Theatre

Venice welcomes back Shylock in marking its Jewish history

VENICE, Italy (JTA) – Last week, an international, multilingual cast performed Shakespeare’s controversial play, “The Merchant of Venice,” in the secluded main plaza of the city’s historic Jewish Ghetto. It was the first time the play was performed in the iconic location, where some of the action takes place.

Enclosed by tall tenements and the arched...
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Playwright Sharyn Rothstein wins 2015 Primus Prize

The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) announced on January 15 that playwright Sharyn Rothstein had been awarded the 2015 Francesca Primus Prize for her play By the Water. Jointly sponsored by ATCA and the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, the Primus Prize is given annually to an emerging woman playwright. As...
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Dansker to unveil Sondheim program at Touro tonight

George Dansker, a noted scholar with expertise on musical theatre and opera, is presenting the first lecture and concert as part of his continuing series on Broadway and its impact on American culture.

“Take Me to the World: The Life and Music of Stephen Sondheim” will be held following worship...
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Klemons and Hamil-Jews add to success of ‘Hamilton’

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By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

When Jewish author Ron Chernow published his epic biography on Alexander Hamilton in 2003, he had no idea of the impact it would have on Broadway audiences more than a decade later. That’s because he could not have envisioned the effect his tome...
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‘School of Rock’ signals return of Lloyd Webber to rock musical apex

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By ALAN SMASON, Theatre Critic, WYES-TV (“Steppin’ Out)

It may seem an odd choice, but Andrew Lloyd Webber has chosen a 2003 Jack Black film vehicle as the basis of re-establishing his preeminence as a rock musical composer. “School of Rock” was a fairly forgettable film released in 2003 that...
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Weill and Brecht’s ‘Happy End’ finishing run at Allways Theatre

By ALAN SMASON, Theatre Critic, WYES-TV (“Steppin’ Out”)

There is little doubt that Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht made a formidable team of composer and lyricist. Their two greatest triumphs – “The Three Penny Opera” and “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” – sandwiched a work, “Happy...
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Fiddler on the Roof’ — and behind the scenes

By LONNIE FIRESTONE

NEW YORK (JTA) — Ever since Zero Mostel imagined himself as a rich man in the original 1964 Broadway production,“Fiddler on the Roof” has been a cultural landmark on Broadway and in the Jewish sphere.

It’s one of those musicals that always seems to be in rotation....
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‘My Fair Lady’ is ‘loverly’

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By ALAN SMASON, Theatre Critic WYES-TV (“Steppin’ Out”)

The Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) realized the dream of its artistic director and maestro Dennis Assaf for a legitimate home stage with the opening of Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center this weekend.

While the...
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Who’s behind Broadway’s hip-hop hit ‘Hamilton’? Jewish biographer Ron Chernow

By CURT SCHLEIER

(JTA) — Historian Ron Chernow has written successful biographies of the likes of J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and George Washington.

So it’s fair to say that at this point in his career, the Alexander Hamilton biographer knows the drill: There’s the author tour, the positive...
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Stratford Festival presents unabridged ‘Anne Frank’, new ‘Sound of Music’

Sara Farb as Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank. Photography by David Hou.

By BRUCE BURGUN, Exclusive to the CCJN

Out of the ashes of war and atrocity often great art is made.

In the wake of the ruthless annexation of rival country Melos, Euripides shocked his Athenian audience with his ravaging portrayal of postwar refugees in “The Trojan Women.” Throughout his career,...
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