Theater

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Frances Alenikoff , 1920 - 2012

For decades and well into her 90s she turned age on its head, subverting its preconceptions, making it an adventure.

Judith Martin, 1918 - 2012

From 1963-2009, she developed a contemporary theater for children. The shows intimately reflected a child’s world.

Judith Malina

"To call into question..."

by  Gabrielle Orcha

We are a little more than six months from the end of the world (!) Or from the end of the world as we know it—December 21, 2012.

Topics: Activism, Film, Theater
Julie Taymor, TED 2011

Show your cape, Julie Taymor!

by  Gabrielle Orcha

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to scale tall buildings better than Spiderman, it’s . . .

Julie Taymor! The brilliant! The invincible! 

Topics: Activism, Theater

Bernice W. Kliman, 1933 - 2011

She found that her feminism conflicted with the synagogue practice of denying women a place on the bimah. Only later did she [find] a sympathetic rabbi and a group of congregants who also believed in women’s equality.

Shira Kline and Jon Adam Ross, 2012

An “Extraordinary” Purim with Shira Kline and Jon Adam Ross

by Etta King Heisler

Having survived a blizzardy drive down dark, unfamiliar roads last Wednesday evening, I shook the cold and snowflakes from my coat and walked into a warm room at the Newton JCC.

Topics: Purim, Theater
Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker: “You’re Gonna Miss Me, Honey”

by  Stephen Benson

One hundred and one years ago today, Sophie Tucker sang those words from “Some of These Days” onto a four minute cylinder recording device. It became her signature song, and toward the end of her career she guessed that she had sung it over 45,000 times.

Topics: Music, Comedy, Film, Theater

Natalie Portman wins Oscar for Best Actress

February 27, 2011

Natalie Portman was named Best Actress at the 83rd annual Academy Awards on February 27, 2011.

Bessie Breuer’s play “Sundown Beach” opened on Broadway.

September 7, 1948

The first and only play by fiction writer Bessie Breuer was one of the newly formed Actor’s Studio's first productions.

"Baby It's You" Musical Poster

"Baby It's You!" deserved better reviews

by  Talia bat Pessi

I’ve been absolutely dying to see the musical Baby It’s You! for a while now, and was thrilled when I finally got tickets to see the show.

Topics: Music, Theater

Dr. Sabina Zimering's memoirs come to the stage

March 27, 2004

On March 27, 2004 at the age of 81, Dr.

Sylvia Willard, 1922 - 2006

She and Howard opened a third store and managed all three, while she translated her theatrical training and love of fashion into show-stopping window displays.

Carolyn Leigh inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame

January 1, 1985

Carolyn Leigh wrote hundreds of tunes for Broadway, TV, and film and was twice nominated for a Tony award. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame two years after her death.

And the winner is ... no one?

by  Leah Berkenwald

The 2010 winner of the $25,000 Wendy Wasserstein Prize for playwriting is apparently nobody.

Topics: Art, Theater, Plays

Estelle Getty, 1923 - 2008

... Mostly I admire her for being a genuinely funny, talented woman, who never gave up on her greatest ambitions. In an industry where youth and beauty are often valued far above maturity and wit, Estelle turned the tables.

Wendy Wasserstein, 1950 - 2006

Wasserstein observed that she was often told by producers and others that her plays were 'too New York,' which she understood as being a euphemism for 'too Jewish.' As Wasserstein recounted, when people asked her whether <em>The Sisters Rosensweig</em> with its three Jewish sisters, 'a hit in New York [could] play around the country,' she replied 'Well, you know this is something I've heard &hellip; People have sisters. Now maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they don't have them in Ohio. I could be wrong, but I've heard &hellip; they have sisters there.'

Betty Comden, 1917 - 2006

Her life not only chronicles a history of the Broadway musicals I grew up with, but also an era that allowed many of us to believe in the beauty and power of New York, as well as that melancholy feeling many of us hold as we look back on a period when life was indeed simpler&hellip; Though not a particularly observant Jew, Comden seemed informed by a Jewish frame of mind &ndash; a wise-cracking, down-to-earth, cultural "at homeness" with which I very much identified.

The Colors of Water

by  Anita Diamant

Water has no color, and yet it contains the rainbow. Transparent and reflective, water reveals the myriad shades of cloud, sky, and light; the rosy glow of dawn, the orange burst of sunset.

The soul has no color, and yet it imbibes the flavors, melodies, and histories of humanity. Intangible and sacred, the soul is never generic; each one tells its own story and sings its own song.

Topics: Art, Theater

Sarah Jones and the Performance of Ethnicity

by  Gwen

Sarah Jones is an activist who spreads her message from the stage, portraying characters of many different ethnic backgrounds and in a monologue from each person, discussing issues of ethnicity, diversity, and social justice. Many of these characters are based on people she knew or observed while growing up in Queen’s New York.

Topics: Theater

Don't Settle: 5 Life Lessons From Your Red Hot Mama

by  Leah Berkenwald

I have always loved Sophie Tucker, but after seeing the New Rep Theatre's production of Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas with our new JWA intern, Gwen, I see her in a new light. What struck me about the show was that it condensed Sophie's wisdom into five important life lessons -- ones that I found particularly relevant to my life as a single woman today.

Topics: Comedy, Theater

Red Hot Yiddishe Mama

by  Gwen

On Friday July 2nd, I had the pleasure of watching the New Repertory Theater of Watertown, Ma put on Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas. I'd recently discovered Sophie while watching Making Trouble, and fallen in love with her witty and larger than life personality.

Topics: Comedy, Theater

"Cravings:" Food and the Jewish experience

by  Leah Berkenwald

This weekend I went to the Central Square Theater to see Cravings: Songs of Hunger and Satisfaction, a cabaret set in a Jewish kitchen that explores themes of hunger, success, acceptance, nourishment, fame, and sex.  Cravings, starring cabaret artist Belle Linda Halpern, accompanied by Ron Roy, and directed by Sabrina Hamilton, was originally created to close the Ko Festival's 2008 series, themed on food.

As I entered the theater I was surprised to find myself in a Jewish kitchen. The only thing out of place was the piano. Belle Linda Halpern made charoset, and kibbitzed with us in between songs.  She even called on Ron to help peel apples. As a Jewish woman, I found everything in this show relatable. (Except, where did they find such a quiet food processor!?) But what struck me most of all was the connection Halpern draws between the Jewish craving for food and the craving for success and achievement.  

Topics: Food, Theater

Woe unto the single, Jewish actress in New York

by  Rebecca Honig Friedman

While working on a story about the theater, I came across aninteresting, though as yet anecdotally-based tidbit: There are morefemale than male actors in New York, and the women are more talented toboot.

Topics: Theater

Death of Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp, widow of Wyatt

December 19, 1944

Josephine Sarah Marcus, born to German Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, NY, in 1861, grew up in San Francisco.

Lillian Hellman's "The Children's Hour" is banned in Boston

December 14, 1935

Calling it "indecent," Mayor Frederick Mansfield banned Lillian Hellman's first play, The Children's Hour, from being staged in Boston,

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