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February 20, 1987 - Image 65

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-02-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

• • •

• ""

01 110 • ••• • •



• /0111ERSET 9 • ••••••••
• •
. 11:111f1flER THEATRE

=


detroit's Original dinner theatre
• •••••••••••••••••••••••••
■ ••••••••••••••••• •

JIMMY
LAUNCE
PROductions,
Inc.

presents




A Romantic Comedy

By: Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor

Lower Level, Somerset Mall, Troy
• Friday and Saturday Performances

Reservations: 649-6629

• IIII
II TY-TTir TT-

"IT HAD TO BE YOU"

Rothschild was an enriching
experience for Linden, but one
that exacted a price.
"After Rothschilds, I was in-
undated with parts for wise old
Jewish fatherly types," says a
razor-sharp Linden, resting in
his barber's chair, a loan from
Dustin Hoffman who had used
the chair during his Broadway
run of Death of a Salesman.
But along came Barney —
and Linden was captivated. "I
specifically did not 'want to
play him ethnically," he says.
"I didn't want to limit him."
But Danny Arnold, who
created the hit program, in-
sisted that Barney be Jewish.
"He said that there was a Tal-
mudic side to him, a Jewish
base for the character," recalls
Linden.
So while Barney was not ob-
viously Jewish to viewers, "He
was to us," says Linden.
And while Barney may have
looked heavenward for advice,
Nat is more apt to turn in-
wardly. "Nat is an atheist,"
says Linden. "To Nat, religion
is an opiate of the masses."
Nat's drug is the ongoing
battle between oppressor and
the oppressed, battling the
good fight. Linden's own father
waged his own battles on the
side of the angels.
"My father was heavily into
Jewish activism," he says. "He
was a Zionist" who believed in
the power of education and
reading.
In the East Bronx, Linden
"grew up with books next to my
bed, one about the difference
between boys and girls, an-
other a biography of Theodor
Herzl," founding father of
Zionism.
Linden has inherited much
from his father, including the
sense of tzedakah. "I'm one of
the political activists in
California," he says. He also
has been active on behalf of
such causes as March of Dimes,
cerebral palsy and cystic fib-
rosis.
"My father was always in-
volved in Israel and so am I,"
says Linden. "I look forward to
the day I can go back there." He
had visited some years back.
For the time being, Linden
contents himself with his role
on stage here, as draining a
part as exists on Broadway. "It
is a very draining show to do,"
says Linden. "I'm on stage for
more than two hours working
at 110 percent, full-out."
This is no complaint. "There
is a very freeing feeling to it,"
he says of his portrayal. "I feel
very good when I'm finished."
That feeling extends way
beyond the footlights. Portray-
ing an octogenarian has
enhanced Linden's apprecia-
tion of the elderly. "We've got a
continuing problem in this
country," he says. "We do not
revere the elderly like they do
in so many other countries. We
live in a disposable society."
Flushing out the problem

means a good hard look at val-
ues. "This isn't a cry for sever-
ance," he says, "but a call for
respect and appreciation."
Linden has an appreciation
for Nat's feistiness and his
propensity for heated
arguments. After all, some of
the best debates were served
up at the Lifshitz home, where
the dinner table was filled with
appetizers and amiable
arguments.
"My father and mother's
uncle would really go at it," re-
calls Linden with a chuckle.

"Picture these two men with
Yiddish accents saying 'What
if . . .' and 'Suppose . . "
Suppose that Barney had
never made captain, what if
Mayer Rothschild could only
wonder "If I were a rich man,"
would Hal Linden have per-
sisted? Would the fire that
lights up Nat have kindled et-
ernally in Hal Linden?
"I had a firm conviction that
I had something to offer," says
Hal Linden. "I have a firm con-
viction that I am a very good
actor."

Lou Jacobi. Gains Fame
In Movies, Broadway

stay a bum," the old man brus-
quely concluded. "It was 1933,
the Great Depression," Jacobi
Special to The Jewish News
- said. "What can I tell you of a
ouis Jacobovitch is a
young, sensitive boy who had
Toronto boy who has
nowhere to go — whose father
made good in a big way.
couldn't afford university?"
As Lou Jacobi, he has been fea-
Young Jacobi kept the wolf
tured in popular movies and
from the door by romping
recordings and has a streak of
around with his own one-man
five long-running Broadway
repertory company, worked in
plays.
a straw hat factory and sold
Recall him as: the bread-
socks and other products door-
stealing Mr. Van Dann in the
to-door until_ he sprang to
Pulitzer Prize-winning Diary
prominence a as a natural
of Anne Frank; the atheist
storyteller. Thereafter the only
Schlissel in Paddy Chayefsky's
product he sold was Lou Jacobi.
The Tenth Man; the domineer-
In 1951, he left for London.
ing father in Neil Simon's
Jacobi had his share of loneli-
Come Blow Your Horn; the
ness and heartache there. Sur-
Hollywood producer, co-- -
vival seemed dubious at times.
starring with Carol Burnett, in
"I gat a flat nose from doors
Fade-In Fade-Out; and inDon't
being slammed in my face. My
Drink the Water, written with
sights were low — all I-wanted
him in mind by Woody Allen.
was a walk-on in the West End
— everything else I did was a
Seated with his wife recently
bonus," he remembered.
in his Manhattan apartment,
Finally the breaks came.
he recalled his career, which
Ciro's, a top night spot, bought
began informally 70 years ago
his act. Now successfully
when he was three. His father,
showcased, he graduated to the
Jacobi recalled, taught him the
West End stage in Remains To
Yiddish song God Don't Desert
Be Seen, followed by Guys and
Me in My Old Age. His mother,
Dolls, Pal Joey, Into Thin Air
he said, thought his father
(which was where it went), and
"meshuga. 'Why teach a
a film for Sir Carol Reed, A Kid
three-year-old a song like
For Two Farthings.
that?' she asked. With amiable
His period of struggle ended
outrage my father bellowed,
when New York playwright-
`Let him know what it is to
director Garson Kanin spotted
grow old,' " Jacobi said.
him in The World of Sholem
Jacobi was one of four chil-
Aleichem and brought him to
dren. His mother ran a board-
New York for the supporting
ing house for Jewish actors,
role of Van Dann in Diary of
and young Jacobi became in-
Anne Frank, edging out such
curably infected by the virus of
serious contenders as Lee J.
the theater.
Cobb and Eli Wallach.
At age 12, he made his stage
Lou married in 1957, "I was
debut at the Princess Theater
42, even Lloyds of London
in a little something called The
Rabbi and The Priest.
wouldn't take a chance."
"When I was 10 my scholarly
One of the finer things about
father, a cloak operator, spent
Jacobi is his wife, the former
a small fortune trying to make
Ruth Ludwin of Jersey City.
me into a violinist," Jacobi
She graduated in theater at
said.
college and went off to Israel to
In 1927 Jacobi won a bronze
help found Kibbutz Hasol-
medal for violinists under 16 at
lelim. "My wife is an intelli-
the Canadian National Ex-
gent and understanding
hibition. He eventually hung
woman. Because of her influ-
up his violin case and became a
ence I have become a more
comedian, and Joseph
committed Jew," he said.
Jacobovitch was convinced
The couple has no children,
that his son was not quite right
but visits Toronto regularly to
in the head.
see family.
"You're a bum, and you'll
Copyright, JTA, Inc.

COUPO—N1

DINNER FOR TWO

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• Not Good With Any Other Specials
INCLUDES: HOMEMADE SOUP OR
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Expires March 5, 1987
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a great way to sample our restaurant-- rated the finest
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1 reservations required.

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65

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