...
January 29, 1998 | 7:00 pmOne of the strangest anomalies in thetheater is that of the successful turkey -- plays that areessentially trivial, gauche and insubstantial, but still manage toachieve a certain kind of notoriety and even commercial success."Shear Madness," which has been playing for 15 years in...
October 23, 1997 | 8:00 pm
In Act Two: Scene II of Noel Coward's "Design for Living," Gilda,the object of everybody's affection, gives a thumbnail critique of anew play by Leo, one of her rotating lovers.
"Three scenes are first rate, especially the last act," observesGilda. "The beginning of the second act...
October 16, 1997 | 8:00 pm
Teacher and student: Hal Robinson and Justin Kirk (atpiano).
The Geffen Playhouse's new season opens on a memorable note withJon Marans' intelligent and bittersweet two-character drama, "OldWicked Songs," a finalist for the 1996 Pulitzer Prize. This WestCoast production features...