Saturday, June 15th 2024   |


​​Steve Guttenberg, and his very Jewish life, take the stage for a play adaptation of his memoir


(JTA) — Actor Steve Guttenberg has had the kind of career that put him in touch with nearly every trend in Hollywood. There were prestige films like “Diner” and “Cocoon” and the lighter but wildly successful fare like the first four movies in the “Police Academy” series. “Three Men and a Baby” was the biggest American box office hit of 1987; the 2004 Christmas movie “Single Santa...

‘An American Tail,’ the classic animated film about Russian-Jewish mice who immigrate to America, is now a musical


(JTA) — Itamar Moses was 10 years old when he watched “An American Tail” at his Jewish day school in California. He was struck by the 1986 film, an animated musical about a family of Russian-Jewish mice who immigrate to America. Even though he was surrounded by Jewish classmates and teachers, he had never seen a cartoon with Jewish protagonists.

“Watching this mainstream hit American animated...

National tour of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is solid, fully realized production

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

When it comes to an old chestnut like “Fiddler on the Roof,” the biggest challenge may be in keeping the Joseph Stein book fresh and the music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick vibrant and relevant. This Bartlett Sher-directed production, based on the successful 2016 run at the Broadway Theatre, does just that.

The mark of a great production may...

Neo-Nazis rally outside Broadway preview of ‘Parade,’ about an antisemitic murder


(JTA) — Members of a neo-Nazi group rallied Tuesday night outside the Broadway theater that is hosting “Parade,” a play about the 1915 lynching of a Jewish man in Georgia.

“It was definitely very ugly and scary, but [also] a wonderful reminder of why we’re telling this particular story, and how special and powerful art and particularly theater can be,” star Ben Platt said in a statement...

Brilliant ‘Leopoldstadt’ weaves Austria’s shameful past with family’s tragic assimilation

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

Tom Stoppard had long established his credentials as one of the 20th century’s leading playwrights and authors before he learned the full extent of his Jewish heritage. A proud Englishman with a proper British name and standing, Stoppard had previously only been told by his mother that his father was Jewish.

The widow of a doctor killed in Singapore during the Japanese...

London theater group cancels Nazi-Jewish ‘Romeo and Juliet’ after wave of criticism


(JTA) — The London-based theater group behind a Romeo and Juliet-inspired Nazi-Jewish love story has canceled the play after receiving an onslaught of criticism related to the story’s premise and a botched casting call.

The Icarus Theatre Collective, the group behind the play, put out a casting call on Friday for their “Romeo and Juliet” over email and on social media, specifically calling for “non-binary artists, and/or...

Jessica Sherr prepares to channel Bette Davis at BB’s Stage Door Canteen

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

It’s taken two lifetimes for Jewish actress Jessica Sherr to approach her role as Hollywood screen icon Bette Davis. Sherr, a New York City method actor, arrives in the Crescent City this  weekend for two performances in which she will play the two-time Academy Award winner at BB’s Stage Door Canteen in a show she researched and wrote titled “Bette Davis – Larger...

In ‘Leopoldstadt,’ Tom Stoppard tackles the Holocaust, intermarriage, Zionism — and his own Jewishness, for the first time


(JTA) — Speaking on the phone from an empty balcony in the Longacre Theater in New York, several hours before a preview performance of his latest play, Tom Stoppard said the show is “one that people like to talk to me about.”

“Leopoldstadt,” which officially hits Broadway on Sunday after an award-winning London debut in 2019, follows multiple generations of a Jewish family in Vienna from the...

Rob McClure’s addition to ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ makes stellar cast go nova

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

When the musical “Mrs. Doubtfire” was preparing to open in 2020, the show became a victim of the forced lockdown of all theaters in New York. When COVID restrictions were relaxed and it finally opened  in December of 2021 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, producers had hoped the worst of the pandemic was over. But the Omicron variant caused the production to...

Lea Michele will replace Beanie Feldstein in ‘Funny Girl’ on Broadway


(JTA) — Lea Michele will replace Beanie Feldstein as the lead of Broadway’s revival of the extremely Jewish musical “Funny Girl,” with Jewish Broadway legend Tovah Feldshuh stepping into a key supporting role.

Michele and Feldshuh’s first performance will be Sept. 6. Feldstein announced Sunday she would be leaving the Broadway show July 31, earlier than originally planned. Standby Julie Benko will take over the role until...