Leah Hochbaum


Excessive Pride

By Leah Hochbaum

When I was in the fourth grade, my Brooklyn yeshiva held a Torah fair. My partner — a girl whom I fancied a close friend but who was to move to California two years later, never to be heard from again — and I quickly decided on a parsha that had fascinated us since we’d learned about it earlier that year. We went to Manhattan Beach to gather sand, crafted petite people out of pipe cleaners and fashioned an angry God from cotton balls (stained red with a waxy Crayola crayon) purchased at a local drugstore. We then took a cardboard box, cut a large groove into the bottom, poured in the sand and glued our pipe cleaner people to the sides of the indentation so that they looked like they were falling into the cavernous space.Read More


Growing Pains: Lit for Tweens

By Leah Hochbaum

When Stacy Friedman and her best friend, Lydia, return from camp to find that their formerly tubby other best bud, Kelly, has morphed into a cool, thin, beautiful blonde over summer break, they couldn’t be happier for her — that is, until Kelly cozies up to the popular clique and gets invited to the bar mitzvah event of the fall while they’re left out in the cold. In the preteen-geared “We Are SO Crashing Your Bar Mitzvah!” Fiona Rosenbloom’s brand-new sequel to her 2005 “You Are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah!” the author weaves a tale of preadolescent humiliation so palpable that readers will feel like they themselves have been unjustly left off the guest list.Read More


Three Strangers, But Not for Long

By Leah Hochbaum

There’s no set, no props and no intermission, yet “Rearviewmirror,” the newest offering from playwright Eric Winick, keeps audiences captivated from the moment it begins. In fact, the Reverie Productions show, playing at the 59E59 Theaters on New York City’s Upper East Side, is almost barren in its simplicity. It features just three characters — Penn, Agatha and Inez — who though at first seem too different to have anything to do with one another, gradually tell an interweaving tale so strangely mesmerizing that 90 minutes are up before you even realize it.Read More


A Theater Stages New Show – and Controversy

By Leah Hochbaum

Even before the first performance of “Last Jew in Europe,” the Jewish Theater of New York’s play penned by Tuvia Tenenbom, the show already had people up in arms. Citing the tragicomedy’s use of photographs of antisemitic graffiti purportedly shot on the streets of Lodz, the Polish Embassy said the pictures could turn American Jews against Poles. The embassy even suggested that the wall-art was actually created by theater staffers.Read More


’Do It Yourself

By Leah Hochbaum

Daniele Sullivan has made a career out of creating wigs, but even she confesses that up close she can’t tell a lace front creation from a real head of hair.Read More



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