September 23, 2019

7 Days in the Arts


The Daniel Pearl Music Day continues on this week and into November. Those paying homage today include Kehillat Israel of the Pacific Palisades, which will honor Pearl’s memory during its Shabbat service, and Madeline Felkin and Deanna France, who perform classical, baroque, Celtic fiddle and folk music at Madeline Felkin’s Fiddlefest in Palmdale – yes, seriously. Tomorrow, Emanuel Arts Center, The Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles and the American Youth Symphony each participate separately. Visit the Daniel Pearl Foundation Web site for details on all events.

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Journal Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman lends his moderating talents to two of-the-moment debates this week. Today, he heads to the University of Judaism (and so should you) to ref an “Election 2004 – The Jewish Vote” verbal sparring match between Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Larry Greenfield and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys). Then Tuesday, Eshman leads a public forum at Temple Beth Am discussing “A Jewish Perspective on Stem Cell Research.” Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Dr. Stephen Forman, Rabbi Laura Geller, Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky and Ken Bernstein, a Type 1 diabetic, will offer their religious, scientific and personal perspectives on the subject.

Oct. 17, 7:45 p.m. $10. University of Judaism, Bel Air. (310) 440-1246.
Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m. Free. Temple Beth Am, Los Angeles. (310) 652-7353.


Wax nostalgic today with Counterpoint’s new CD, “When the Rabbi Danced: Songs of Jewish Life From the Shtetl to the Resistance.” The choir sings a compilation of some of the best-loved Yiddish and Hebrew music, ranging from the religious to the political to the romantic.

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Dentures, cherubic dolls and iron wheels become art in the hands of collage maker Eva Kolosvary-Stupler. Her experiences as a child Holocaust survivor and later of communism have always informed her work. Her latest exhibition of assemblages, “Magical Transformations,” is on view at the Don O’Melveny Gallery through Oct. 27.

9009 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. (310) 273-7868.


Feeling Kinky? Not everyone does, but today was made for lovers – of Kinky Friedman, that is. The rabble rouser, writer and Texas gubernatorial candidate comes to Pasadena to sign his new book, “‘Scuse Me While I Whip This Out.” This time, Friedman gets personal, telling stories of his unusual life, which has intersected with that of Bill Clinton’s, George W.’s and Bob Dylan’s, among others.

7 p.m. Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 449-5320.


The intimate Black Dahlia Theatre accommodates “An Infinite Ache” this month. The David Schulner play introduces us to Charles (a Jewish guy) and Hope (an Asian girl), after their less-than-great first date. But as we are propelled forward into the future, we see the couple flourish – and fail – as they go through the emotional trials of love and marriage over a lifetime. It runs through Oct. 24.

8 p.m. (Wed.-Sat.), 7 p.m. (Sun.). $20. 5453 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (866) 468-3399.


The theatrical obsession with gravediggers shows up again in Art Shulman’s new play, “The Rabbi and the Gravedigger.” A “semisequel” to Shulman’s “The Rabbi and the Shiksa,” this one opens to find the rabbi laying to rest his non-Jewish love, Teresa. It plays at Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre through Dec. 11.

8 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.), 2 p.m. (Sun.). $14-$16. 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 769-7529.

SPECTATORby Shoshana Lewin, Contributing Writer

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The roots of Broadway as we know it can be traced not to the streets of New York, but to the streets of Eastern Europe, where Jewish lyricists and composers like Irving Berlin (ne Izzy Ballin) took the music of their religion, added rich colorful lyrics and brought it to the masses.
Musicals took audiences away from sadness, depression and war, and transported them to a cornfield in Oklahoma, an opera house in Paris or the jungles of Africa.
“Musicals sell optimism,” said Mel Brooks, creator of the Tony Award-winning “The Producers.”
For three nights, beginning Oct. 19, theater lovers will have the chance to remember – and relive – 100 years of optimism with “Broadway: The American Musical,” hosted by Julie Andrews. The six-part PBS documentary tells the story of the place “where the American dream is realized eight times a week,” producer Michael Kantor said.
The series begins with the “Ziegfeld Follies” (and the comedy of Fanny Brice) and ends with a look at the opening night of Stephen Schwartz’s Tony Award-winning blockbuster, “Wicked.”
However, Broadway couldn’t escape from the real world completely. Some shows raised a few eyebrows for tackling some controversial topics such as domestic abuse in “Carousel,” homosexuality in “La Cage Aux Folles” and the AIDS epidemic in “Rent,” which hit close to home in the Broadway community after it lost many of its members to the disease.
After Sept. 11, when New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said “the show must go on,” the companies of every show on Broadway came together in Times Square to sing John Kander and Fred Ebb’s “New York, New York,” reminding the city that “it’s up to you, New York” – and that Broadway was ready and waiting.
In 100 years there will be new “Lullabies of Broadway,” but someone somewhere will be still humming “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.”

“Broadway: The American Musical” will air on PBS Oct. 19-21, 9 p.m. For more information on the show, visit