THE J.A.P. ISSUE: FROM PAGE TO STAGE

By Jacob Suskewicz

Published May 19, 2006, issue of May 19, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Isabel Rose has done much in her lifetime to debunk the stereotype of the JAP. Now that her hit debut novel, “The J.A.P. Chronicles” (Doubleday, 2005), is being staged as a musical, her crusade is gaining even more attention.

“More than anything, I want to keep breaking down the stereotype of the JAP and to celebrate the individual,” Rose said.

“J.A.P Chronicles, the Musical” follows the lives of a group of former bunkmates of Willow Lake camp and shows the paths that each of the women has taken as the group reunites for the camp’s 100th anniversary. The story revolves around Ali Cohen, the “ugly duckling” of the group, who has grown up into a “self-made swan.” Always the outcast and prone to the effects of the girls’ Jappiness, Ali, 20 years older and now a successful filmmaker, relishes the opportunity to see her old tormentors, hoping to rub their (probably surgically reconstructed) noses in her success. The camp recruits Ali to make a documentary for the reunion. In examining the lives of her former bunkmates, she discovers that there’s more to these so-called JAPs than meets the eye. They’re not just the incarnations of a stereotype; rather, they are all real people with real problems, and more complex than one simple catchphrase can describe.

In the theatrical adaptation of her novel, Rose plays all the characters. She also composed the music and adapted the songs’ lyrics from her book. To say she’s multitalented is almost an understatement. Rose’s pedigree is not all that different from the characters about whom she writes, in the sense that they all grew up accustomed to a life of privilege. Raised on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and educated at The Dalton School, Rose attended an exclusive camp for girls. She went on to graduate from Yale University and then received a Master of Fine Arts from Bennington College. Rose has transitioned into her professional career quite successfully, with not only her book and musical to her credit but also numerous acting roles and musical performances.

Perry Street Theater, 31 Perry St. (between W. 4th St. and Seventh Ave.); through May 28; Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat. 3 p.m., 8 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m.; $50-$60. (212-868-4444, www.smarttix.com or www.japchroniclesthemusical.com)






Find us on Facebook!
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.