Tag Archive for stage

Review: Sailor and Fiddler, by Herman Wouk (2016)

Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-old Author, by Herman Wouk (Simon & Schuster) This slim volume, which the author describes as a “non-autobiography,” will be of special interest to people interested in literature, for it focuses primarily on Wouk’s writing life and how he came to create such popular works as The Caine Mutiny,…

In the footsteps of Shakespeare of London

The play is again the thing in the Southwark district of London as a newly-built replica of the Globe Theatre, where some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays debuted almost 400 years ago, is set to open in late August (1997) for a three-week dramatic season. Julius Caesar, As You Like It, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear,…

Jolson Sings Again

What was it like to see Jewish show business legend Al Jolson at his best in front of an adoring public? A high-budget musical profile of Jolson, now on stage at the historic Victoria Palace Theatre in London’s West End, seemingly rekindles that quintessential and electrifying spark that this most famous cantor’s son was able to…

The ageless charm of an Irving Berlin musical

The story has it that when Irving Berlin’s new musical Annie Get Your Gun was being readied for its 1946 Broadway opening with Ethel Merman in the title role, the legendary composer was so nervous about one particular number, There’s No Business Like Show Business, that he was prepared to yank it from the show.…

Gilbert Gottfried is a scream

American comedian Gilbert Gottfried, whose most celebrated role was the voice of the parrot in the Disney movie Aladdin, brought his quirky brand of stand-up humor to Canada recently (1997) for two sold-out shows at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Superclub as part of the Toronto Comedy Festival. Gottfried responds to the audience’s welcoming applause by pleading…

Interview with playwright Jason Sherman

Although his current play It’s All True is based on a “labor opera” from the 1930s, and though many of his previous plays have been highly critical of Israel, Toronto playwright Jason Sherman told an audience at Harbourfront recently, “I don’t think of myself as a political playwright any more than I do a Jewish…

Conversation with Red Buttons

As he prepares to bring his recent smash Broadway revue to Toronto, stage and screen veteran Red Buttons, who is 76 and lives in Los Angeles, joked that he was contemplating taking French lessons just in case the Yes side won the Quebec referendum. “I might even bring my wife along, and introduce her as…

Politically incorrect and loving it

Jackie Mason, who performs his one-man Broadway show in Toronto on Monday Oct. 7, 1996, says he was ordained as a rabbi but was laughed out of his first synagogue in Weldon, North Carolina, in the 1950s. “As far back as you can go, they were all rabbis in my family,” the celebrated stand-up comic…

Drabinsky protects Showboat with legal action

Entertainment mogul Garth Drabinsky has filed a legal notice of claim against the Ontario government after learning that the provincial Anti-Racism Secretariat allegedly funnelled $200,000 to various groups that were part of an organized campaign to stop the musical Show Boat from opening at the North York Performing Arts Centre in October 1993. “They have…