All About Jewish Theatre


All About Jewish Theatre is the only global network dedicated to Jewish theatre and performing arts. Reaching 150,000 weekly visitors from more than 100 countries, this unique online resource presents a worldwide audience with the vital history and daily streaming of information on Jewish theatre and performing arts.

This was their website from 2002- 2014.
The new owner of the domain wanted to keep at least some of All About Jewish Theatre archived content available to visitors who might happen upon this site.

The current Hebrew version of the All About Jewish Theatre is found at: https://www.jewish-theatre.com/he/home

All About Jewish Theatre

Our Vision

We believe in the need to recollect our past, understand the present and plan for the future.

Our Objectives

All About Jewish Theatre strives to make the history and present of Jewish culture accessible to all, at any time, from any place. We plan to achieve this by fulfilling the following objectives:
 

  • Promote, cultivate and digitally distribute the study of Jewish theatre and performing arts
  • Provide an interactive global network for audiences, researchers and theatre artists worldwide
  • Encourage and foster the creation of contemporary and original Jewish theatre

How it all started...

In December 2001, thirty Jewish theatre directors and academics from around the world met in Tel Aviv at a conference titled “Towards a Vibrant and Coherent Theatre of the Jewish People,” hosted by the Jewish Agency’s People to People Center. They concluded with the decision to establish a Jewish theatre network on the web.

Pursuant to the conference, the Jewish Agency asked Moti Sandak to plan and design this Jewish theatre website, to be based on his own initiative and ten years of research in Jewish theatre, rare collection of plays and professional articles, connections with leading libraries and databases around the world, and three years of accumulated research in Internet information technology together with European R&D; institutions.

Since its launch in 2003, All About Jewish Theatre has become the leading source of information on Jewish theatre and performing arts, working in collaboration with leading artists and researchers, as well as cultural, preservation and academic institutions worldwide. It puts all the information on Jewish theatre at your fingertips, on one single website. It puts all the information on Jewish theatre at your fingertips, on one single website.

In 2008, All About Jewish Theatre was featured in Facing Tomorrow, President Shimon Peres' first international conference, which took place in Jerusalem. The Virtual Museum of Jewish Theatre and Performing Arts, the second phase of All About Jewish Theatre, was selected to take part in the conference exhibition, displaying the 60 most exciting upcoming projects to be launched in Israel.

Products and Services

All About Jewish Theatre offers a particularly unique array of products and services for audiences, theatre professionals, students, researchers, and other related institutions. These include:

 

  • Some 50 news columns providing updates on everything that is happening in the world of Jewish theatre
  • A list of resources encompassing more than 4,000 articles, books, magazines, films, plays and links to other relevant websites
  • A directory of more than 1,000 organizations, artists and decision makers in the field of Jewish culture worldwide
  • A showbiz section providing professional information, business opportunities and connections for your upcoming projects
  • An online catalogue of one person shows
  • A production point center offering consultancy and research services, as well as marketing for events to some 1,500 artists and decision-makers in the fields of Jewish culture worldwide
  • Book reviews, calls for proposals and information on upcoming conferences and festivals all over the world
  •  

All About Jewish Theatre thus provides extensive online exposure and coverage of performances, projects, plays, articles, and facilities of all kinds related to Jewish theatre and performing arts, expertly linked and easily accessible.

By logging into All About Jewish Theatre, you will:

  • Keep informed on industry news and events
  • Save research time
  • Easily promote your projects

We invite you to join us free of charge in order to enjoy these wonderful benefits and services. Register in our directory and submit your own information, news and announcements today!

Target Audience

  • Theatre Directors
  • Playwrights
  • Actors
  • Composers
  • Stage Designers and Architects
  • Events and Festivals Producers
  • Professionals from Museums, Libraries & Archives
  • Historians and Researchers
  • Cultural heritage Experts
  • Jewish communities Worldwide
  • Suppliers
  • The Media

International Awards

  • Best Website of the Jewish World (Jewish Agency, 2003)
  • Artifact – Best of the Web for Arts and Creative Industries (University of the Arts London, 2004)
  • Intute – Best Web resources for education and research network of UK universities (University of Oxford, 2004)
  • World's Best Jewish Theatre, Art and Culture Website (World Jewish News Agency, 2006)

 

 

Welcome to the All About Jewish Theatre Showbiz Arena

Welcome to the All About Jewish Theatre Showbiz Arena

 
Here, organized for the first time under one roof, you can find a wealth of professional information, business opportunities and connections for your upcoming projects.
For ease of access, this information has been grouped into four categories:
     
 
  As you plan a European tour for your latest play, or during an international tour itself, you may find yourself with an unbooked "window" on the calendar. Then this is the place to publicize your production and quickly receive invitations to mount extra performances in partnership with various festivals and producers.     If you represent a hall, amphitheatre, convention center, or community center, and your calendar has some dates free, then this is the place to publicize your venue, offer the unfilled dates, and hear from theater troupes, ensembles, convention organizers, and workshops, from near and far, that would like to come rent your facility.
     
     
  If your goal is additional funding for a new production, or backing to develop a new play, or a grant or commercial sponsorship for your next festival, then this is the place to find the information you need.

If you represent a fund or a corporation interested in sponsoring a theatre festival or other prestigious event, then this is the place to receive international exposure and check out a variety of candidates from around the world who may fit your requirements.

    If you wish to put your latest production in front of a new audience, or to market it in additional areas or countries, then this is the place to find a spectrum of information about upcoming festivals and various competitions that are looking for new ensembles, productions, and troupes.

If you are a festival organizer seeking additional productions to fill out your program, or if you are manager/producer of an international competition offering a prize for a new play, then this is the place to publicize your search and receive wide international exposure.

 

We hope this ShowBiz Arena will give added value to your professional work.

 



 

"Lost and Found"-an Off-Broadway Show

 By Irene Backalenick
Adoption in this country has grown steadily, among families of all faiths-and that includes Jewish families. Or it may be that the subject is now more openly discussed. In any event, despite its greater visibility, the subject of adoption has not, to our knowledge, made its way to the stage. That indeed is one good reason to see Paul Harris' "Lost and Found," playing through the month at the Phil Bosakowski Theater.

        But, more than that, Harris has done justice to the ramifications of adoption in dramatic form, creating a  thoughtful piece which examines the issues in one family and the impact upon the three people involved.  In this particular case, he has taken the child of a non-observant Jewish mother and a Catholic father and has him raised in a traditional Jewish family.

       The story, briefly: Ken, now 38 years old, finds himself in Chicago on business, and, armed with clues, searches out his birth mother. With her name in hand, he phones and tracks down Rachel, now an anthropologist and university professor. She and her Gentile husband Tom (not Ken's father) live in an attractive apartment overlooking Lake Shore Drive. Rachel, torn by emotions, is not at all sure she is pleased to meet her grown son, and Tom, feeling displaced by the invader, is even less pleased. Do they want their comfortable lives disrupted? And Ken, too, equally uncertain about the meeting, has his own agenda, his own angers and insecurities. Ultimately, it is Ken's Jewishness and Jewish practices which serves as a healing element among the three.

       Harris and director Fred Barton lay it all out quietly, effectively, in an 85-minute intermission-less dialogue. Though the middle drags as Rachel and Ken examine and re-examine their feelings, it is indeed a slice of life and moves forward in real time. The one hugely questionable costume decision was having the leads both show up wearing hooded Batman sweatshirts which created an unnecessary distraction from the dialog. Even Batman fans will probably find this choice to be troublesome since there is really no good rationale for creating a diversion of this magnitude in the middle of a very important scene. We all love the dark knight, but not when his image interupts an emotional scene on stage.

       Leila Martin is most touching-in fact, memorable--in the role of  Rachel. Every nuance, every change of emotion, ripples across her face, as she deals with this unexpected crisis. Her strong performance provides the core, the very heart, around which the other two characters (played by John Kevin Jones as the son and Stu Richel as the husband) revolve.

       Kudos also to set/lighting designer Jim Stewart whose mellow lighting and richly-detailed set are right on target in this production.

 



 

Love can flourish during the Holocaust

By Kris Scott Marti

Movies set during the Holocaust are always going to end badly, and they are more difficult to watch than disaster movies since the atrocities are committed by friends and neighbors. But as Aimee and Jaguar (1999) shows us, even against such a tragic backdrop, love can flourish.

 

Aimee & Jaguar is a German love story with English subtitles adapted from the 1995 book by Erica Fischer and based on a true story. Set in 1943 Berlin, the film introduces us through flashbacks and multiple narration to a handful of young women eking out a day-to-day existence under the Nazi regime. Working as a domestic for Mrs. Lilly Wust (Juliane Kohler), Ilse (Johanna Wokalek) is a young Jewish woman who is able to pass as Gentile and consequently maintains a tenuous freedom. After Ilse inadvertently introduces her gorgeous lover Felice (Maria Schrader) to her boss, however, life for Ilse and her group of friends becomes much more dangerous.

Felice is a clever and charming spy for the resistance, but she is also a reckless heartbreaker. She immediately falls for the philandering Mrs. Wust, who is married to a Nazi soldier, brazenly pursuing her in a high-stakes seduction that threatens Ilse's security and causes her much distress. Felice is an emotionally ravaged risk taker already: she cozies up as a spy to people who despise her and her family, she witnesses a friend being shot like a dog in the street, she comforts her other friends that are slowly starving, and she walks away from her family as they are packed off to a concentration camp. Yet Felice remains unshakable in her belief that she has the right to be free either moving about the city or choosing a lover, and Lilly Wust falls deeply in love with her and her spirit, with tragic consequences.

Aimee & Jaguar is beautifully outfitted in period sets and costumes with the kind of attention to detail that reminded me of the film Frida; from the bronze bust of Hitler to the playing cards in the final scene, everything looked authentic. The whole look of the movie reinforces the tension of the times--the burning, hard-edged exteriors shots of the Berlin streets shot in harsh blue-gray winter are sharply contrasted with the warm if messy apartment and bar interiors that provide the characters with moments of rest. I especially loved the lushness of the birthday party scene, held in an elegant salon by the few remaining members of Berlin’s once-thriving queer community, who go all out for the fete. It is beautiful and sad to see this representation of what we now know was once a vibrant gay community culled down to a handful of people determined to enjoy themselves in spite of their multiple oppression.

The camera work and performances are a pleasure to watch even as horrible events unfold on the screen. I especially appreciated the juxtaposition of the tender and passionate first love scene between Felice and Lilly interspersed with the mind-boggling terror of Jewish people being pulled out of their homes and packed off to their deaths. The entire movie is full of scenes like this that keep the context and gravity of the time firmly grounded (without hitting the viewer over the head with it) while the story unfolds of these two women falling in love.

The only objectionable scene is the opening one, when one of the women who survived (and is now a senior citizen) is moving from her flat. She is on the street and she ogles a young woman bending over to get into a car. It comes across as vulgar and from what we learn about her during the course of the film, out of character. I think the director could have found a more subtle way to telegraph that this woman was not heterosexual.

If you haven’t seen this film yet, what the heck are you waiting for ? If you caught it when it made the film festival rounds, see it again. It is so rich with subtle tensions and drama that it is well worth the second viewing

 

 



 

Harvey Fierstein Will Play Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof Starting Jan. 4, 2004

By Kenneth Jones
Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof will have a new Tevye Jan. 4, when Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein slips into the prayer shawl of departing Alfred Molina, a spokesman confirmed Nov. 10.

In recent days, Fierstein — who won a Best Actor Tony Award for playing zaftig mama Edna Turnblad in Hairspray — had been in discussions with the producers of Fiddler about playing the Russian Jewish dairyman, but all were waiting for director David Leveaux to come to New York and meet with the actor.


Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916)


Molina, Tony-nommed for playing the famed role, leaves the Minskoff Theatre Jan. 2, when his contract ends.

No further casting was announced.

Tevye is the Russian-Jewish dairyman whose three eldest daughters get married to varied suitors in the show. Each union challenges the long-held and cherished traditions of the community, in early-20th century rural Russia.

The Tevye role (based on a character created by Sholom Aleichem) was created in the musical in 1964 by Zero Mostel. Famous Tevyes have included Topol (who played the role on London, on Broadway and in the film), Jason Alexander (in excerpts from Fiddler within Jerome Robbins' Broadway), Herschel Bernardi, Theodore Bikel, Luther Adler, Paul Lipson, Harry Goz and others. Mostel won a Tony Award for playing the exasperated and hopeful patriarch who has a total of five daughters.

Brooklyn native Fierstein, 50, is no stranger to Tonys, having won the prize for Best Actor (Play) and Best Play for his three-act Torch Song Trilogy, for Best Book of a Musical for the libretto of La Cage aux Folles and for Best Actor (Musical) starring in the drag role of Edna Turnblad in the smash musical Hairspray.

His voice is harsh as gravel, and his association with gay roles and gay causes is strong, but a spokesman said Fierstein was hungry to play what is considered one of the greatest "traditional" roles in American musical theatre. If he steps into the shtetl, he'll sing such classics as "Sunrise, Sunset," "Tradition" and "If I Were a Rich Man."

In MCC Theatre's Miscast concert in April 2002, Fierstein and Kristin Chenoweth sang the Fiddler duet, "Do You Love Me?," with Fierstein singing the role of Golde and Chenoweth singing Tevye.

Performances of Fiddler on the Roof continue at the Minskoff Theatre

 



 

Broadway and a Bagel:Jews in the American Theatre

The Jewish Center of Jackson Heights presents
Broadway and a Bagel: Jews in the American Theatre
A Series of Free Sunday Breakfast Lectures by John Kenrick
Theatre Historian & Author of Musicals101.com

Admission Free - Open to all - Come join us!

Coffee & bagels available at 10:00AM
Lectures at 10:30 AM
These talks include multimedia slide shows and video clips.

Oct. 17 - Yiddish Theatre
A look back at this almost forgotten art form which gave the American theatre such beloved performers as Molly Picon & Paul Muni, and classic shows like Fiddler on the Roof.
Oct. 24 - Fanny Brice
Want to know the real story behind Funny Girl and Funny Lady? From Nick Arnstein and Flo Ziegfeld to Billy Rose and "Baby Snooks," everything the movies didn't tell you about this unique comedienne.
Nov. 7 - Al Jolson



Al Jolson

Billed as "The World's Greatest Entertainer," his powerhouse performances of "Swanee," "Mammy" and other hits thrilled three generations. Few men in show business inspired such devotion -- or such hatred.
Nov. 21 - Irving Berlin
A poor immigrant with almost no formal education, he reshaped the world of popular music with over half a century of hit songs. The amazing life of the Jew who wrote "White Christmas" and "Easter Parade."
Dec. 5 - Richard Rodgers
Working with Larry Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, this complex and gifted man turned musical theatre into a richer, more powerful art form. The world still delights in the sound of his music. A look at his career and his remarkable life.
Dec. 26 - Neil Simon
By writing comedies with serious content, he became the most successful playwright of our time. Dismissed for years by critics and scholars, Simon is now recognized as a living treasure. We'll discuss the little-known private life that shaped his most memorable plays.

About John Kenrick

Through the 1980s and 90s, John enjoyed an extensive career in theatrical production and management. He was personal assistant to six Tony-winning producers, working on such productions as the long-running revival of Grease and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent. He also assisted in the production and management of numerous national tours, including Damn Yankees with Jerry Lewis, Crazy for You, Victor/Victoria, Jekyll & Hyde, the short-lived My Thing of Love and Tommy Tune's ill-fated Busker Alley.

John provided lyrics for the acclaimed (but short-lived) Off-Broadway production Bats, wrote and produced cabaret shows that appeared at the Duplex and The Five Oaks, and provided special material for performers at Caroline's, Eighty-Eights, Don't Tell Mama and other top New York clubs. He was Associate Producer for the Celebration '86 Gay Arts Festival, and worked in various capacities for The Glines, The Vineyard Theatre, PACE Theatrical, NAMCO, The Booking Office and The New York Theatre Workshop.

As an expert on musical theater history, John has been interviewed by BBC TV and Radio, British TV4, The Discovery Travel Channel, The London Observer, National Public Radio, Newsday, The Dallas Daily News and the Chicago Sun Times, among others. He has appeared in documentaries discussing Times Square, showtunes, Jerry Herman, Times Square, and the history of burlesque. His musings on musical theater and film have appeared in various publications, including The New York Times. John's article Theatre in New York: A Brief History appears in the new textbook Theatre Law: Cases and Materials (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2004). He is profiled in How the Homosexuals Saved Civilization by Cathy Crimmins (New York: Penguin, 2004).

John now works as a freelance writer and lecturer. His recent speaking schedule has run the gamut from Radisson luxury liners to Pace University, and he has been invited to teach an extension course on the history of Broadway at Columbia University in 2005. He occasionally lends a hand as a curatorial volunteer at the Theater Collection of the Museum of the City of New York.

Web : www.Musicals101.com

e-mail: jbk@musicals101.com   


The Jewish Center of Jackson Heights
Corner of 37th Ave. & 77th St., Jackson Heights, NY
For further information call (718) 429-1150
This series is part of the Jewish Center's
ongoing adult education program.

By Subway: Take the E, F, R or 7 train to the 74th Street-Roosevelt Avenue stop. Walk along Roosevelt Avenue (under the elevated train) to 77th Street. Turn left and walk two short blocks (passing PS 69) to the Center.

 



 

 

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