A wall comes to life. Arms appear in what had seemed like empty black suits hanging on them. The seven actors in the company, in evening dress, whom we’ve seen singing, playing with pieces of paper, join hands with the arms. Together the actors and the limbs on the wall do a kind of Hora. Later, a 17-foot high puppet of a babushka embraces, and menaces, a little clown. The clown is composer Dmitry Shostakovich. It’s like something from Dr. Seuss. It’s like a dream.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was a fascinating individual. Too bad Colin Greer’s play, “Imagining Heschel,” is such a yawn.
Is there room for a klezmer musical on Broadway? I think so. The band for “Shlemiel the First,” led by the Folksbiene National Yiddish Theatre’s Zalmen Mlotek, is so good that during the exit music a sizeable portion of the audience drifted down toward the pit instead of up to the exits. Costumed as an Old Country klezmer band, they even march onstage sometimes, but it’s at intermission and afterward that they really wail. And that is terrific stuff, particularly Dmitri “Zisl” Slepovitch’s clarinet, Yaeko Miranda Elmaleh’s violin and Mlotek’s keyboard. Hoo boy, good.
The Golem was created, legend says, to protect Prague’s Jews. Things didn’t exactly work out right and a new puppet production eloquently tells the story on stage.
The story of the Golem has been told in literature, film and theater, including a puppet production created in 1997 by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. Now that show is back as part of La Mama Experimental Theatre Club’s 50th anniversary season, featuring music by The Klezmatics trumpeter Frank London. Unusually for the company, the show is danced as much as it is spoken. The Arty Semite caught up with writer-director Vít Hořejš and composer Frank London to ask about reviving the story of the clay man.
Itamar Moses likes to ramble and so do the characters in his new play, ‘Completeness.’ He credits his Israeli parents for raising him to appreciate a ‘culture of arguing.’
Photo by Joan Marcus
Nicole Rivelli/The Weinstein Company
“Our Idiot Brother,” out in theaters August 26, stars Paul Rudd as Ned, a lovable convict who is sent to jail for selling marijuana to a uniformed cop. Following his release he is booted off the farm by his hostile hippie girlfriend, and so he goes from sister to sister, innocently wreaking havoc.
The cliché is that every actor wants to direct. Sometimes they try their hand at writing too, and turn out predictable stories about a character played by the author. Zach Braff, star of the TV show “Scrubs,” seemed to do that with his 2004 film “Garden State” — except that the movie was actually rich, surprising and quirky.