Meet The Real Mrs. Maisel: Jean Carroll
By Grace Kessler Overbeke for The Forward
I am a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, where I am currently working on a monograph about the very first Jewish female comedian, Jean Carroll — which is an academic way of saying that I am very, very invested in the actual Jewish, female pioneer of stand-up. I wasn’t sure that “Mrs. Maisel” would do her justice. And though it’s a great show, it doesn’t.
David and Iola Brubeck — A Jazz Activist for Unity and Justice
From the Milken Archive of Jewish Music
The question, "what do a rabbi, Jesus and Darius Milhaud have in common?" may sound like the setup to a joke. The punchline, in this case is both fascinating and revealing: they were Dave Brubeck's three most influential teachers. They were also Jewish, which may at least partially explain why the non-Jewish jazz icon was comfortable working with Jewish ideas and themes in his music.
Newly available on our website today is the complete oral history the Milken Archive conducted with Dave and Iola Brubeck in 2003 (an excerpt was available previously). Divided into three sections, the Brubecks discuss how they saw and used music, jazz in particular, as a way to unite people from all walks of life, all religions and all parts of the world.
Americans ♥ ‘Fauda,’ Israelis ♥ ‘Imposters’
By Matthew Wolfson for Tablet Magazine
A Bravo series starring Israeli actress Inbar Lavi is a con game masking something real
I first came across Imposters, the Bravo series that’s playing five nights out of seven on Israeli television, scrolling through Netflix this past March. The picture showed a woman on a bed, the label said dark comedy, the slug described a con artist marrying men and stealing their money. Sex, cruelty, the suggestion of the absurd: It looked designed—overdesigned—to allure. But after a minute I thought, “Why Not?” and tried the first episode.
Rodgers and Hammerstein in their day—and ours
PETER TONGUETTE, The Weekly Standard
Can Rodgers and Hammerstein be untethered from their own era?
For about 15 years in the 1940s and ’50s, composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II partnered to produce a succession of popular, pathbreaking musicals, including Carousel, South Pacific, and The Sound of Music. In the nearly six decades since the 1960 death of Hammerstein, the music the duo made together has survived—often heard outside of the shows that first housed it or in new productions of those shows that take liberties with their makers’ intentions.
To understand Israel, listen to its pop music
MATTI FRIEDMAN, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
An article about Israel on the occasion of the country’s 70th birthday seems to demand some or all of the following words: Trump, war, Iran, Gaza, Netanyahu, Palestinians, Syria, Jerusalem. But Israel isn’t a geopolitical problem – it’s a country, and the tendency to limit discussion of this country to those terms renders invisible much of what makes it interesting. What I find most remarkable, having lived here for the past 23 years, is Israel’s bewildering and fast-moving society, the complexities of which are usually overlooked by observers. The question of what “Israeli” means in 2018, and how that’s changing and why, are particularly important ones at this anniversary. One good way to answer is to listen to pop music.