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October 25, 2002 - Image 76

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-10-25

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n er a n ent

Mixed Media

New eviews

Tops In Pops

Jewish Identity

Richard Hayman, who has made recordings with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, soon will
conduct a pops concert with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO).
Fiedler's Favorites II, a new program to pay tribute to the late Jewish Boston Pops conduc-
tor Arthur Fiedler, will feature a variety of works by composers from Josef Strauss ("Clear
Track Polka") to the John Lennon-Paul McCartney team ("Yesterday" and "Penny Lane").
Local pianist Krazimierz Brzozowski will play the Warsaw Concerto in the concert that will be per-
formed Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 31-Nov. 3, at Orchestra Hall in Detroit.
"We play all kinds of music," Fiedler used to say, "except the boring kind."
The Fiedler concert was arranged because of the popularity of last year's programs, also honor-
ing the man credited with inventing modern symphonic pops during his 50-year career in Boston.
Hayman, former principal pops conductor for the DSO and arranger for the Boston Pops dur-
ing Fiecller's tenure, has watched his award-winning arrangements and orchestrations continue
under the artistic leadership of John Williams and Keith Lockhart.
Pianist Brzozowski, a Poland native who earned a master's degree from the Chopin
Academy of Music in Warsaw, attended the University of Michigan on scholarship and
earned a doctorate in piano performance with the instruction of Louis Nagel.
Brzozowski, winner of the top prize in the National Chopin Competition in Warsaw for
three consecutive years and an international performer, teaches at Oakland Community
College and is the founder and artistic director of the International Summer Music Festival
in Lublin, Poland, now in its third year.
Among the other pieces on the program will be Paul Lincke's "Wedding Dance" from
Titanic, George Gershwin's "Strike Up the Band" and Bobby Pickett's "The Monster Mash" —
the last to celebrate Halloween.
— Suzanne Chessler

An award-winning young playwright
living in New York and tracing her
roots to Michigan is about to debut a
Jewish identity drama in Illinois.
Brooke Berman, who attended the
Roeper School and Temple Beth El
before moving away when she was 9,
is introducing Until We Find Each
Other at the Steppenwolf Merle •
Reskin Garage Theatre in Chicago.
With performances through Nov. 24,
the play follows three cousins struggling
to balance their Jewish backgrounds
with the directions their lives have taken.
"The play deals with cultural identity
and mysticism and is constructed like
the Tree of Life, the central image of the
Kabbalah [Jewish mysticism]," explains
the 30ish Berman, a graduate of the
Juilliard School in New York City.
"The story follows Miriam, Justin
and Sophy a year after the death of
Miriam's mother, when each is
wrestling with issues of spirituality,
family, home and culture."
The script, part of Steppenwolf's New
Plays Initiative, was developed this sum-

Krazimierz Brzozowi ki


Richard Hayman

Fiedler's Favorites //will be performed 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31; 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday,
Nov. 1 and 2; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at Orchestra Hall. $15-$80. (313) 576-5111.




`Shylock' At JET

Medieval Spain

Gareth Armstrong wrote and performs a one-person theater piece about fiction's best-known
Jew, but he presents his character from the point of view of a lesser-known fictional presence.
Shylock, a production that is part of the new Guest Artist Series staged by the Jewish Ensemble
Theatre (JET), tells about Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice icon in the now-narrating voice
of Tubal, Shylock's friend and the only other Jewish character in the play written 400 years ago.
The touring piece, which will be performed Nov. 6-24 at the Jewish Community Center in
West Bloomfield, retells the story and references the playwright, players, passions and preju-
dices in the context of the changing historical climate since the character was created.
. of anti-Semitism told in a very creative way," says Evelyn Orbach, JET artistic
"This is really a story
director. "There is a variety of characterizations brought into the piece by the narrator, who becomes a
comic force in Shylock by complaining that he only had eight lines in The Merchant ofVenice.
"I don't. want to identify the other characters because that would take away from the dra-
matic surprise in the 90-minute production. The essence of drama is surprise," Orgrch says.
Shylock explores how this fictional character's life has resonated through the worlds of the-
ater, scholarship and religion. In an imaginative framework, humor and insight combine with
Shakespeare's language and a host of myth and anecdote to bring the legend to life.
Armstrong, born in Wales and graduated in drama from the University of Hull in England, has
toured more than 30 countries with Shakespearean and contemporary productions. He has been a
member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and has appeared regularly on British television.
The range of the British actor, who also has directed, has placed him in many types of drama-
tizations, including Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced and
Tom Stoppard's Dirty Linen.
— Suzanne Chessler

Joel Cohen, music director of the
Boston Camerata and the Camerata
Mediterranea, promises two Jewish
songs when he brings the ensembles
to Ann Arbor for a performance of
Cantigas de Santa Maria.
The program, which recreates the
musical and spiritual climate of 13th
century Spain, will be presented 8 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 7, at St. Francis of Assisi
Catholic Church under the sponsorship
of the University Musical Society.
Along with songs from the era hon-
oring the Virgin Mary, the presenta-
tion will include Jewish and Muslim
songs of the time — when King
Alfonso X the Wise referred to him-
self as the "King of Three Religions."
"Ninety-five percent of the concert
will be Christian sacred text, but we will
include Achot K'tana ['Little Sister'],
and our encore will have `Quando El
Rey Nimrod' ['When King Nimrod'],"
says Cohen, a studied authority and
recording artist in medieval and
Renaissance musical performance.
The first song is about the Jewish
community and praying for redemp-

Shylock will be performed Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 6-24, at the
JET Theatre at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield. Performances start at 7:30
p.m. Nov. 6 , 7, 14, 17, 20 and 21; 8 p.m. Nov. 9, 16 and 23; 10 a.m. Nov. 7 and 13; and 2
p.m. Nov. 10, 17 and 24. $20-$30 with senior and student discounts. (248) 788-2900.

Gareth Armstrong


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