The Jazz Singer

The Two Faces Of Jakie Rabinowitz

11/22/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Nothing captures the dilemma of being a Jew in America as starkly as “The Jazz Singer,” the paradigmatic tale of a cantor’s son caught between the two worlds of immigrant Jewish life and success as a blackface entertainer on Broadway. Most know the story from the three film versions — Al Jolson’s electrifying 1927 “first talkie,” Danny Thomas’ 1952 Academy Award-nominated remake (co-starring Peggy Lee) and Neil Diamond’s flag-waving 1980 pop music version.

Justin Flagg and Christine Bullen in a scene from “The Jazz Singer,” directed by Laura Livingston.
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