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December 03, 2004 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-12-03

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

Banquet and Party Room

Celebrity Jews

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NATE BLOOM

Special to the Jewish News

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Tel: 248.615.8866 ■ 248.615-8877
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12/3
2004

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<4.

We're Here

The late ALAN KING said that he
asked his mother if the Russian
shtetl she fled from was like the
one in Fiddler on the Roof. She
replied, "Yes, but I don't remember
so much singing."
I thought of this story when it
was announced that the exuberant
HARVEY FIERSTEIN would be
replacing the serious Alfred Molina
as "Tevye" in the current Broadway
revival of Fiddler. Molina and the
revival itself have been criticized as
too cold" and "not Jewish"
enough.
In one sense, this criticism is
unfair: Most shtetl fathers were not
warm, clownish figures like
Fierstein or the late ZERO MOS-
TEL, lArho created the role of
Tevye. Jews dealt with poverty and
pogroms, and humor was only a
sometime thing.
However, as King's mother recog-
nized, Fiddler is a musical and not
a historical document. It takes a
warm Tevye to give us an insight
into the joys that sustained shed
Jews and to suspend disbelief as the
villagers break into "so much
singing."

Speaking of Broadway, the success
of the movie version of Chicago has
led movie producers to take a
chance on bringing other hit musi-
cals to the screen. A case in point
is Rent, the mega-hit about young
people in New York based on the
opera La Boheme. Written by the
late Jewish composer JONATHAN
LARSON, Rent begins filming
next spring.
Playbill reports that Jewish heart-
throb ADAM PASCAL, who won
an Obie for creating the role of
"Roger" in Rent, is very close to
agreeing to join the film produc-
tion. The producers also want to
sign IDINA MENZEL, who also
appeared in the original stage pro-
duction. The Jewish chanteuse's

stock soared when she won a 2004
Tony for Wicked.
The stage version of Rent, for
which producer Jeffrey Seller, a
former Oak Parker, won a Tony,
returns to Detroit on the Masonic
Temple Theatre stage Jan. 21-26,
2005.

One-Two Punch

ADAM BRODY, 24, has to rank

as the hottest Jewish actor under
30. As recently reported in the
New York Times, it was largely his
acting ability and "geeky" charm
that turned what the producers
envisioned as a somewhat second-
ary role (the "half-Jewish" Seth
Cohen on the hit Fox series The
0. C.) into an audience favorite.
Raised in a secular Jewish home
in San Diego, Brody's one-two
punch of "likeability" and person-
al warmth helped land him two big
upcoming movies.
Besides a large supporting role in
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, starring Brad
Pitt and Angelina Jolie, he has the
romantic lead in In the Land of
Women, opposite Meg Ryan.
Women is directed by first-time
director JONATHAN KASDAN,
who is the son of the U-M alum
and Big Chill Jewish director

LAWRENCE KASDAN.
In Women, Brody plays the part

of a soft-core Los Angeles porn
writer who goes to live with his ail-
ing grandmother in suburban
Michigan, only to become involved
with a neighboring mother and
daughter.
The younger Kasdan said he cast
Brody because "Adam is that rare
thing, an accessible charismatic."
Translation: Brody's nice, and audi-
ences really like him.

Something New

Credit the Disney Channel with
giving some young Jewish actors
their first big break. In recent
years, there was SHIA LABOUEF
on Even Stevens and ADAM LAM-
BERG, as "Gordo," on Lizzie
McGuire.
The newest face is RICKY ULL-
MAN, who has the title role in

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