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JET opens season with Midwest premiere of comedy
by "Moonstruck" screenwriter John Patrick Shanley.
Special to the Jewish News
rutus, a writer with a bril-
liant past and blocked pres-
ent, lives off fiscal and emo-
tional royalties from earlier
achievements. His frustrations grow in
the presence of a younger writer,
Wanda, whose creativity is current.
The two, main characters in John
Patrick Shanley's play Dirty Story, reveal
themselves through their rocky relation-
ship and move into larger issues as they
become representatives of differing
The dark comedy, which opens the
2003-2004 season at the Jewish
Ensemble Theatre, runs Oct. 22-Nov.
23 at the Jewish Community Center in
West Bloomfield. It will be the first
production of the play outside New
The initial impetus for the play was
9-11, says Shanley, 53, whose script
for the 1987 film Moonstruck won an
Academy Award. "I live in Brooklyn
Heights, and I was down on the
Brooklyn Promenade when the tow-
ers fell. That experience woke up
New Yorkers to something that we
didn't know about and that [I
Not •ood with an other offer.
Loren Bass, Phil Powers, Randy
Godwin and Shelly Gaza in John
Patrick Shanley's "Dirty Stories"
thought] we better find out a lot
Shanley began to research the
Mideast situation to understand the
level of hostility that would cause
people to do what was done on that
"The most obvious ongoing place
to look at suicide missions was Israel,"
he says, "and I talked to a lot of
Israelis and Palestinians. The ghost of
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JET lineup off ers more new plays, old favorite.
A comedy, a drama and a musical
round out the rest of the 2003-2004
season of the JesArish Ensemble Theatre
as a new play is developed for the com-
pany's Youth Education Services.
Nobody's Gilguil, Lois Roisman's fan-
tasy comedy about a woman without a
soul, will run Dec. 3-Jan. 4. Boy Gets
Girl, Rebecca Gilnaan's thriller, will be
presented Feb. 18-March 21. Fiddler on
the Roof the classic Sheldon Harnick-
Jerry Bock musical about shted life, will
be staged April 21-May 23.
As the four main JET productions
are being readied for performances at
the Jewish Community Center in West
Bloomfield, Mean Girls is being devel-
oped for school presentations and joins
a school touring program that also fea-
tures The Dim), ofAnne Frank, Ward
and I Was Just .Idding.
"I'm glad we've been able to find
some strong feminist pieces for this sea-
son," says Evelyn Orbach, JET artistic
director. Our second comedy, which
was introduced as a staged reading last
year is really quite funny and in con-
siderable contrast to our third produc-
While .Nobody's Gilguil connects a
soul from an earlier generation to a
young woman, Boy G ets. Girl explores
how a stalker enlists the help of
"I'm delighted to close the season
with Fiddler," Orbach says. "I'll be