"Author! Author! An Evening With Sholom Aleichem"

Santa Monica Playhouse Jewish Heritage Program presents all-new version of the musical classic "AUTHOR! AUTHOR! AN EVENING WITH SHOLOM  ALEICHEM"

Front row (l to r): Evelyn Rudie, Chris DeCarlo (reprising his award-winning role as Sholom Aleichem), John Waroff; back row: Ginger Brotman, Kate Burleigh, Rebecca Coombs, Graham Silbert FOR THE CALENDAR

The Jewish Heritage Program at Santa Monica Playhouse is proud to announce a newly reworked production of "AUTHOR! AUTHOR! - an evening with SHOLOM ALEICHEM", the longest running Jewish musical in L.A. theatre history (4½ years in its initial run), Saturdays and Sundays, March 6 through May 30, 2004.

Share the magic as original cast members Evelyn Rudie and John Waroff and a lively ensemble of Actors' Repertory Theatre members including Ginger Brotman, Kate Burleigh, Rebecca Coombs, Kristin Folk, Rachel Galper and Graham Silbert join Chris DeCarlo as he reprises his award-winning portrayal of the world's most beloved Yiddish author.

A brilliant team of artists and over one hundred rave reviews equals an unrivaled musical comedy classic offering a magical, musical melee at once glorious and gentle, bold and bittersweet, mirthful and romantic, inviting audiences of all ages to celebrate the humor and pathos of Sholom Aleichem's world and offering a "sparkling introduction to a new generation of theater enthusiasts to the patina-covered world of their brethren on both sides of the ocean, to a world that is no more and will never return." (B'nai B'rith Messenger)

front row (l to r) Evelyn Rudie, Ginger Brotman, Chris DeCarlo (reprising his award-winning role as Sholom Aleichem), John Waroff, Kate Burleigh; back row: Rebecca Coombs, Gray Silbert

"AUTHOR! AUTHOR!" will be helmed by long-time Actors' Repertory Theatre director Arthur R. Tompkins, with specially designed and authentically detailed costumes by award-winning designer Ashley Hayes and production design and graphic art by The Attic Room. Timeless favorite tunes such as "My Ship is Coming In", "Chelm" and "Stepmother", written by the award winning team of Evelyn Rudie & composer Ben Weisman (57 gold records) are augmented by brand new songs, numbers and orchestrations.

Sholom Aleichem, the most beloved of all Eastern European humorists, the man affectionately referred to as "The Yiddish Mark Twain", was a storyteller whose tales of the human condition speak with universal appeal. His dying wish was that each year on the anniversary ("yahrtzeit") of his death, friends would gather and tell one of his stories, "preferably one of the merry ones".  It is in honor of Sholom Aleichem that Santa Monica Playhouse brings back this production in time for the 88th anniversary of his passing (May 13th).

STEPMOTHER (Evelyn Rudie, center) is surrounded by her naughty little ones (clockwise from left) Kate Burleigh, Gray Silbert, Rebecca Coombs, Ginger Brotman, and Chris DeCarlo (reprising his award winning role as Sholom Aleichem).

"AUTHOR! AUTHOR!", the single most requested of all the plays in the Playhouse's forty-one year repertoire of over five hundred productions, has been enjoyed by more than a quarter of a million people to date. "Go! You won't be sorry!" says Backstage West. Based on Sholom Aleichem's letters and stories, coupled with the personal recollections of those who knew him first hand, the life-affirming musical was applauded by Sholom Aleichem's second cousin herself, who marveled, "Thank you for bringing him so beautifully back to 'life'."

The great humorist and folk hero Sholom Aleichem dramatically and decisively opened the doors of literature to an entire people, utilizing the medium of the folk tale as a mirror of society, a reflection in which his readers might explore and examine their own identity, values, and social structure. His stories, simple and endearing, yet laced with bittersweet wisdom, introduced readers all over the globe to the joys and sorrows, traditions and heritage of his people with a universality so powerful that it made his writing enlightening, identifiable and highly entertaining to people from many diverse backgrounds and countries.

By 1916, the year of his death, more than 600,000 copies of his Tevyeh's Daughters, upon which the world famous musical Fiddler on the Roof is based, had been sold in China alone. Parenthetically, as was the case with so many of his stories, there really was a Tevyeh. But he had no daughters. Today, in addition to their immense contribution to the field of pure entertainment, the stories of Sholom Aleichem have become a window onto another time and a way of life that has now passed from sight. And more, the characters and situations that Sholom Aleichem describes are recognizable to everyone, and his manner of storytelling so timeless and universal that it has transcended nearly a hundred years of social and cultural change, and becomes more appealing to audiences and readers with each coming year

The Jewish Heritage Program at Santa Monica Playhouse has presented at least one production a year since it was founded in 1960 by Belgian-born actor-director Ted Roter, two years before the Playhouse itself was established, and supports productions and experiences that keep the unique richness of Jewish theatre alive, honor the historical and cultural importance of Jewish heritage, and insure that new generations of theatre-goers may appreciate and celebrate the life experience of Jewish ancestry, literature and tradition.

All generations of theatre-goers will be delighted by "AUTHOR! AUTHOR!", playing Saturdays & Sundays at 6:00pm, February 14 through May 30, 2004. In tribute to Sholom Aleichem, who liked nothing better than an audience who was breaking bread and sharing stories at the same time, the Playhouse will continue its Octoberfest tradition and offer a complimentary buffet supper included in the price of admission. Tickets are $25.50 with discounts available for students, seniors, members of the military and groups of 16 or more.

For reservations and group sales, call 310-394-9779 ext.1. Santa Monica Playhouse is located at 1211 4th Street in Santa Monica, one block East of the Third Street Promenade.

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