sun 19/08/2018

Jewish culture

Edinburgh Fringe 2018 reviews: Ari Shaffir/ Ashley Blaker/ Janeane Garofalo

Ari Shaffir ★★★★★There are some super-talented US comics at the Fringe this year, and Ari Shaffir is among them. The edgy, no-holds-barred New Yorker lays it out there with his show title, Jew, in which he charts why he has left his Orthodox...

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The Path to Heaven, RNCM, Manchester review - tragedy, truth, passion

Adam Gorb’s The Path to Heaven, with libretto by Ben Kaye, is his longest work to date (almost two hours’ running time without interval) and on a story that could hardly be more tragic – the Holocaust. Its premiere at the Royal Northern College of...

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Effigies of Wickedness, Gate Theatre review - this sleek cabaret conceals desolation behind a smile

The show’s subtitle – “Songs banned by the Nazis” – is a catchy one, and somewhere under the confetti, the stilettos, the extravagant nudity, the sequins and even shinier repartee that are wrapped around Effigies of Wickedness like a mink coat on...

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The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Brighton Festival review - a dynamic dedication to an artist's muse

They say that behind every successful man is a strong woman. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk is as much – if not more so – the championing of the unsung hero in this story of the famous early modernist artist, Marc Chagall. His wife, Bella – early muse...

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Entebbe review – Seventies hijack drama remains grounded

The freeing of a plane-load of hostages by Israeli forces at Entebbe airport in Uganda in 1976 produced an instant spate of movie versions. Raid on Entebbe starred Peter Finch and Charles Bronson, Victory at Entebbe offered gainful employment to...

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CD: Ezra Furman - Transangelic Exodus

Transangelic Exodus is a roller-coaster ride. Songs twist, turn, have sudden shifts in tempo, are punctuated by unexpected instrumental interjections, and come to a dead stop after which they resume their unpredictable course. Although Ezra...

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The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Kneehigh on tour review - sweetest musical Chagalliana

Time flies so much more beguilingly in Daniel Jamieson and Emma Rice's 90-minute musical fantasia than it ever has, for me, in Bock and Harnick's Fiddler on the Roof – and the songs aren't bad, either. The inspiration here – and inspiration's the...

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Nicholas Blincoe: Bethlehem - Biography of a Town review - too few wise men but remarkable women

Suitably enough, Nicholas Blincoe begins his personal history of the birthplace of Jesus with a Christmas pudding. He carries not gold, frankincense and myrrh but this “dark cannonball” of spices, fruit and stodge as a festive gift to his girlfriend...

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Menashe review - Yiddish-language film with a heart of gold

On paper this film sounds so worthy: a widowed Orthodox Jewish father struggles to convince the Hassidic community elders that he can raise his young son alone after the death of his wife. But it’s the opposite of worthy on screen – Menashe is...

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The Melting Pot, Finborough Theatre review - entertaining morals

Israel Zangwill’s 1908 play The Melting Pot characterises Europe as an old and worn-out continent racked by violence and injustice and in thrall to its own bloody past. America, on the other hand, represents a visionary project that will “melt...

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Modigliani, Tate Modern review - the pitfalls of excess

Modigliani was an addict. Booze, fags, absinthe, hash, cocaine, women. He lived fast, died young, cherished an idea of what an artist should be and pursued it to his death. His nickname, Modi, played on the idea of the artiste maudit – the...

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Dough review - well-intentioned bread-based comedy doesn't rise

Oh dear, writing this review is a bit like being mean to a small cuddly animal. Dough has such very good intentions – characters separated by race, religion and age can find common ground in a bakery – it’s a shame that it doesn’t rise into a tasty...

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