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February 26, 2009 - Image 49

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-02-26

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Arts & Entertainment


The daughter of famed celebrity couple makes Detroit-area debut.

Suzanne Chessler

to audition:' explains Zadora, who chose
to use her mom's stage name because she
likes the way it sounds. "I sent in a video
wo celebrities have watched Kady audition, and it all worked out."
Zadora appear in the comedy
Zadora has been interested in an
Kong's Night Out at the Meadow
entertainment career since joining her
Brook Theatre — and one will be return-
mother in concert when she was 5 years
ing to Rochester to be in the audience for
old. The second-generation entertainer
a repeat performance.
debuted singing "I'm the Greatest Star"
Zadora, in the play based on the film
and "Broadway Baby" as well as doing a
King Kong, can count her parents as the
Marilyn Monroe impression.
notables in the audience. Her mom, retired
After becoming active in her high-school
actress-singer Pia Zadora, has performed
drama program, Zadora studied theater for
in Michigan. Her dad, often-controversial
a year at the California Institute of the Arts.
Israeli businessman Meshulam Rildis,
She left formal classes for private sessions
will return from a trip to Israel before the
with voice and acting coaches.
show closes March 8.
Zadora's acting experiences came
Zadora's parents, now divorced, were
through a Los Angeles production of Hair
chased by the paparazzi some 25 years ago
and two low-budget, independent films,
as they became a twosome and then mar-
Movin' In and Girls Gone Dead.
ried. The couple's contrasting backgrounds,
"When I first performed with my mom,
glitzy lifestyle (they bought Hollywood's
she would pretend she couldn't get me off
famed Pickfair, tore it .g.
the stage Zadora
down and constructed
another mansion on
that happened, and
the property) and age
here I am."
difference (more than .1
Pia Zadora, who
30 years) launched
recalls singing at
them into the public
the Meadow Brook
spotlight in the early
Music Festival as
the opening act for
"In some ways, my
Frank Sinatra, is glad
character's experi-
to return to the area
ences are similar to
and proud to see
my own:' says Kady,
her daughter acting.
24, who takes the role
Mom is accompanied
of Daisy, an aspiring
by her youngest son,
actress. "Daisy is a
Kady's half-brother.
naive young woman
"I was bowled
from Buffalo. She goes
over because I never
to New York for her
had seen her doing
career, wises up and
this type of role and
saves the day at the
didn't know what to
end of the show.
expect," Pia says. "I
Kady Zadora: has been interested in
"The play has a lot an entertainment career since joining
didn't know that she
of running around,
has this ability, and I
her mother in concert when she was
door slamming, yell- 5 years old.
think she could be a
ing and laughing. It
musical-comedy star.
has a lot of fun in it,
Although she doesn't
and I think it's fun to do. I hope it's fun to
sing in the show, she has an unbelievable
Kong's Night Out, written and directed
Pia, who also has appeared at the Fisher
by Jack Neary, focuses on the farce in the
Theatre in Henry, Sweet Henry with Don
hotel room where the ape is to arrive.
Ameche, gave up her career in 1995, after
Cindy Williams and Eddie Mekka, stars of
being cast in Crazy for You.
the sitcom Laverne and Shirley, headline
"I was forced into show business when I
the production.
was very young, and it was a trap for me
"Cindy Williams and I have the same
says Pia, married to her third husband,
manager, and I got the part after our
a Los Angeles detective. "Although I con-
manager gave me the script and asked me tinued with it, even after I got married, I

Special to the Jewish News



Christo Savalas and Kady Zadora — heartthrobs in real life — as Little Willie and
Daisy in Kong's Night Out

wanted Kady to know the real world and
that she should go where her heart tells her."
Kong's Night Out keeps Kady near to her
real-life heartthrob — Christo Savalas,
son of the late actor Telly Savalas. Kady
and Christo, cast as Little Willie, met
through their moms, longtime friends.
Although Kady is following her
mother's career route, her religious
practices follow from both her parents.
Kady did not have a bat mitzvah, but her
brother, Christopher, a business student at
Pepperdine University, had a bar mitzvah.
"When Kady's father and I decided to
have children, we decided to give them
a dual experience explains Pia, who is
Catholic. "He basically taught them about
Judaism and celebrated Jewish holidays
with them. They also were baptized and
went to church with me."
Pia learned a bit about Jewish culture as
a child appearing in the New York produc-
tion of Fiddler on the Roof She worked
with Zero Mostel, Luther Adler and
Herschel Bernardi.
Chaim Topol, who also starred in
Fiddler and will re-create his role March
3-8 in Detroit (see story on page B12), did
not work with Pia but became a friend

through Rildis.
Kady has made two trips to Israel but
cannot always escape the notoriety of her
family. Some comments have been very
"It has upset me to see the bad things
people have written [about my family]
and hear the jokes:' says Kady, who is
working with a local record producer
on her pop career. "For the most part, I
believe it is jealousy. I try to laugh at it and
not really listen. I know what happened
and what the truth is.
"I hope I can focus on bringing fun and
excitement into people's lives. It feels good
to make audiences laugh." 0

Kong's Night Out runs through
March 8 at the Meadow Brook
Theatre on the campus of Oakland
University in Rochester. Show times
are 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 6
p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28; 2 and 6:30
p.m. Sunday, March 1; 2 and 8 p.m.
Wednesday, March 4, and Saturday,
March 7; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March
8. $24-$39. (248) 377-3300 or
www.mbtheatre.com .

February 26 • 2009


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