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October 18, 2012 - Image 57

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-10-18

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Sid Caesar and

Imogene Coca

in a comedy

sketch from

Your Show of


JET production goes behind
the scenes of Your Show of Shows.

and the only non-Jew in the play,
this character was actually inspired
by Michael Stewart, ne Rubin), Ron
Williams as Kenny Franks (the Larry
amed Jewish playwright Neil
Simon is known for taking expe- Gelbart character), Allie McCaw as
Carol (an amalgam of Shows writer
riences in his own life, finding
Lucille Kallen and comedienne Selma
the humor, providing some fictional
Diamond) and Rob Pantano as Ira Stone
twists and turning it all into hit com-
(the Woody Allen-like character actually
based on Mel Brooks). Julia Gray plays
One of those comedies, Laughter
Helen, Max's secretary.
on the 23rd Floor, will be the next
"Crazy things happened in that room,"
production of the Jewish Ensemble
says Lehfeldt in describing the humor
Theatre. It runs Oct. 24-Nov. 11 at the
present in the production. "The Mel
Aaron DeRoy Theatre in the Jewish
Brooks character throws his shoes out the
Community Center in West Bloomfield.
The play, which grew out of Simon's
Lehfeldt, who grew up in the comic
experiences as a writer on Sid Caesar's
generation of Woody Allen (who also
weekly TV series Your Show of Shows,
wrote for Caesar) and Seinfeld, asked a
certainly offered rich material. After all,
Jewish friend, Jennifer Rosenfeld Bass, to
Simon was working with Mel Brooks,
write an essay to go along with the other
Carl Reiner and Larry Gelbart, whose
materials theatergoers will read. Bass,
careers flourished independently
serving as dramaturg, recalls the happy
beyond the Caesar series.
Your Show of Shows viewing experi-
Outside reality is brought into the
ences of her dad, Allen Rosenfeld, and his
dialogue with references to serious
matters of the times, including the
Simon actually appeared at the JCC in
McCarthy hearings of the 1950s that
West Bloomfield in 1998 to talk about
blacklisted many prominent writers
Rewrites: A Memoir, his autobiography,
accused of Communist ties.
and sign copies of the book.
The JET version is under the direction
"The comedy lines in the play are based
of Lynnae Lehfeldt, assistant professor of
theater at Oakland University and periodic on what was heard [in the heyday] of the
Catskill resorts': says Lehfeldt, who points
JET performer and coach.
out that Simon is the American playwright
"I bring a sense of joy and enthusiasm
achieving the greatest commercial success.
to this production': says Lehfeldt, whose
"The characters represent the founding
JET associations include an appearance
fathers of American TV comedy, and it's
in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife and an
been fun for me to research the writers
assignment as dialect coach for Broadway
Simon knew so well."
Bound. "There are nine people in the cast
All the writers in the play, except the
to fuel the imagination and keep it light"
non-Jewish character, are the children of
Appearing in the production are
Joseph Albright as Max Prince (the
"This play is a farce, and it fleshes out
Sid Caesar character), Matthew Turner
the humanity as well as the jokes:' says
Shelton as Lucas Brickman (the Simon
Lehfeldt, who was cast in an Iowa produc-
character) and, as fellow writers, David
tion of Simon's first play, Come Blow Your
Meese as Milt Fields (inspired by Carl
Horn. "It's fun to see a play with eccentric,
Reiner), Wayne David Parker as Val
intelligent and witty characters on stage at
Slotsky (head writer Mel Tolkin), Andy
the same time."
Huff as Brian Doyle (an Irish American

Suzanne Chessler
Contributing Writer





Laughter on the 23rd Floor runs Oct. 24-Nov.11 at the Aaron DeRoy

Theatre in the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield. Performances
are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, and Thursdays; 5 and 8:30 p.m.
Saturdays; 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays; and 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7. $38-$45.
(248) 788-2900. www.jettheatre.org .

OCTOBER 27-28, 2012

2 Performances Only!

Saturday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday. October 28, at 2:30. p.m,

T T R 0 I T



'; Flocre

Opee. a 11,atie

With LIVE music played by musicians from the NYCB Orchestra

The MOVES ensemble performs dynamic works from the company's
unparalleled active repertory... including new dances as well as classics!

Each program features works by Christopher Wheeldon, George Balanchine,
William Forsythe and Peter Martins.

313.237.SING or michiganopera.org

Performances supported in pan by a generous gift from
the Betty, Marvin and Joanne Danto Dance Endowment.

The 2012-2013 Dance Series is made possible by
Marlene Boll. Joanne Danto and Nora Moroun.

Addis Ababa



Fabulous Ethiopian Cuisine
New Flavors • Low Fat • Low Cholesterol

Bekele Lessanework of
Addis Ababa Ethiopian Restaurant,
(former executive chef
& manager of the Blue Nile Ethiopian
Restaurant) is now open in
Marketplace Plaza in Farmington Hills:
28853 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Tel: 248.994.8010
Fax: 248.994.8011

Mon.-Thurs. 5pm-9:30pm
Fri. & Sat. 4pm-10pm
Sun. closed

Please visit our other location
in Plymouth:

273 N. Main St.
Plymouth, MI 48170
Tel: 734.414.9935
Fax: 734.414.9936


October 18 2012


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