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February 23, 1990 - Image 74

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-02-23

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

ENTERTAINMENT

OF SOUTHFIELD

Invites You To Enjoy .. .

Stephen Hannan Is Hooked
On His 'Peter Pan' Role

FREE DINNER

WITH PURCHASE OF DINNER OF EQUAL OR GREATER VALUE
GOOD 7 DAYS A WEEK
SATURDAY SEATING PRIOR TO 6 p.m. OR AFTER 8:30 p.m.

(EXCLUDING SEA BASS, LAMB CHOPS & LIQUOR)

MOST DINNERS 56.95 TO S10.95 • PRESENT COUPON • EXCLUDES HOLIDAYS

L No Carry Out

L

• Limit 10 People

STEVE HARTZ

• Expires 3-1-90J

Special to The Jewish. News

FABULOUS
SUNDAY BRUNCH $7 50

PER PERSON • LIMIT 10 PEOPLE
WITH COUPON • EXCLUDES HOLIDAYS •

F

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ON YOUR NEXT TRAY

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74

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1990

1

rom the time he was a
child, Stephen Hanan
had dreamed of becom-
ing an actor.
His first appearance on
stage was as a third-grader,
acting in a Purim play. Since
then, Hanan has hit San
Francisco as a street per-
former; Broadway, creating
the role of Gus, the theater
cat in Andrew Lloyd
Webber's Cats; and London,
starring as Thenardier, the
innkeeper, in Les
Miserables.
This week, Hanan made
his Detroit debut, starring
as Captain Hook in Peter
Pan at the Fisher Theatre.
The show runs through Mar-
ch 4.
Hanan grew up in Wash-
ington, D.C., in an Orthodox
Jewish home. Both of his
grandfathers were cantors,
and he said he inherited his
vocal chords from them.
As college students at
Harvard, Hanan's
classmates included actors
John Lithgow, Stockard
Channing and Tommy Lee
Jones. Not only did Hanan
act on stage, he also wrote a
full-length musical, A Hit
and a Myth, staged by the
Hasty Pudding Club at Har-
vard.
"Acting now supports my
writing habit," Hanan said.
He later wrote David
Dances, produced at the
American Conservatory
Theatre in San Francisco
and Rainbow's Return, stag-
ed in New York.
Hanan's first professional
role was the part of the tailor
in The Taming of the Shrew
which starred Raul Julia
and Meryl Streep.
"Working with Meryl was
delightful. This was in 1978,
before she became a well-
known movie star," he said.
"Once the show opened, she
was shooting Kramer vs.
Kramer during the day and
performing Shrew at night."
Hanan made his Broadway
debut in Linda Ronstadt's
1980 production of The Pi-
rates of Penzance. His next
role was in Cats, for which
he was nominated for a Tony
Award.
In 1986, Hanan went to
London to perform in Les
Miserab les.
"I had a ball playing
Thenardier. It was wonder-
ful because I had received

Actor Stephen Hanan.

my acting training in Lon-
don in 1969. And I hadn't
been back there since," said
Hanan, who attended the
London Academy of Music
and Dramatic Arts.
Playing Captain Hook is
the third time Hanan ap-
pears as a pirate. In addition
to Pirates of Penzance, he
played one in Cats, where he
walked the plank during a
flashback number. He also
said his innkeeper role in
Les Miz was "like a quick
sketch for Captain Hook —
both of them being deeply
ruthless, cruel and violent
characters."
Hanan admitted that he

doesn't remember well the
animated Disney version of
Peter Pan, explaining, "This
production is much more
like the original play from
1904, which is really a play
for adults — even though it's
a wonderful thing to take
children to."
Having acted a bit part in
the movie The Chosen,
Hanan would like to appear
in more movies in the future,
but also wants to continue
writing and acting on stage.
He said he would love to play
Leontes in The Winter's Tale
and appear in other
Shakespeare and Shaw
plays.
Peter Pan opened in Boston
in mid-December and has
been flying ever since, which
has left Hanan a little
hungry for a home-cooked
meal.
No longer Orthodox,
Hanan still craves kosher
food.
"Doing a national tour like
this and traveling from hotel
to hotel makes me appreci-
ate the incredible luxury of a
home-cooked meal," he said.
"If anyone in Detroit knows
how to make really good
matzo ball soup, I'm eager to
try it. It would be great if he
or she wanted to bring some
to me after the show," he
laughs.



Music And Family Roots
Are Important To Nero

RITA CHARLESTON

Special to The Jewish News

H

e was a child prodigy
who loved to play the
piano but hated to
practice. So his father, a social
worker, would accompany
him to his lessons, taking
notes and writing them out
on three-by-five cards. His
mother, a Spanish teacher,
was the one who would
chastise him when she realiz-
ed the boy wasn't practicing
his Bach or Beethoven.
"But when my mother got
a full time job with the New
York City school system and
was out all day, I'd be free to
do my own thing," Peter Nero
recalls from his home in
Philadelphia where he now
heads the Philly Pops. "Today
that's called improvisation,
and if a child shows that kind
of interest it's encouraged in
addition to his or her regular
studies."

Born Bernie Niewrow in
Brooklyn, Nero started his
formal musical training at
the age of 7. By the time he
was 14, he had won numerous
piano competitions, a scholar-
ship to the Julliard School of
Music and had made guest
appearances with symphony
orchestras.
While a senior at Brooklyn
College, Nero won first place
in many talent competitions,
including top honors on "The
Arthur Godfrey Show." By the
time he graduated from col-
lege he was on his way to
establishing himself among
the top jazz pianists in New
York, appearing in major
clubs throughout the city and
then Las Vegas.

Once recognized as a jazz
artist, Nero began to experi-
ment, combining jazz with
the classics. By 1961 he had
become a national "name" as
a result of his consistently
best-selling albums, eight

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