Tickets went on sale this week at the New York International Fringe Festival, (FringeNYC), the 14 year old multi-arts festival with more than 200 groups performing for 16 days on over 20 stages. Among the 1,200 performances beginning on August 13, 2010 are some unique standouts of JewLicious interest.
As you probably recall, last year included a uniquely staged play about sex among young Jewish tourists in Israel, titled Sex and The Holyland. I gave it my award for most creative use of benches in a stage play. This year has even more excitement, from an Ansky play from Strasbourg France to a musical based on the writings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.
The Mad 7 by Yehuda Hyman is a modern-day riff on a 19th century Hasidic tale. Elliott Green, a San Francisco office drone turned reluctant hero, takes a coffee break and meets seven mystics. Comical, off-beat, and spiritually moving, it is inspired by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov’s “The Seven Beggars.” While there is no scene with a nude prince who thinks he is a chicken under a table, I did see a scene on youtube and the show’s website that involves a chicken entree. The Jerusalem Post profiled the show in a feature this week, which can be found here.
Another highly anticipated show is “A Gilgl Fun a Nigun (The Metamorphasis of a Melody)” performed by Le Theatre en l’Air/Der LufTeater, and written by I. L. Peretz. It is a solo performance in Yiddish with English translation supertitles, based on the classic short story of a melody’s journey from singer to singer, from folk song, to religious hymn to popular tune. It hails from Strasbourg, France
Abraham’s Daughters by Elissa Lerner confronts a moral crisis that threatens Ranya, Kate and Sarah, college freshmen far from home and family, race headlong on a collision course with the ancient faiths of their births.
Feed the Monster by Stephanie Ehrlich will be directed by Michael Roderick. It asks what if Grace Slick grew up as an Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn? She’d hit the road and morph into mock-rock-goddess named Rita Emerson. In this musical, the audience will sing along on Rita’s journey to stardom. It’s a tale of sex, jugs and rock-n-roll.
Jew Wish, by Rachel Evans is directed by Rachel Eckerling. These two Rachels combine their talents to tell the tale of a single Jewish female for a night of revelry, laughs and kvetching! the audience journeys inside Rachel’s brain and bedroom as she navigates the world of online dating, while placating her nosy parents, in her elusive hunt for her modern-day mensch.
In “Two Girls” by Gabrielle Maisels, a friendship blossoms and struggles in the “new” South Africa between 2 girls, one black, one Jewish, who take on the trauma that apartheid left behind. Maisels is the granddaughter of Attorney Isie Maisels, who successfully defended Nelson Mandela in the “Treason Trial” of 1958.
TTYL. I will get in line for tix. Should I save an aisle seat for you?