Dody Piper astounds in SLT’s ‘She Loves Me’

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

For its second full production of their season, Summer Lyric Theatre  at Tulane (SLT) chose “She Loves Me,” a show that could arguably be considered among the most stealthily Jewish shows in the modern Broadway lexicon. Based on “Parfumerie,” a 1937 play...
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Neil Diamond’s life story is coming to Broadway

(JTA) — The life story of iconic singer-songwriter Neil Diamond will be told on Broadway in a musical.

The untitled project is still in its development stages, Deadline Hollywood reported.

“I’ve always loved Broadway,” Diamond said in a statement. “The inspiration for many of my early songs came from shows...
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Jewish directors dominate at Tony Awards

(JTA) — “Hadestown,” a musical about the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and the underworld, won best new musical at the Tony Awards, and a coveted prize for its Jewish director.

Rachel Chavkin won the Tony Award for best director of a musical for “Hadestown,” the tenth woman ever...
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Golabek’s ‘Pianist of Willesden Lane’ is deeply personal journey, concert

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

Just before every performance of “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” the one-woman play based on the book she wrote with Lee Cohen (“The Children of Willesden Lane”),  Mona Golabek holds onto a Magen David that hangs from her necklace. As she grasps...
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Get to know the new 16-year-old star of ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ who founded a theater company for his bar mitzvah project

NEW YORK (JTA) — Andrew Barth Feldman isn’t your average 16-year-old Jewish teenager from Long Island: He’s starring on Broadway in the smash hit “Dear Evan Hansen.” He landed the titular role after winning the Jimmy Awards, the National High School Musical Theatre Awards.

“It was just kind of a...
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Carol Channing, the original star of ‘Hello Dolly!,’ dies at 97

(JTA) — Actress Carol Channing, who originated the starring role in “Hello Dolly!” on Broadway and won a Tony Award for her portrayal of the boisterous widow, has died. She was 97. Channing was the daughter of a Jewish mother and a Christian father and identified as “part Jewish.” At 16,...
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How Moises Kaufman went from a yeshiva in Venezuela to directing a Harvey Fierstein classic


(JTA) — It has been more than 35 years since Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song Trilogy” opened on Broadway. At the time it was a theatrical revelation: Who could have imagined that the story of a young gay Jewish man’s quest for love and validation in a world...
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Shelbie Mac soars into the stratos with ‘Peter Pan’

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

If anyone questioned if Shelbie Mac is the greatest young talent to come down the pike since the late Cynthia Owen, all doubts have been erased with her starring role in Peter Pan, currently playing the boards at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center...
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Award-winning playwright Neil Simon dies at 91

(JTA) — Playwright Neil Simon, known for such Broadway hits as “The Odd Couple,” “Barefoot in the Park,” and “Lost in Yonkers” has died.

Simon, who earned a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, died overnight Saturday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City from complications with pneumonia at...
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Rodgers and Hamerstein’s ‘Carousel’ filled with joy, pathos

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

Few Broadway composers had a bigger impact than Richard Rodgers, who began his career with Jewish lyricist Lorenz Hart, but whose greatest success was with librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. Hammerstein, whose grandfather was a famous Jewish impresario on Broadway, was raised under...
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