thu 02/07/2020

Jewish culture

DVD/Blu-ray: Distant Journey

Czech director Alfréd Radok’s Distant Journey (Daleká cesta) has an unprecedented place in the history of cinema of the Holocaust. Initially released in March 1949, it has been called the first fictional treatment of the Jewish experience during the...

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The Last Five Years, Southwark Playhouse review - an inspired actor-musician take on a cult classic

There’s concept on top of concept in this revival of Jason Robert Brown’s beloved 2001 musical, which charts the ebb and flow of a relationship by juggling timelines: aspiring actress Cathy’s story is told in reverse chronological order, while...

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The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre review - Moses musical goes big and broad

The theatre gods rained down not fire and pestilence, but a 45-minute technical delay on opening night of this substantially revised musical – a stage adaptation of the 1998 DreamWorks animated movie. But nothing could entirely halt this juggernaut...

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'You’re Jewish. With a name like Neumann, you have to be'

It was during my first week at Tufts University in America, when I was 17, that I was told by a stranger that I was Jewish. As I left one of the orientation talks, I was approached by a slight young man with short brown hair and intense eyes. He...

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Rags: The Musical, Park Theatre review - a timely, if predictable, immigrant tale

“Take our country back!” is the rallying cry of the self-identified “real” Americans gathered to protest the arrival of immigrants. It could be a contemporary Trump rally – or, indeed, the nastier side of current British political discourse – but in...

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Uncut Gems review - relentless tale of gambling and the diamond trade

The Safdie brothers, Josh and Benny, once programmed a season of films entitled Emotional Sloppy Manic Cinema, and if sloppy is subtracted from that description, it’s a pretty accurate summation of their work here in Uncut Gems. This is edge-of-the-...

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Blu-ray: The Golem

A lumbering, barrel-chested hulk with a weirdly Ancient Egyptian wedge of hair, the eponymous clay monster of Paul Wegener and Carl Boese’s The Golem: How He Came Into the World compensates for his limited intelligence with brute strength and a...

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Charlotte Salomon: Life? or Theatre?, Jewish Museum London review - rallying against death

For a loved one to die by suicide provokes both pain and hurt. Pain, because they are gone. Hurt, because it can feel like an indictment or a betrayal. For Charlotte Salomon, the suicides that ripped holes in her family were also foreshadowings...

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Amsterdam, Orange Tree Theatre review - suffocatingly mannered

An excellent director makes a rare misstep with Amsterdam, in which a compelling if tricksy play is given an arch and mannered production that only distances the audience further. Not to be confused with either Rotterdam or Europe, two similarly...

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First Person: Matthew Xia on why his production of 'Amsterdam' feels especially pertinent and vital now

I’m currently opening Amsterdam, my first production for Actors Touring Company since being appointed Artistic Director last year, at the Orange Tree theatre in Richmond and then in Plymouth early in 2020. And what better time to premiere a...

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Falsettos, The Other Palace review - affecting search for the new normal

William Finn and James Lapine’s musical – which combines two linked one-acts, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, set in late 1970s/early 1980s New York – picked up Tony Awards in 1992 for its book and score, and was nominated again in...

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The Lehman Trilogy, Piccadilly Theatre review - stunning chronicle of determination and dollars

Mammon and Yahweh are the presiding deities over an epic enterprise that tells the story not just of three brothers who founded a bank but of modern America. Virgil asked his Muse to sing of ‘arms and the man’, yet here the theme becomes that of ‘...

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