Show Me the Money

By Forward Staff

Published January 20, 2006, issue of January 20, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Emily Stern, daughter of shock jock Howard Stern, is threatening to sue The Jewish Theater of New York.

Stern, who played pop star Madonna in “Kabbalah” — a satirical look at the celebrity fascination with Jewish mysticism — quit the show two weeks ago, after her father’s fanatical fans learned that she got naked in the off-off Broadway production. Just days after Stern quit, she had her lawyer, Stephen Huff, send a letter to the show’s playwright and director, Tuvia Tenenbom, demanding “compensatory and exemplary damages.”

Huff’s letter charges the theater with exploiting Stern’s photograph “for commercial purposes without obtaining Ms. Stern’s written permission.” In the letter, Huff demands compensation for “acting services… obtained by you without the compensation required under Federal and New York State employment laws.”

Tenenbom, who says he is searching for a lawyer to defend the theater, called the charges “ridiculous.” He argued that Stern’s demands pose a threat to all artists everywhere who work on a volunteer basis. He still sounds upset that Stern decided to quit after her father’s notoriously zealous listeners discovered her identity.

“She quit the show just when it started to sell,” he said, “and now they have the chutzpah to sue.”

Stern originally joined the show — over the objections of her famous dad — on the condition that the theater keep secret that she was the daughter of the King of All Media.

Tenenbom said that Stern “knew from the top that there is no money” in off-off Broadway productions. Such productions are “for actors to get noticed,” not paid, he said.

Stern could not be reached. Her lawyer did not return a call seeking comment.

According to Tenenbom, Stern, along with her fellow actors, “smilingly and willingly participated in three photo shoots.” In fact, Tenenbom said, Stern provided the playwright/director with her own photo of herself to put on his Web site. Asked if Stern had signed any contract with the theater, Tenenbom said: “I’m an old-timer; I do handshakes.”

Tenenbom said that in 13 years of theater productions he never has been in such a situation.

“If they are successful, then it is because of their money and power,” Tenenbom told the Forward. “It will be a very sad day for New York.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • 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.