2017 lineup includes new work by Hershey Felder, new dance by Malashock Dance, a new film by Isaac Artenstein, a memoir by Andrew Viterbi, three new plays, new Klezmer Summit and Women of Valor, new music theatre by Michael Roth and much more.
April 2017 – SAN DIEGO – San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) hosts the 24th Annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival from May 21 through July 9, 2017. The slate of twelve performances happening at four different San Diego and North County venues features a more broad celebration of San Diego’s diverse performing arts community. Highlighting the festival will be: a sneak peek at a Hershey Felder work in progress, “The Stories of Sholem Aleichem;” a celebration of Andrew Viterbi’s new memoir, “Andrew Viterbi: Reflections of an Educator, Researcher and Entrepreneur;” and “Minor Fall, Major Lift,” a brand new evening of dance from Malashock Dance.
The festival will also feature two world premiere staged readings, “A Wandering Feast” by Todd Salovey and Yale Strom based on Strom’s memoir of the same name and “Asimov: The Last Question” by Herbert Siguenza, the 16th Annual Klezmer Summit, “Tower of Babel – A Klezmer, Roma, Balkan Brass Party” featuring Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi and an all new Women of Valor, its 8th production as part of the festival. Other highlights include a brand new program of clarinet music by festival favorite Alexander Gourevich, a world premiere piece of music theatre, “Imagination Dead Imagine” with words by Samuel Beckett and original music and concept by Michael Roth, the film “Challah Rising in the Desert,” “For Honor,” a staged reading about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising presented at the La Jolla JCC, and “Nasty Women Sing Out,” an evening of song featuring Elizabeth Schwartz, Lisa Payton and Coral MacFarland Thuet. The Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival is curated, organized and directed by Todd Salovey, Associate Artistic Director of San Diego REP.
“I’m really excited that we have such a diverse and uplifting buffet of Jewish Art. We are offering theatre, dance, music, film and fine arts. I am especially proud of the all exciting new work by major artists. The Festival celebrates performance and art from across the globe, and we welcome the entire San Diego community to participate and enjoy!” says Salovey about the Festival.
The schedule includes:
Alexander Gourevich: “The Clarion Call of the Clarinet” – May 21 at 2pm at the Encinitas Library: Following last year’s standing room only performance, Alexander Gourevich kicks off the festival with a timeless klezmer program of Jewish, Yiddish and Israeli songs that touch the heart and stir the soul. Trained in the Soviet Union as a classical clarinetist, and a leading musician with Orquesta de Baja, Gourevich learned klezmer traditions from his own father. He created a unique performance style of Jewish clarinet music through his special talkative style, where the verge between the sound of the clarinet and the human voice disappears. This performance is free of charge.
“Andrew Viterbi: Reflections of an Educator, Researcher and Entrepreneur” – May 23 at 7:30pm at Congregation Beth El 8660 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037
In his recently published memoir, San Diego leader and acclaimed electrical engineer Andrew Viterbi examines his life in America as an immigrant child, his success as a scientist and businessman and the principles that inspired his most decisive choices.
Attuned to the post-war growing technological needs of government and population, Viterbi and his colleagues began to work in an area where scientific research and capitalistic enterprise could support one another. His main contribution to science, the Viterbi Algorithm, enables cellular technology and found applications in different fields, ultimately leading to the co-founding of Qualcomm, which became one of the most important communication companies worldwide. A graduate of MIT, he has been a professor at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA and UC San Diego. Among many awards he received is the National Medal of Science from the President of the United States.
The evening will include a reading of excerpts from the memoir as well as a conversation with Dr. Andrew Viterbi, his granddaughter Ali Viterbi and physicist Professor Dr. Brian Keating. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at sdrep.org. Co-sponsored by Congregation Beth El.
“Women of Valor” – Written by Rebecca Myers, Sarah Price-Keating, Leah Salovey, Todd Salovey and Ali Viterbi; Directed by Todd Salovey and Ali Viterbi
May 25 at 7:30pm in the Lyceum Space – May 28 at 2pm at the Encinitas Library.
“A woman of Valor, who shall find,” asks the famous selection from the Book of Proverbs. In its eighth annual production, the Festival once again honors six inspirational San Diego Jewish women and tells the story of their lives, joys, challenges and accomplishments. This year’s women include Pauline Sonboleh, Joyce Axelrod, Councilperson Barbara Bry, Rose Schindler and Marcia Tatz-Wollner. Told with live music, poetry and vivid imagery, “Women of Valor” is a moving and uplifting tribute to the women of our community.
Tickets for the performance in the Lyceum Space are $18 and can be purchased at sdrep.org. The performance at the Encinitas Library is free of charge.
“Minor Fall, Major Lift” – Produced by Malashock Dance & Art of Élan Choreography by John Malashock; Music Performed by NOW Ensemble (New York) and Commissioned score by Judd Greenstein. Other Music Compositions by Greenstein, Mark Dancigers, David Crowell and Patrick Burke . June 3 at 8:45pm on the Lyceum Stage.
“Minor Fall, Major Lift” is a bi-coastal collaboration of live music and dance, featuring all-new choreography by iconic San Diego Choreographer John Malashock and co-produced with Art of Élan. The performance is set to stirring new music by composers affiliated with New Amsterdam Records (Brooklyn, NY), played live by the world-renowned NOW Ensemble (New York) – Art of Élan’s Ensemble-in-Residence for 2017.
The program will consist of five new choreographic works by Malashock, to music by four different composers, including a commissioned score by Judd Greenstein, who is the founding Co-Director of New Amsterdam Records and is a Composer-in-Residence with NOW Ensemble. The other composers are Mark Dancigers, David Crowell and Patrick Burke.
Greenstein’s new commissioned music score (and Malashock’s choreography) is entitled “The Jewish Pope” and is inspired by an ancient folk legend about a Jewish boy, stolen from his family in the ghetto, who is raised in the church and rises to the position of Pope.
Tickets are $50 for Preferred Seating, $35 for General Admission, $15 for Students (with valid student ID) and a 20% discount for military, seniors 65+ and groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased at sdrep.org.
“Asimov: The Last Question” Written by and Starring Herbert Siguenza on June 5 at 7pm in the Lyceum Space .
REP Playwright in Residence Herbert Siguenza, whose work includes “A Weekend with Pablo Picasso,” “Manifest Destinitis” and 30 years of collaboration with the Latino comedy troupe Culture Clash, presents a world premiere staged reading exploring the ideas of celebrated author Isaac Asimov. Herbert Siguenza will portray the late biochemist, prolific science fiction writer and Humanist Isaac Asimov in a revealing interview about politics, religion, faith, technology and the environment. Siguenza has written and portrayed many iconic figures of the 20th Century including Pablo Picasso, Che Guevara and Abbie Hoffman. Join him in the process of developing a new biographical theatre production!
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at sdrep.org.
“Imagination Dead Imagine” – Text by Samuel Beckett Music and Concept by Michael Roth on June 7 & 8 at 7:30pm in the Lyceum Space. An evening of new music theatre by composer Michael Roth, one of the American Theatre’s most celebrated composers. Roth has composed award-winning productions for San Diego REP and La Jolla Playhouse, including a 34-year creative partnership with Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff.
The evening begins with the world premiere of “Labor Day, 1967” for solo violin, percussion, an old 78-recording of a Bar Mitzvah/Torah recording and a cantor. “Labor Day, 1967” will be followed by Quartet Nouveau’s bravura performance of Beethoven’s String Quartet, Opus 18, Number 3, one of Samuel Beckett’s favorites.
“Imagination Dead Imagine” is one of Beckett’s most eloquent hidden masterpieces, utilizing beautiful language, moving imagery and mathematical precision to describe a journey of the mind and soul. In Roth’s music theatre staging, a string quartet walks into a mysterious white room and approaches a laptop on a table, encircled by music stands each containing music – a manuscript.
We witness a string quartet as they bear witness and respond to voices – commanding, seducing, luring them, telling them what to do as they hear this description of a world where the imagination might be dead – or is it? This new world defined as an object with a set of instructions and directions, containing strange figures in a fortress – figures who seem to be human and breathing – or are they? The Quartet responds the only way it can – playing the music set before them. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at sdrep.org.
The 16th Annual Klezmer Summit – Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi Present: “Tower of Babel – A Klezmer, Roma, Balkan Brass Party” – June 12 at 7:30pm on the Lyceum Stage. Klezmer superstars Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi welcome the high-energy sounds of brass with special guests Norbert Stachel (baritone sax), virtuoso Rumen Shopov (tambura) and others. Klezmer, Roma and Balkan Brass was born in the joyous intersection of 19th-Century Ottoman military bands and Jewish musicians traveling from the Ottoman Empire to the Balkans. In Romania, klezmer musicians included these tunes into their own repertoire, which they shared with their fellow Roma musicians. This concert will trace this amazing journey, with a driving dance beat and beautiful melancholic Middle Eastern improvisation by all the musicians. Opening this brass party is San Diego’s popular EUPHORIA brass band. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at sdrep.org.
Elizabeth Schwartz, Lisa Payton and Coral MacFarland Thuet: “Nasty Women Sing Out” – June 14 at 7:30pm in the Lyceum Space. An evening celebration of Jewish, Latin and African American music of belief, change and empowerment. Folk, jazz and klezmer songs celebrating how music expresses the belief in making a better more just and more compassionate world.
Elizabeth Schwartz is San Diego’s premier klezmer and roma vocalist and a Festival long-time favorite. She primarily records with her husband Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi but has collaborated in performance and recordings with notable musicians from the jazz and folk music worlds. She is one of San Diego’s Divas of Klezmer and has recorded music for the soundtrack of “L’Chayim, Comrade Stalin!”
Lisa Payton is one of San Diego’s most popular and acclaimed actresses and singers. She was features in The REP’s protest song musical, “A Hammer, A Bell and a Song to Sing.” Other acclaimed work at The REP and other San Diego theatres includes: “Beehive,” “Respect,” “Crowns,” “Three Penny Opera” and “Intimate Apparel.”
Coral MacFarland Thuet is a singer and actress whose repertoire combines jazz and the music of Latin America. She is equally skilled at singing in Spanish, English and Portuguese. Not only is Coral MacFarland a talented singer, she is also a gifted actress who has performed major roles in English and Spanish at San Diego REP, the Old Globe and Centro Cultural Tijuana. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at sdrep.org.
“The Wandering Feast” – Based on the Memoir by Yale Strom; Adapted by Todd Salovey and Yale Strom and Directed by Todd Salovey. Music Composed and Performed by Yale Strom. June 18 at 2pm at the Encinitas Library.
In June 1981, 23 year old aspiring lawyer, Yale Strom, embarked on a year-long trek through Eastern Europe gathering uncovered stories and music from the remnants of the disappearing once thriving Jewish communities. His journey leads him through the former Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Ukraine and Romania. He meets musicians, singers, caretakers of synagogues, butchers, Jewish and Rom and has discoveries that change the course of his life. With live music, photographs, video and vivid stories this world-premiere staged reading re-lives Yale’s life-changing musical journey. This performance is free of charge.
Hershey Felder and Friends – “The Stories of Sholem Aleichem and More” – June 19 at 7:30pm on the Lyceum Stage. A special Festival “sneak peek” at a brand new work by celebrated performer, pianist and writer, Hershey Felder. Long before “Fiddler on the Roof” became a classic musical, Yiddish writer Solomon Naumovich, better known as Sholem Aleichem, came in 1906 from Ukraine to New York. He was so surprised and befuddled by what he discovered that he immediately headed back to his beloved Europe. Hershey Felder, along with virtuoso musical friends, performs selections from Sholem Aleichem’s most beloved stories, along with songs and music. Felder recently premiered “Our Great Tchaikovsky” at San Diego REP, shattering box office records for the theatre. His numerous other beloved pieces include “George Gershwin Alone,” “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin,” and “Maestro Bernstein.” Hershey Felder once again will charm and amaze. Tickets are $55 and can be purchased at sdrep.org. $180 VIP tickets include post-show reception and sing-along with Hershey Felder.
“Challah Rising in the Desert” (The Jews of New Mexico) – By director Isaac Artenstein and Produced by Paula Amar Schwartz with Cinewest Productions . July 6 at 7:30pm in the Lyceum Space Award winning filmmaker Isaac Artenstein’s (Tijuana Jews) newest offering celebrates the history and people of New Mexico’s unique Jewish community. Challah is the bread used in all Jewish ceremonials, eaten every Shabbat, as well as at holiday meals – and is braided of 3, 5, or 7 strands. In this film, it represents the five waves of settlement of the New Mexico Jewish community from the Conversos escaping the Spanish Inquisition 400 years ago, to the German Jewish pioneers of the Santa Fe Trail in the 1800s, to the engineers and scientists of the 1940s-60s who worked for the scientific laboratory, Los Alamos. A moving tapestry of the interconnectedness of the waves of Jewish immigration woven into New Mexico’s history and landscape.
Special Community Benefit Screening with Filmmakers – Tickets are $25 Patron, and $15 General, and can be purchased at sdrep.org. Benefitting Challah Rising Archives of New Mexico Jewish Historical Society.
“For Honor” Written and Directed by Lee Sankowich. July 9 at 7:30pm at Lawrence Family JCC, David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre. In partnership with CJCC of the Lawrence Family JCC. World premiere staged reading of docudrama with music about young heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. From 1941-1943, three hundred heroic young men and women lived and loved, while fighting the Nazis, in what became known as the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance and Uprising. They were more than just warriors; they held the German army off for twenty-seven days. This was longer than France or Poland was able to achieve. They had dreams, romances, passions, ambitions and a zest for life. They laughed, they sang, they danced. They were innocent victims of unimaginable circumstances not of their doing. This is a moving tribute to their courage and determination. This is their heroic story. Tickets are $20 for non-members and $18 for JCC members and can be purchased at 858.362.1348 (box office) or sdcjc.org.
About San Diego Repertory Theatre … San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego Repertory Theatre is downtown San Diego’s resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through work that nourishes progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. The company produces and hosts over 550 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, The REP has produced 45 main stage productions by Latino playwrights, and more than 40 world premieres. The company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented The REP with the Craig Noel Award “For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity.” San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego Repertory Theatre, to purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit www.sdrep.org. Join us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/sandiegoREP) and follow us on Twitter (@SanDiegoREP).