Theater

Becoming Golda

The transformation of Tovah Feldshuh.

06/16/2015

While many Israelis express dissatisfaction with the country’s current crop of political leaders, Golda Meir’s reputation continues to grow — 37 years after she died. Kiev-born Meir (nee Meyerson), who served as prime minister from 1969-’74, is the subject of “Golda’s Balcony,” a one-woman show in which actress Tovah Feldshuh has starred for a dozen years.

Photo by Michael Datikash

Larry David Alleges 'Showbiz' Anti-Semitism At Tonys

06/10/2015
Blueprint Editor

Larry David was the muse behind the ever-eccentric George Costanza in "Seinfeld", so it is only fitting that Jason Alexander, who portrayed Costanza, should be taking over David’s character in his Broadway play, "Fish in the Dark."

Playing Another Larry David Misanthrope

Jason Alexander is back on the boards (25 years after his last Broadway role) in ‘Fish in the Dark.’

06/09/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

When he first auditioned for “Seinfeld,” Jason Alexander received a copy of the script and noticed a Woody Allen vibe in the character of George Costanza. So he put on a pair of glasses, a New York accent, and the affect of a hapless curmudgeon. He had no idea at the time that George was meant to be an alter ego for the show’s co-creator, Larry David.

In new Broadway role, Alexander draws on his classical acting training, but he knows that “the comic in me has to win.”

Bound For Vilna

06/03/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Actors are typically front and center in our own theater, but the Russian stage has been dominated, for at least the last century, by the director. Konstantin Slanislavski, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko and Vsevolod Meyerhold famously reshaped their actors’ bodies and minds in order to enable the expression of profound emotion.

A scene from “Smile at Us, Oh Lord” by Lithuanian playwright Grigory Kanovich. Vakhtangov State Academic Theatrer

Light Show

05/27/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

In his foundational mystical text, “Sha’are Orah” (Gates of Light), the 13th-century Spanish kabbalist Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla used light as a metaphor to stand for the essence of the divine. For composer David Homan and his wife, choreographer Ariel Grossman, light is a symbol of human energy and striving. Their new work, “Ori” (My Light), premieres next week at a festival in Chelsea that also features the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Carolyn Dorfman Dance Companies.

Ariel Grossman and David Homan, the husband-and-wife team behind the Ariel Rivka Dance Company.

Not Your Average Arias

05/20/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

‘I’ve always been fascinated by the Holocaust,” playwright Steven Carl McCasland mused recently, as one of his plays was about to open in New York. In one of them, “Der Kanarienvogel,” soprano Elisabeth Schwartzkopf (Anna Kirkland) grapples with accusations that she is a Nazi sympathizer. A cast of more than two dozen actors is presenting a total of five of McCasland’s plays in repertory this month in Kips Bay; the festival also includes “Little Wars,” about a fictional dinner party in which Gertrude Stein has a fateful dinner party with Lillian Hellman, Muriel Gardiner, and other writers, in the middle of which France falls to Germany.

Soprano Elisabeth Schwartzkopf is subject of new play.  Wikimedia Commons

Stalin Was One Tough Critic

05/12/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

He was one of the greatest actors of all time, but his life and career depended on pleasing a megalomaniacal monster. In David Schneider’s new play, “Making Stalin Laugh,” Solomon Mikhoels struggles to keep the Moscow State Jewish Theater (known as GOSET) afloat at a perilous time when policies of state were in constant flux; notably unstable were policies toward the arts and the Jews, whom the Soviets alternately lauded for their opposition to Fascism and reviled for their ties to a foreign homeland. New Yiddish Rep presents the play this Sunday and Monday in a workshop production in the East Village.

Gera Sandler stars as Solomon Mikhoels in the New Yiddish Rep’s “Making Stalin Laugh.” Yanay Yahiel

And Baby Makes…

05/05/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Overpopulation may pose a dire threat to the planet, but how often does it factor in a woman’s decision about whether or not to have a baby? In Steven Somkin’s new play, “Melissa’s Choice,” a feminist Jewish attorney finds herself caught between her principles and her desire to procreate. Like Wendy Wasserstein’s 1988 play “The Heidi Chronicles,” but within a 21st-century framework, “Melissa’s Choice” centers on a woman who struggles to “have it all” — to be fulfilled in terms of her deepest yearnings and values. The play is running on Theatre Row in Midtown.

Steven Somkin deals with women’s contemporary choices in “Melissa’s Choice.”

‘The Religion Of Art’ On The Lower East Side

04/28/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

With the passing earlier this month of Judith Malina, the co-founder of the Living Theatre, the Lower East Side lost one of its true artistic pioneers. But while Malina was associated with the heyday of the counterculture in the 1960s, the neighborhood has continued to support a vibrant experimental theater scene until the present day, and to nurture the careers of a plethora of Jewish artists.

Clove Galilee is the subject of new one-woman play. Quincy Stamper

A Stage For Compassion

04/14/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Often maligned as a singular stereotype in pop culture, in real life the Jewish mother comes in all shapes, sizes and personalities. In Deb Margolin’s new solo work, “8 Stops,” the performance artist copes with her own potentially fatal illness, her son’s terror of death and her sudden impulse to provide succor to a Scottish immigrant boy she meets on the subway. The play opens this week in the West Village and runs until the last weekend of April — just two weeks before Mother’s Day.

Deb Margolin in scene from her one-woman show, “8 Stops.”  Raymond Reilly
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