Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Church and State is timely show for MJTC

The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company’s newest production, Church and State, looks at the political cost of gun violence By DORIS RUBENSTEIN Playwright Jason Odell Williams didn’t think he’d be doing rewrites of Church and State while the play was in rehearsal.  But that’s what he was obliged to do for the production opening Oct. 21 at […]

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Mark Helprin: Paris, sentence by sentence

Paris in the Present Tense, by Mark Helprin, Overlook, 394 pages, $28.95 Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER Mark Helprin is a fabulous writer of the sort that makes you want to capitalize the word, a justly acclaimed master whose elegance is both an asset and, at times, almost an annoyance. Where lesser novelists would describe an […]

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Melody Moezzi : The same struggle

Author Melody Moezzi discusses how her upbringing influenced her understanding of mental illness by MAX SPARBER Community News Editor The 17th Annual Twin Cities Mental Health Education Conference, Oct. 22 at Temple Israel, will feature a keynote address by Melody Moezzi, Iranian-American activist, award-winning writer and attorney, and author of Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar […]

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Lillian Hellman: Always new again

The Guthrie Theater presents the anti-fascist classic Watch on the Rhine by Lillian Hellman by MAX SPARBER Community News Editor The Guthrie Theater has, either through accident or design, discovered the joys of Jewish women who wrote plays. This past season the produced The Royal Family, co-authored by the underrated Edna Ferber, a Jewish novelist […]

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Dorit Rabinyan: ‘A curse, then a blessing, then a curse’

Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan discusses being at the center of a national controversy by MAX SPARBER Community News Editor Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan, who will be in Minneapolis Oct. 23, found herself in a storm of controversy with her 2014 book Gader Haya, which has been published in English as Borderlife and as All the […]

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Barton Fink has a case of writer’s block

“I’m having a little trouble getting started,” explains Barton Fink (John Turturro) to Hollywood film studio exec Ben Geisler (Tony Shalhoub). It turns out that Fink, a Broadway playwright transported to La La Land, in the 1940s, to write scripts for B-movies, has writer’s block. Then his life goes topsy turvy. Barton Fink, the award-winning […]

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

An unexpected ending from Nathan Englander

Dinner at the Center of the Earth, by Nathan Englander, Knopf, 252 pages, $26.95 Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER Nathan Englander again demonstrates his imaginative ability to turn seemingly straightforward stories into unexpected endings. Englander, author of the hit For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, appears on his new novel’s jacket without the tsunami of hair […]

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Elijah and the Palestinians

Craig Harris creates a show that looks at the past and present of Israel through the story of Elijah by MAX SPARBER Community News Editor Composer, designer, performer and writer Craig Harris is telling a story of Israel. Properly, he’s telling a pair of stories, one about the prophet Elijah, one about the modern state […]

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Peres: Optimism, not naiveté

No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination and the Making of Modern Israel, by Shimon Peres, Custom House Books, 227 pages, $27.99 hardcover Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER With the title of his autobiography, Shimon Peres dismisses those who’ve derided him for decades as a dreamer. Peres arrived from Poland in 1934, an 11-year-old dreaming of […]

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company’s new season

The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company looks at politics, literature and dry cleaning by MAX SPARBER Community News Editor The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company has announced their 2017-2018 season, which started this past month with Via Dolorosa, a play by David Hare exploring his experiences visiting Israel. The season will continue with Church & State (Oct. […]