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November 19, 1993 - Image 84

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-11-19

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

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• • •




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•• • • • • •



JET


• ∎ • • • • •

JEWISH ENSEMBLE THEATRE

WORLD WIDE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.

AND

present

ARTHUR MILLER'S

THE PRICE

Directed by Evelyn Orbach

PREVIEWS December 1 - 5

PERFORMANCES December 5 - 26

Evening and Matinee
Performances

SIGN INTERPRETATION FOR THE DEAF
SUNDAY NIGHT, DECEMBER 19

Sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging 1-B

. . . engrossing
and entertaining .. .
superbly, even
flamboyantly,
theatrical."

— Clive Barnes, N.Y. Times

DAVID
FOX











































. . . pulsates
with vitality
and power."

— William Glover, A.P.





Aaron De Roy Theatre

Jewish Community Center • 6600 W. Maple Road • West Bloomfield

• TICKETS (313) 788-2900 or

(313) 645-6666 •

Special Senior, Student and Group Discounts Available



JET Gratefully Acknowledges The Generous Support Of


aTARGET
A
• •
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •







SOI_ FRIEDER

Michigan Council for Arts
and Cultural Affairs

ROBERT
YOLANDA
GROSSMAN FLEISCHER

• •

Musical Producer
Lives Out His Dreams

MICHAEL ELKIN SPECIAL TO THE JE WISH NEWS

W

hen it comes to
major players, pro-
ducer Paul Blake
has proved a hit liv-
ing out his theatrical field of
dreams.
"This is all I've ever want-
ed to do, since childhood — to
be associated with theater,"
says the producer of 42nd
Street, the award-winning
musical.
The musical, which tells
the story of a chorus girl who
goes on to greater glory, is a
"feel-good" show, says Mr.
Blake. "It's all about getting
what you love out of life."
And what Paul Blake loves
is the way audiences re-
spond. The Bronx-born Mr.
Blake heads up the St. Louis
Muny, a major regional
theater where a production
of the song-and-dance
musical swept audiences off
their feet a couple of seasons
ago.
"It appealed to youngsters,
older crowds — everybody,"
recalls Mr. Blake. "It broke
records."
So when Paul Blake, still
running the Muny but also
an independent producer,
decided to take his show on
the road, this is one of the
shows he chose to take.
The musical, which puts
the spotlight on some nifty
tap-dancing, taps into the
producer's longtime love for
the theater, which took
flight with a Broadway pro-
duction of Angels in the
Wings.
"I was 4 at the time," he
recalls, "and I remember sit-
ting there waiting for it to
start and all these people in
the audience were talking.
"I was worried that they
would talk all through the
show. So I turned to my
father and asked, 'What will
the actors do when the peo-
ple continue to talk?' And he
told me not to worry, that
the audience would know
when to become quiet."
As the lights dimmed, and
the curtain went up, the
conversations suddenly
stopped, speaking of a silent
respectful communication
between audience and actor,
recalls Mr. Blake.
Theater has com-
municated its magic ever

Michael Elkin is the enter-
tainment editor of the Jewish
Exponent in Philadelphia.

since, says Paul Blake, who
shifted career directions
from actor to director
relatively early on. "I had
just graduated from City
College of New York and
was hired to direct musicals
at the city's Stephen Wise
Free Synagogue," he re-
members.
The synagogue played an
important role for Mr.
Blake, who was raised in an
assimilated Jewish home.
"It was the first time I heard
Yiddish used," he says of his
three-year stint at the
Stephen Wise. "I started

Photo by Craig Schwart



Paul Blake:
Producer of musical.

learning more about what it
meant to be Jewish, which
pleased me quite a bit."
He also learned more
about what it meant to be at
the helm. The actor found
himself thinking more and
more about how much he en-
joyed directing.
After his acting teacher,
the prominent Alice Spivak,
saw his work on The Pajama
Game, she advised him that
the rules of the game had
changed. "She said that this
—directing — is what I
should be doing," says Mr.
Blake.
He took her at her word,
and "two years later, I
stopped acting and became a
director."
One early production ap-
pealed to a new performer
who would go on to pro-
minence. "About 1965, I
produced, starred in and
directed An Evening of Tra-
dition, and among the cast I
chose was a young woman

Bette Midler. O

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