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Performing Arts

Death of Estelle Joan Sommers, “Empress of Dance”

March 21, 1994
"I have always cherished my family, Israel and dance." - Estelle Joan Sommers

Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” Climbs Billboard Charts

February 1, 1964
"I don’t care what age you are—whether you’re 16 or 116—there’s nothing more wonderful than standing on the stage and shaking your finger and singing, ‘Don’t tell me what to do.’” - Singer Lesley Gore

Idina Menzel

A longtime star of the Broadway stage, Idina Menzel became the first person ever to claim both a Billboard Top 10 slot (for Holiday Wishes in 2014) and a Tony Award (for Wicked in 2003).

Gwyneth Paltrow

Known best for her Oscar-winning performance in the romantic comedy Shakespeare in Love, Gwyneth Paltrow has repeatedly sought out difficult roles playing unconventional women, including playing Sylvia Plath in 2003.

Sophie Okonedo

Sophie Okonedo credits her heritage as a “North London, working-class, black, Jewish girl” with giving her the range to act in roles ranging from Hotel Rwanda to Doctor Who.

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has garnered critical acclaim for her performance in difficult roles in 2002’s Secretary, 2009’s Crazy Heart, and 2014’s The Honourable Woman.

Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette has navigated a career path from Hollywood to television and back again, culminating in a landslide of awards for her supporting role in 2014’s Boyhood.

Irene Mayer Selznick

The daughter of Hollywood magnate Louis B. Mayer, Irene Mayer Selznick went on to help her husband, David O. Selznick, run his movie production company before becoming a theater producer in her own right.

Vivienne Segal

Actress Vivienne Segal was best known for creating the role of Vera Simpson in the 1940 Rodgers and Hart musical Pal Joey, for which she sang what would become her signature song, “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.”

Death of writer Sarah Brandstein Smith, “Queen of the shundroman"

April 29, 1968
“Sarah B. Smith is the most beloved Jewish newspaperwoman, the first who ever served as a reporter on a Jewish paper, and the one who has triumphantly overcome the misgivings of editors who mistrusted the abilities of a mere woman writer.”

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Performing Arts." (Viewed on February 28, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/performing-arts>.

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