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November 24, 2011 - Image 79

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-11-24

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Get ready for
Chanukah with a
family concert by
Shira Kline.

"I enjoy color and

- Shira Kline

Suzanne Chessler
Contributing Writer


veryone so inclined can get into
the act with holiday entertainer
Shira Kline.
She'll encourage that Sunday morn-
ing, Dec. 4, at Temple Israel in West
Bloomfield, where the music and activi-
ties will be all about Chanukah.
"We'll have a family-friendly musical
re-enactment of the Chanukah story,"
says Kline, also known as ShirLaLa. "We'll
have music about the miracle of light and
music about the foods we eat during the
"Parents and children play together
throughout the concert as we march like
Maccabees and sizzle like latkes. We'll
even have a human spinning dreidel
Kline, who records on her own label,
will play guitar and include traditional
and folk sounds with some fresh inter-
"What's original in my concerts is put-
ting the music together to tell a story," she
explains. "Some of the songs will be very
familiar. A lot are from early childhood
Beyond religion will be universal values.
"In the Chanukah story, there are
the values of standing up for oneself
and feeling good about personal iden-
tity',' explains Kline, who has worked in
Michigan previously and been part of the
Michigan Womyn's Music Festival.
Kline, 36, has been singing since child-
hood. She learned guitar at summer
camp and became accompanist at the
synagogue school run by her dad, Rabbi
David Kline, in Louisiana.
The entertainer, a graduate of Sarah
Lawrence College, taught at different
schools when she was in her early 20s.

"I started doing sing-alongs, which
was a way to re-create my own family
experiences:' she says. "Those translated
into recordings that became my holiday
series. Recordings turned into concerts:'
The name ShirLaLa resulted from a
brainstorming session. A friend noted
that "shir" comes from the Hebrew word
for song.
Kline, who also works with rotating
band mates, recently deviated a bit from
religious subjects to record the CD Earth
Worm Disco. It connects children to
"I have a website, shirlala.com , and
a blog that I hope will be used as a
resource center for parents and teach-
ers," Kline says. "It's filled with stories,
recipes and coloring pages. I want to
share the positive Jewish experiences
that I had as a child."
The entertainer has posted eight
ideas for enhancing the celebration of
Chanukah. They reflect the professional
development sessions she has led for
teachers and clergy.
Kline, who settled in New York
after college to be part of a larger arts
community, was raised in a Reform
household. Now, she is active with
Storahtelling, a ritual theater company
she helped found 13 years ago.
"I think I have a pure sense of play
that connects with children," says Kline,
who is single. "I have a deep apprecia-
tion for imagination, and I think my
work is to help children grow their
"I love to dress up in costumes and
have artists paint my hair different col-
ors because I enjoy color and expression.
I feel I speak the language of children
fluently and try to inspire audiences to
love what we can do together as a corn-
munity experience. L _ '

Shira Kline performs in a free concert 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Temple
Israel, 5725 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield. A luncheon follows the
concert; the cost is $10 adults/children 12 and under free. For reserva-
tions for the concert and/or lunch, contact Brandi Houghton by Nov. 28 at
bhoughton@temple-israel.org or (248) 661-5700.

The phrase Ted diaper baby' describes.: a child of parents who were members of the UT Red States
Coentnunist Party ICPUSAl or were close to the party or sympathetic to its airry:. In their bock
Red Diapers:: Growing Up in the Communist Left. _.k4 Kaplan and Lir Shapiro define red diaper
babies as 'children of C!PUSA members lorl children whose parents never became members but •
who were. nevertheless. involved in political. cultural or educational activities supported by
tfe Parts}'

Enter cornediai 1/actor and friction picture star Josh Kornb. 1th. the 01 ly child of a Comtnurist
frit Ige couple in New York. Wei itlessly trcued by political correctness even before there
was such a ehinc.). Jcx>h t:4<es ix. through his utirpe childhood as a red diaper babij.

This is out arKi out fascit tatir 1g. The Jews' need for radcAisrn al d social change
is examined closely in this performance piece that you will remember forever!

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ber 24 2011


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