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February 19, 1988 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-02-19

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

Increase
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in Israel
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W

hen Marilyn Mich-
aels sings My Yid-
dishe Mama, she's
not exactly whistling Dixie.
She's singing with her Yid-
dishe mama, Fraydele
Oysher.
Michaels, an impressionist,
actress and singer, will ap-
pear with her mother at 8
p.m. Feb. 27 at the
Maple/Drake Jewish Com-
munity Center as part of its
"Let Us Entertain You"
cultural arts series. According
to cultural arts director Adele
Silver, many good seats are
still available.
The two will reprise an act
they performed when Oysher
appeared in Yiddish theater,
well before Michaels achieved
fame on TV, in Las Vegas, in
Atlantic City and on stage.
Oysher will do some Yiddish
monologues, while the two
perform duets, engage in
banter and invite the au-
dience to participate.
Michaels called the Detroit
appearance a special treat.
"I'm looking forward to it,"
she said from her New York
home. Michaels appeared
here in 1966 when she played
the role of Fanny Brice in
Funny Girl. Oysher called
Detroit "my city," reminiscing
about the large audiences
who came to see her when she
appeared in Yiddish theater
productions at the old Litt-
man's and other theaters.
Oysher, sister of the
renowned Cantor Moishe
Oysher, is well into her 80s
and going strong. She produc-
ed a cassette of her brother's
music, has done commercials,
concerts, lectures and is audi-
tioning for a new Woody
Allen movie and for another
commercial. Her resume is
staggering; she has perform-
ed throughout the country
and out of the country. "I even
went to Cuba B.C. — before
Castro."
Michaels' career is equally
impressive. Following stints
on the Yiddish stage with her
mother, she sang in the choir
with her father, Harold Stern-
berg, the Metropolitan Opera
basso. In the 1970s, she ap-
peared in the TV show, Copy
Cats.
She has produced an album,
The Oysher Album, featuring
herself, her mother and un-
cle; has done commercials for
Diet Seven Up, Bic lighters,
Burlington industries and for
department store chains in
the east. Summer stock, TV,

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A driving financial force,
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PROVIDING A FOUNDATION ON WHICH ISRAEL BUILDS

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Marilyn Michaels
and Fraydele Oysher

night clubs, invitations to ap-
pear before Jewish organiza-
tions and writing a one-
woman Broadway show keep
her on her toes.
"I was a performance kid
from the word go," says
Michaels, having made her
stage debut at age 8. She was
called a wunderkind, to
which her mother quipped,
"It was a wonder she got on
and off the stage!"
On stage, Michaels is a
wonder, having mastered 75
voices, of personalities, of
dialects and original
characters. One of her most
famous impressions is of Bar-
bra Streisand. She doesn't
have a favorite; she likes all
of them "because people love
them all." She's always look-
ing for new impressions, and
currently is working on Dr.
Ruth Westheimer and Jorian
Rivers. Michaels also likes do-
ing Dynasty star Joan Collins'
voice. Once she got a strange
request — to do Michael
Jackson.
Currently, Michaels is
working on a TV pilot about,
what else, an
impressionist/comedian.
Although the two do not do
much together these days —
their activities take them on
different paths — Michaels
and Oysher do as much
together as they can, says
Oysher. And what will they
do when they appear at the
Jewish Center?
"We do a lot of shtick. We do
things people can identify
with. Humor and music; it's
family humor."

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