Once he starts talking, it's hard to stop
the internationally-acclaimed mime
Special to The Jewish News
rom the moment he takes
off his make-up he never
Behind the white face
of Marcel Marceau, the
64-year-old Frenchman who revived
the ancient art of acting without
words, there is a philosopher, a rebbe,
a melamed, a peace activist and a
Unlike the master mime who
brings his audience to laughter and
tears through silent gesture, the off-
stage Marceau, looking rumpled,
with curly graying hair and light
brown eyes, is never at a loss for
words. In sharp contrast to his role as
entertainer and voiceless
vaudevillian, he has a more serious
side — outspoken on issues of world
politics, religion and peace.
Currently making preparations
for the groundbreaking of the Marcel
Marceau World Center for Mime —
scheduled for completion in 1988 —
Marceau took a moment from his hec-
tic schedule recently to speak on
everything from his memories of the
Holocaust to the plague of nuclear
Few people are aware that
Marceau is a Jew. In fact, it's one of
the few subjects about which the
master of silence chooses to remain
"I don't speak especially about
that?' says Marceau of his Judaism.
"My father died in Auschwitz. But
there's not much more to say. I'm very
proud about my background and
culture, of what our people have suf-
fered in the past. But what's impor-
tant is to know about life and death,
about people, about brotherhood.
Religions very often have separated
people-instead of reuniting them and
what we need is reunification. rIb have
a sense of all religious faiths, to bring
peace to our people, not prejudice?'
Marceau was born Marceau
Mangel in Strasbourg, France. His
father, Charles Mangel, was a butcher
from Poland who dreamed of being a
singer. But it was his mother, Anne
Mangel, who sparked little Marcel's
interest in mime.
"At age five, my mother took me
to see Charlie Chaplin's silent pic-
tures," recalls Marceau, whose lively
facial expressions seem capable of
telling the story. "Ah Chaplin! He
was my inspiration." It was then that
Marceau, who spent his childhood
years imitating birds, trees and
"speaking like fish in the language of
silence?' decided to become a mime.
But Marceau's plans were delayed
with the outbreak of World War II.
His family moved to Perigueux, far
from the German border, in the
Southwest of France, where Marceau,
together with his brother Alain, join-
ed the French underground.
"I had a contribution to do for my
people?' he says. "So I helped the
On stage, Marcel Marceua appears as his alter ego, Bip.
WEEK OF AUGUST 14-20
Dixie Highway between
Pontiac and Flint, one mile
north of Mt. Holly, Inc.,
Holly, drama, mimes,
magicians, crafts, games,
food, Saturdays and
Sundays through Sept. 27,
PINE KNOB MUSIC
Tina Turner, 8 p.m. today
and Saturday; Supertramp,
7:30 p.m. Sunday; Barbara
Mandrell, 7:30 p.m.
Roger Whittaker, 8 p.m.
today and Saturday; The
Pointer Sisters, 8 p.m.
STROH'S JAZZ SERIES
Chene Park, Detroit,
Stephen Grapelli, 8 p.m.
5200 Woodward Ave.,
Detroit, Brunch With Bach,
10-11:30 a.m. Sunday,
DUFFY'S ON THE LAKE
3133 Union Lake Rd.,
Union Lake, Bob Posch and
John Cionca, 9 and 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday,
NORTHWOOD INN AND
2593 Woodward, Berkley,
Jeff Jena and Jerry Elliott,
8:30 and 11 p.m. today and
Saturday; Kozak, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday through Sept. 12,
Southfield Parks and
Evergreen, Southfield, room
115, The Goodtime Player's
— Beauty and the Beast,
Continued on Page 71