January 15, 2004
And the Rabbi as Himself
Rabbi David Baron of Temple Shalom of the Arts, the synagoue attended by the big and medium-sized names in the entertainment industry, has a starring role in the new Universal movie, "Along Came Polly."
Well, not exactly starring, but he plays the rabbi officiating at the wedding of Reuben Feffer and Lisa Kramer, portrayed by Ben Stiller and Debra Messing, respectively.
Always a quick study, Baron delivered his dramatic lines, "Kiss the bride" and "Break the glass" to the great satisfaction of director John Hamburg.
Regrettably, the marriage is short-lived, even by Hollywood standards, when the blushing bride tumbles into bed with a hunky scuba diving instructor on her Hawaiian honeymoon.
"Sadly, a number of marriages I perform end in divorce, but normally not quite as quickly as in the film," the rabbi joked.
"Polly" is about a risk analyzer for an insurance company (Stiller), who in his own life is pathologically adverse to risk. All that changes, following the aborted honeymoon, when he meets free-spirited former classmate Polly, played by Jennifer Aniston.
Baron, the actor, was discovered by "Polly's" producer, Stacey Sher, whose own wedding ceremony to music director Kerry Brown was conducted by Baron last year. The couple is still happily married.
At the Sher-Brown nuptials, Baron recalled, usher Danny DeVito escorted maid of honor Cameron Diaz to the bimah. Due to the height disparity between the two, Danny's arm ended up around Cameron's tush, to the palpable envy of the males in the audience.
Portions of Baron's last Yom Kippur service were televised nationally and recorded for the benefit of homebound worshippers.
"Along Came Polly" opens in theaters Jan. 16.