Friday, January 15th 2021   |

Theatre

British children’s author omits ‘Merchant of Venice’ from Shakespeare anthology, citing anti-Semitism as one reason

(JTA) — A popular British children’s author omitted “The Merchant of Venice” from his adaptation of William Shakespeare plays for young audiences.

One reason: anti-Semitism.

“Yes, there was some worry that this might be the first time an 8-year-old reads about a Jew,” Michael Morpurgo told The Guardian on Monday about the decision not to include the play in the “Tales from Shakespeare” anthology for children older than 6.

“A...

WATCH: Daveed Diggs’ new ‘Puppy for Hanukkah’ song

(JTA) — There’s a long history of Jewish artists releasing parody songs for Hanukkah, but this year’s most catchy addition to the holiday canon may be Daveed Diggs’ new rap, “Puppy for Hanukkah.”

The song — about a kid hoping to receive a puppy as a present — is set against a klezmer-style clarinet melody and includes a recitation of the blessing over the menorah.

“I don’t know what it...

Jewish DC theater maven Ari Roth leaves second company in 6 years over Palestinian content issue

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Over 18 years, theater director Ari Roth built Theater J into a Jewish Washington, D.C. powerhouse that often debuted works by major writers. But six years ago, the theater, which was housed by and associated with the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, fired him amid claims that a festival he was running was too pro-Palestinian.

In the wake of that, he founded a...

HBO adapts ‘Oslo,’ Tony Award-winning play about peace accords, into original film

(JTA) — HBO has begun production on a film adaptation of “Oslo,” the Tony Award-winning play about secret meetings before the Oslo Accords that nearly brought peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s.

The film, which will air next year, stars Andrew Scott (of “Fleabag” and “Black Mirror”) and Ruth Wilson (“The Affair,” “Mrs. Wilson”) as the Norwegian husband and wife diplomats who arranged covert negotiation sessions between...

Israel Horovitz, playwright who was accused of sexual assault, dies at 81

(JTA) — Israel Horovitz, a famed playwright who later in life was accused of sexual assault, has died of cancer, according to The New York Times. He was 81.

Horovitz wrote more than 70 plays and was the founding artistic director of Gloucester Stage in Massachusetts. Among his best-known plays were “Line,” “Park Your Car in Harvard Yard,” “The Primary English Class,” “The Widow’s Blind Date” and “The Indian Wants...

Douglas Taurel explores ‘The American Soldier’ in one-man show

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

Were it not for a fortuitous car trip with his father, Douglas Taurel might still be a practicing Jew today living in the city of the highest number of Jews, New York City.

His father, a Syrian Jewish refugee who came to the U.S. via Argentina, made certain his son was schooled in Hebrew and that he attended weekly morning services on Saturday...

Ben Platt shares how he came out as gay during Israel trip

By CURT SCHLEIER

(JTA) — In a recently released Netflix film, Broadway star Ben Platt shared his coming out story — and it involves a trip to Israel.

He shared the vignette from “Ben Platt: Live from Radio City Music Hall,” which debuted in May, in a clip on his Twitter account on Monday.

loved sharing my queer story in my concert on @netflix (you might even call...

Some believe ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ was staged somewhere in the world every day since the ’60s. COVID-19 ended that.

By STEPHEN SILVER

(JTA) — The coronavirus pandemic has done something that no war, natural disaster or other calamity has been able to do for more than 50 years: It’s put a stop to stage performances of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

The current North American tour of “Fiddler” was halted on March 13, a day before Broadway went dark. The last show of that tour before the cancellation, in a...

‘The Prince of Egypt’ composer on the musical theater adaptation, his career and his family’s Passover tradition

(JTA) — “The Prince of Egypt” is having another moment in the desert sun.

The 1998 animated film on Moses and the Exodus story has been turned into a recent musical in London. It’s streaming on Hulu. And in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the original movie’s music is getting online love from fans who are being soothed by soundtrack tunes such as “When You Believe,” which won an...

Harold Rome subject of Dansker lecture tonight at Touro

George Dansker will be holding his annual lecture tonight on a Jewish composer tonight following services at Touro Synagogue, 4238 St. Charles Avenue. This time, though,  the subject is not nearly as well known as those for whom he has held previous tributes (Bernstein, Berlin, Weill, Rodgers, the Gershwins etc.).

Harold Rome, a composer and lyricist who was at one time a golden-haired boy of Broadway, will be the focus...