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March 17, 1995 - Image 83

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-03-17

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

* * * *
YOU CAN TELL THE
DIFFERENCE WITH
STAR'S
HOME-MADE GOODNESS!

TOUR TRAYS CAN'T BE BEAT."

money," he remembers.
Time for a dramatic change in
lifestyle. "I met someone who in-
troduced me to Sol Hurok," says
Mr. Klein of the legendary pro-
ducer "who was at the end of his
career and he knew it."
The meeting produced results
— and a budding entrepreneur.
Mr. Hurok took Peter Klein on
board.
"He was a great teacher," says
Mr. Klein of Mr. Hurok. The stu-
dent learned a lot; the stage be-
came his classroom. "The most
important thing I learned," says
Mr. Klein, "is that show business
is like walking on ice — you nev-
er know when you're going to slip
or fall."
Peter Klein had a good grasp
of the business early on. After
spending three years with Mr.
Hurok, he stepped out on his own
with the American Ballet The-
/ ater, the Joffrey Ballet, Twyla
\I)
Tharp and a host of other dance
troupes he brought to theaters
worldwide.
In choreographing his new ca-
reer, Mr. Klein took a tip from
Mr. Hurok's passion for perfor-
mance. "He approached every
project with enthusiasm," says
Mr. Klein.
And after 25 years as a pro-
ducer, Peter Klein is still enthu-
siastic too, notably about Porgy

& Bess.

Mr. Klein was well familiar
with this American classic long
before he decided to take it on its
first national tour in 60 years.
"I was in my teens when I first
heard the score," he says of his
boyhood days in Transylvania.
It scored quite an impression.
"The music has been with me
since."
After all, Peter Klein was no
stranger to the pain and passions
that fueled the characters of Cat-
fish Row. Porgy & Bess, he notes,
"talks a lot about oppressed peo-
ple, and Jews and blacks share
so much of that in common."
Anti-Semitism was a common
denominator for Jews growing up
in Transylvania, remembers the
producer, the pain still etched on
his face.
"A Jew in Transylvania? At
age 5, I would come home with a
bleeding nose. I would ask my
mother, 'Who is this guy Jesus
Christ who we killed?"' as the tor-
mented toddler tried to make
sense out of the taunts and teases
A) of his neighboring youngsters.
"The anti-Semitism was un-
pleasant."
Better days lay ahead. Now,
the sportin' life is his for the ask-
ing. Producer Klein has only to
answer to himself.
Another country, another con-
cert — calling it curtains is not a
prospect for Peter Klein — he's
just not the retiring kind.
"I'll always do this," he says of
his productive career, "as long
as the audiences are buying
tickets."

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81

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