actor

From Sondheim To South Africa

06/13/2003
Staff Writer
The Tony awards passed him by on Sunday, but director Lonny Price is having an exceptional year on Broadway. He directed what critics panned as one of the season's stinkers, the musical version of the 1980 honky-tonk film "Urban Cowboy." When the show closed in May after 60 performances, Price seemed nonplussed. "It just wasn't a New York show, it turned out," he said.

Polanski Gets Personal

12/13/2002
Staff Writer
Roman Polanski's latest feature film is a dramatic account of one man's survival in wartime Warsaw. "The Pianist," which opens Dec. 27, is also a documentary in at least one respect: its star, Adrien Brody, nearly starved himself to portray the Jewish musician and composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, shedding some 30 pounds from his already slender frame as filming progressed.

‘Holy Land’ Not So Holy

07/11/2003
Staff Writer
The interviews were going on back-to-back and side-by-side. In one closet-size office at a public relations firm on Seventh Avenue, the Israeli actor Oren Rehany talked about his film debut in “The Holy Land,” which opens Friday at the Angelika Film Center in Manhattan. Next door, Rehany’s co-star Tchelet Semel described the challenges of portraying a Russian prostitute when she is neither. One office over it was Saul Stein, slimmed down from his role as the burly American bar owner, Mike, but still exhibiting the character’s gravely voice and toothy grin.

Split Infinitives

11/09/2001
Staff Writer
Pity poor Zeno, tormented by his weakness for cigarettes, guilt about his mistress and unresolved tensions with his father. At his psychoanalyst’s suggestion, Zeno writes his memoirs, but the result is the imperfect recollection of an intelligent man blindsided by swirling desires and frozen by inhibitions. Zeno, the prematurely aged protagonist of Italian Jewish writer Italo Svevo’s comic masterpiece “Confessions of Zeno,” deeply resonated with William Kentridge when he first read the book in college.

No ‘Quarrel’ With Dark Shabbat

08/29/2008
Staff Writer
A prominent Off-Broadway producer decided last year that she would stage a production of “The Quarrel,” a play about the meeting between estranged friends — one, an Orthodox rabbi; the other, a secular writer — after years of separation. Daryl Roth, producer of five Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, wanted Reuven Russell, an actor-comedian who has portrayed the rabbi on and off for a decade at small theaters in the New York area, to play the role again. Russell, who himself is Orthodox, stipulated that he would not do it on Shabbat.

Newman’s Own Image-Changing Role

10/03/2008
Staff Writer
‘Exodus” was not an easy sell in 1960. When director Otto Preminger decided to adapt Leon Uris’ best-selling novel about the founding of Israel into a feature-length film, he ran into heavy resistance in Hollywood’s major studios. Too Jewish, too controversial, they said.

Foxman: Gibson Spewing 'Anti-Semitism'

09/19/2003
Staff Writer
Mel Gibson's mouth has turned into a lethal weapon. So suggests Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, following a series of published and oral comments made by the award-winning Hollywood actor and director concerning his controversial upcoming movie about the death of Jesus of Nazareth. "Recent statements by Mel Gibson paint the portrait of an anti-Semite," Foxman told The Jewish Week Tuesday.

Newman’s Own Image-Changing Role

09/29/2008
Staff Writer
‘Exodus” was not an easy sell in 1960. When director Otto Preminger decided to adapt Leon Uris’ best-selling novel about the founding of Israel into a feature-length film, he ran into heavy resistance in Hollywood’s major studios. Too Jewish, too controversial, they said. Then Paul Newman signed on.

No ‘Quarrel’ With Dark Shabbat

08/27/2008
Staff Writer
A prominent Off-Broadway producer decided last year that she would stage a production of “The Quarrel,” a play about the meeting between estranged friends — one, an Orthodox rabbi; the other, a secular writer — after years of separation. Daryl Roth, producer of five Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, wanted Reuven Russell, an actor-comedian who has portrayed the rabbi on and off for a decade at small theaters in the New York area, to play the role again. Russell, who himself is Orthodox, stipulated that he would not do it on Shabbat.

Not A ‘Hava Nagila’ Crowd

04/23/2004
Staff Writer
It’s not your zayde’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Next Monday, New York’s Jewish community will hold its annual Israel Independence Day celebration, as usual, with singing and dancing. But the music will be contemporary, authentically Israeli. “No ‘Hava Nagila,’ ” says Tzameret Fuerst, co-chair of the event and a founder of the half-year-old Dor Chadash organization that is the main sponsor of the celebration. The dancing will be hip — probably no hora.
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