Monday, February 13th, 2017

More theater

The Guthrie highlights a frequently neglected Jewish playwright By MAX SPARBER The Guthrie Theater has a relatively new artistic director, Joseph Haj, who has promised greater diversity in the plays the theater chooses to stage. Despite this, on its surface, The Royal Family, playing through March 19 at the Guthrie, isn’t much of a break […]

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

What Jelly and George shared

Upcoming shows at Dakota Jazz Club will feature music of two 20th century musical icons By MORDECAI SPECKTOR Jelly Roll Morton (1890-1941), ragtime pianist, composer and bandleader, is seen as a pivotal figure in the development of jazz. His song “Jelly Roll Blues” was the first published jazz composition, in 1915. George Gershwin (1898-1937), pianist […]

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Inspired by words of Torah and prayer

Words @ Work exhibit speaks volumes By DORIS RUBENSTEIN The main sanctuary walls at Beth Jacob Synagogue in Mendota Heights are bare, like a Torah scroll, unillustrated but filled with meaning. On any given Shabbat, these walls can serve as a virtual blank canvas onto which three young artists who pray there regularly might project […]

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

The ‘new Jew’ in Israel

The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping, by Aharon Appelfeld, Schocken, 288 pages, $26. Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER The famous line “You can’t go home again” applies to almost all survivors of the Shoah. But to Aharon Appelfeld’s teenage character Erwin, it’s only true when he’s awake, which after the war is seldom. “At the end […]

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Sally Wingert to direct play at Minnesota Jewish Theatre

Sally Wingert has long been a beloved local actress, having worked for years at the Guthrie but also frequently appearing as a lead performer at smaller local theaters, including several well-regarded appearances at the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company. Now Wingert is preparing to make her debut as a director, helming one of the most highly […]

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Bob Dylan: ‘I remember ev’ry face’

Light Come Shining: The Transformations of Bob Dylan, by Andrew McCarron, Oxford, 232 pages, $19.95 Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER Bob Dylan devotees may gain new understanding of their Nobel laureate’s life changes from an analysis and interpretation by Andrew McCarron. In Light Come Shining, McCarron has produced a “psychobiography,” a work that “attempts to demythologize […]

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Proponents of Jewish blues

‘Jewish Americana’ music gets its moment in the spotlight By GABE FRIEDMAN NEW YORK (JTA) — Saul Kaye never wanted to be a “Jewish blues” player. In his opinion, the Jewish music he had heard growing up in Northern California’s Bay Area ranged from “really bad to horrible.” In 2009, he was touring as a […]

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

‘You didn’t want to get on Frank Sinatra’s bad side’

Trombonist Sam Hyster reminisces about his days playing with the Dorsey Brothers’ Orchestra By GLORIA FREDKOVE Sam Hyster spends most of his time these days watching sports in his room at the Sholom Home in St. Louis Park. The 94-year-old loves the Miami Dolphins and the New York Mets. I learned about Sam through his […]

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

What passes for normal on a kibbutz

We Were the Future: A Memoir of the Kibbutz, by Yael Neeman, translated by Sondra Silverston, Overlook Press, 243 pages, $26.95 By NEAL GENDLER By American standards, growing up in a Hashomer Hatzair kibbutz, as described by Yael Neeman, seems both liberating and stifling. Liberating because few decisions are required. From your arrival as a […]

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

An unraveling friendship

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, by Michael Lewis, Norton, 362 pages, $28.95 By NEAL GENDLER Danny Kahneman and Amos Tversky proved two adages: opposites attract and two minds are better than one. Starting in fall 1969 at Hebrew University, pessimistic introvert Danny paired with optimistic extrovert Amos to explore how people […]