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May 02, 2013 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-05-02

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arts & entertainment

Witches Of Lublin

Tovah Feldshuh stars in radio-style klezmer play at Gottlieb music fest.

Suzanne Chessler
I Contributing Writer


he Interlochen Center for the
Arts changed Tovah Feldshuh's
life, and audiences at the Berman
Center for the Performing Arts will see the
The stage, screen and film actress found
her life's work while participating in an
Interlochen program, and she found her
life's partner with an introduction by an
Interlochen friend, the sister of the man
she married, Andrew Levy.
When Feldshuh returns to Michigan
for a May 12 performance of Witches of
Lublin at the Berman, she will arrive early
to spend time reminiscing and catching up
with old friends from Interlochen.
In the spotlight, her work will take the
audience back to 1797, for a radio-style
staged reading featuring local cast mem-
bers and the klezmer playing of Yale Strom
and Elizabeth Schwartz, who, with his
group Hot Pstromi, will present a short

w s

I N ate Bloom
7 S ecial to the Jewish News


Big Screen/Little Screen


Opening on Friday, May 3, is Iron
Man 3. Robert Downey Jr. returns as
Tony Stark/Iron Man, and Gwyneth
Paltrow, 40, is back as girlfriend/
business manager Pepper Potts.
Bodyguard and friend Happy Hogan
(Jon Favreau, 46) becomes a vic-
tim of a series of terrorist bombing
attacks on America engineered by
the evil Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley).
Iron Man was, of course, originally
a Marvel comic character, co-created
by Stan Lee, 90, who is scheduled for
an appearance at this year's Motor
City Comic Con, running May 17-19
at Suburban Collection Showcase in
Novi. Lee, who created the Mandarin
character for a 1964 comic book, is
scheduled for May 18; for more info:
motorcitycomiccon.com .
Debuting at 10 p.m. Friday, May 3,
is a new IFC comedy series, Maron. It
stars Marc Maron, 49, and is based
on his life as a comedian and the
host of very popular podcast. Each
of the 10 half-hour episodes show
Maron trying to maintain relation-
ships other than the ones he has
with his cats and podcast audience.
Judd Hirsch, 78, plays his father,
with Andy Kindler, 56, as his loyal


May 2 • 2013

concert after the dramatic presentation.
Kleinsmith, Brenna Gildenberg, Cal M.
Strom spent his childhood in Michigan.
Schwartz, Barry Levine, Eric Maher and
"I first made this as a recording, and
Bryan Spangler.
like most artists, I like to exist outside
"I'm excited to work with new people
my comfort zone explains
says Feldshuh, who just fin-
Feldshuh in a phone conver-
ished filming the role of an
sation from her New York
Irish maid in Angelica, which
also features Janet McTeer.
"If people keep learning,
"My Lublin character,
they stay facile and young,
Rivke, is a problem solver, a
and this is what the experi-
loving and devoted mother,
ence of working on this pro-
who knows how to adapt to
duction has afforded me. It's
her circumstances. She says,
an original piece that har-
`Every day without tsuris is to
kens back to a little-known
be treasured.'
time and how women were
"I particularly enjoy this
viewed. It has to do with
role because it's a stretch.
Tovah Feldsh uh
mysticism and, sadly, it has
I'm singing in Yiddish. I
to do with patriarchy"
don't speak Yiddish, but I
Witches of Lublin follows three women
do sing in it, and I love singing"
klezmer musicians forced to entertain a
Feldshuh, recently singing from the
count's son in order to save themselves
American songbook in a New York con-
and their town. Also in the cast are
cert to benefit Actors Equity, has visited
Meredith Deighton, Annie Jacobson,
Michigan to do fundraisers for the United
Lauren Landsman, Krista Schafer, Dennis
Jewish Appeal.

"I'm from the Conservative movement,
but I belong to a completely egalitarian
shul," says the actress, happy to celebrate
her mother's recent 102nd birthday. "I
do not believe in the patriarchy of our
religion. I respect other people's points of
view, but I, in no way, subscribe to that.
"I think it is stultifying, and it does not
harness the tremendous gifts of human-
kind, in which womankind surely plays a
Feldshuh is glad to take note of the gifts
of former Israeli leader Golda Meir in
another production at the Berman. She'll
be back on Labor Day weekend with per-
formances of Golda's Balcony.

Witches of Lublin will be performed
at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 12, followed
by a Voices of Klezmer concert with
Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi at the
Berman Center for the Performing
Arts in West Bloomfield. $31-$41.
(248) 661-1900; www.theberman.org .


Performer comes to Detroit for musical based on Spielberg film.

Suzanne Chessler
I Contributing Writer


aniel Self joins the cast of Catch
Me If You Can with a focus
quite different from the musi-
cal's main character, Frank
Abagnale Jr.
While Self, 24, showcases con-
tinuation of a family presence in
entertainment-centered careers,
the character demonstrates his
con artist's singular purpose,
centered on experiencing all
kinds of careers: doctor, lawyer
and jet pilot — all before the age Daniel J.
of 21.
The musical, running May 7-19 at
Detroit's Fisher Theatre, is based on the
2002 Steven Spielberg film of the same
name starring Leonardo DiCaprio and the
true story that inspired it.
"I'm primarily a dancer in the show" says
Self in a phone conversation from the road.
"I also play bit roles, people that Frank Jr.
runs into throughout his adventures. The
primary one is an Atlanta doctor who gets
to know Frank through a hospital"
Self, whose grandfather was the late pop
songwriter George David Weiss ("What
a Wonderful World" "The Lion Sleeps
Tonight" "Lullaby of Birdland") and whose
parents teach theater, thinks of the touring

production as very unique in the realm of
musical theater.
"This is really a show about a man's
relationship with the mentors in his life,"
Self explains. "He wants to be close and
connect with them, but he alienates them
and everyone he loves. I find that
to be a powerful theme, especially
for a young man"
The touring play, following up
on a recent Broadway run, was
brought to the stage by Terrence
McNally and has a score by Marc
Shaiman and Scott Wittman
(composers of much of the music
in the NBC series Smash).
Self, who grew up in California,
started learning dance when he was 10,
during a summer when he and a friend
were looking for something to do.
As soon as I set foot in that studio, I
was hooked on dancing" he recalls. "I
danced five hours a day, six days a week
— ballet, tap and jazz.
"When I was 16, someone I knew from
the studio was putting on a production of
Hair, and I was asked to play the [lead]
part of Claude. That part was a revelation
for me in that I could use dance to tell a
story. I also could use singing, acting and
stage movement to help tell that story:'
Self went on to the Pacific Conservatory
of the Performing Arts.

"They specialize in training actors in
having a career" he says. "They don't just
teach skills. It's like a trade school.
"I graduated from there in 2010 and have
been lucky enough to be working ever since
as a professional actor. I have been work-
ing up and down the East Coast in regional
theater and went on to cabaret theater.
At a certain point, I went to New York,
where I got into the national tour of Cats
in the role of Munkustrap. From there, I
booked this show"
Self, who is single and identifies with
the Jewish culture conveyed through
family linked to his mother (Peggy Weiss
Self), has a way of publicly appearing with
his dad, Perry Self They connect through
Skype for a free podcast, "Selftalk," which
has them reading and discussing philo-
sophical texts.
As far as the stage goes, Self already is
booked for a show when this tour ends in
June. He will be heading for Virginia to play
Gabe in a production of Next to Normal.

Catch Me If You Can runs May
7-19 at Detroit's Fisher Theatre.
Performances are at 8 p.m.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m.
Saturdays, and 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Sundays. $35-$80. (313) 872-1000
www.broadwayindetroit.com .

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