Klemons and Hamil-Jews add to success of ‘Hamilton’

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

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


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’

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


(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’

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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Orna Porat, grande dame of Israeli theater, dies at 91

(JTA) — Orna Porat, a German convert to Judaism who became a grande dame of Israeli theater, died at the age of 91.

Porat passed away Aug. 6 in her home, i24 News reported.

Porat won the prestigious Israel Prize in 1979 for a lifetime of achievement in theater as...
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Theodore Bikel, Tevye in ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ dies at 91


(JTA) — Theodore Bikel, an actor and folk singer who was recognized in 1997 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, has died at 91.

Bikel, who won fame playing Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” doing more performances of the role...
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Helen Mirren honored for educating about Nazi-looted art

(JTA) — Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren accepted an award for helping to educate the public about the issues surrounding Nazi-looted art.

On Friday, the World Jewish Congress presented Mirren with its Recognition Award, which honors those working on behalf of the Jewish people, at a ceremony at New York’s...
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