The Columbus JCC is proud to announce the 2013-2014 season of Gallery Players. One of the oldest community theaters in the Midwest, Gallery Players continues a 65-year tradition of delivering strong performances covering the gamut of the Jewish experience. From solemnity and sentiment to a bawdy romp navigating the heights of Jewish humor, Gallery Players will stage four lively, engaging performances for another year of unforgettable intrigue in celebration of its 65 season and in reverence of 100 years of Jewish community at the JCC.
Beginning with the play, Yentl, in the fall of 2013, Gallery Players will follow the tremendously successful, crowd-pleasing Fiddler on the Roof with another play that highlights the tension between Jewish tradition and modernity. Yentl, based on Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story, “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy,” centers on a young girl who defies Jewish tradition by disguising her gender and studying the Talmud. The play explores Yentl’s resulting identity crisis and is not to be confused with the musical starring Barbra Streisand.
This year’s lineup offers something for everyone, including a family play based on the popular children’s book, Elijah’s Angel, by JCC alum and longtime Berwick resident Michael J. Rosen. The play is the finale event of the JCC 100. In collaboration with Gallery Players, the play will be the capstone to a year full of thrilling events celebrating the JCC’s 100th year. Elijah’s Angel is based on Rosen’s own experiences and friendship with Elijah Pierce, an icon of the King-Lincoln District who was part prophet, part artist, and part barber for the residents of his community.
This heartwarming holiday show for the whole family centers on the remarkable connection between the school-age Michael and the Christian minister Pierce. The theme of two faiths finding common ground becomes child-friendly through Rosen’s creative storytelling of his own consternation after Pierce presents him with the gift of a hand-carved, wooden angel.
The spring brings lighter fare with the musical, The Producers. The smash Broadway hit from Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan tells the story of a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant. Their scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history goes awry when “Springtime for Hitler” becomes—much to their dismay—a huge hit! The hilarious antics of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom give way to the musical’s touching, emotional core—the poignant journey of two very different men who become friends.
With the fourth and final play still to be determined, one thing is certain: a well-rounded, thoroughly entertaining 65th anniversary season is in store for audiences of all ages to celebrate the start of the next 100 years of the JCC.