Here’s more evidence to fuel speculations that Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are a couple (if there is indeed anything left to speculate about): The two were spotted together at Wednesday’s L.A. Dodgers game.
Allan Lewis Rickman likes to say that the best audiences for “The Essence: A Yiddish Theatre Dim Sum” are gentile college students — a demographic that seemed (shockingly!) underrepresented at the show’s opening NYC Fringe Festival performance at the Robert Moss Theater on August 14. More than a few people in this crowd murmured recognition of familiar tunes and might have kept right on laughing at jokes in Yiddish even if Matt Temkin’s excellent English supertitles had malfunctioned.
When Eileen Reynolds first heard Marvin Hamlisch’s music from ‘A Chorus Line,’ she declared it the best musical ever. It was a bold claim for a 9-year-old — but it’s stood the test of time.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to brush up on Israeli history before watching “Gei Oni,” the new Dan Wolman film based on Shulamit Lapid’s novel of the same name. Set in the late 19th century, the story takes place during the first wave of European immigration to Ottoman-ruled Palestine, when Jews fleeing pogroms in Eastern Europe arrived at the Port of Jaffa in search of new lives. While the film’s main characters are fictional, a few historical figures also make appearances. These include the British Zionist, author, Christian mystic and onetime member of Parliament Laurence Oliphant and the poet Naftali Herz Imber, best known for writing the lyrics to “Hatikvah” in 1878. The real-life Oliphant took Herz Imber as his secretary when he traveled to Palestine in 1882 with the aim of assisting Jewish settlement there.
You might not recognize Raymond Scott’s name, but chances are that you’ve heard his music — and that it makes you anxious. That’s because Scott’s “Powerhouse” (1937), easily his best known work, has been used to accompany scenes of mechanized peril in everything from the classic 1940s Warner Bros. cartoons to “The Ren & Stimpy Show” and a Visa check card commercial. As Warner Bros. animator, director and historian Greg Ford notes in “Deconstructing Dad: The Music, Machines and Mystery of Raymond Scott,” a new documentary film by the composer’s son, Stan Warnow, the disquieting “Powerhouse” became the go-to choice for scoring animated scenes of panic on the assembly line. Raymond Scott (1908-1994) never wrote with animated films in mind (Warner Bros. simply licensed Scott’s back catalogue in 1941), but it’s fitting that he should be forever linked to the image of a swiftly moving conveyor belt — a contraption that makes its operators struggle to keep pace.
What’s your socialist bubbe got to do with the Queen of Pop? That’s the question at the heart of “The Material World,” the new Dan Fishback musical headlining this summer’s HOT! Festival at New York City’s Dixon Place. The setting for the show is a dream-world 1920s Bronx boarding house where a family of Russian Jewish socialists lives with Madonna, Britney Spears and a gay teenager plotting a Facebook revolution.
How’s this for a blast from the past?
Shoshanna might be a new kind of Jewish American Princess, but in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, “Girls” creator Lena Dunham revealed that she originally conceived of Marnie (played by Allison Williams) as another sort of Jewish stereotype: “A neurotic, stressed-out, like, tiny, high-achieving Jew.” Judd Apatow, she said, coached her toward creating a rounder, more “fleshed-out” Marnie, and also suggested that Shoshanna, who might have been “an in-out character who appeared every four episodes” play a bigger role on the show. So…thanks, Judd?
Swimsuit model and “Maxim” hottie Bar Refaeli, like everyone from the Orthodox to Bethenny Frankel, has devoured — and enjoyed — “50 Shades of Grey.” When Kim Kardashian posted a photo of the title book in E.J. James’s trilogy on Twitter, Refaeli fired back her approval: “I’m already in the second one. I think that answers it.”