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Jewish Community Center

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2016 – 2017 Season

Never The Sinner: March 16-April 2, 2017

“Never the Sinner”Never the Sinner
By John Logan
March 16 – April 2, 2017

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Chicago, 1924. Clarence Darrow is defending Nathan Leopold Jr., age 18, and Robert Loeb, age 19, in the “Crime of the Century.” The two had decided to commit the “perfect murder,” just for the thrill of it. Considering themselves Nietzsche’s übermensch (supermen), they concluded they were removed from the moral and social imperatives of the world. They brutally murdered 14-year-old Bobby Franks but were quickly apprehended. Darrow’s defense of them was an eloquent plea against capital punishment. This exquisite play asks what demons lurked in the minds of these two young men and the complex relationship between them. This is a love story set to themes of crime and punishment, the press, the times, humanism, Nietzsche’s philosophy and the end of the jazz age.

8370_MKT_NJT-Website-Calendars-SinnerDirected by Rick Dildine

Cast

  • Pete Winfrey
  • Jack Zanger
  • John Flack*
  • Eric Dean White *
  • Maggie Conroy
  • Will Bonfiglio
  • John Reidy
4,000 Miles: May 11-28, 2017

“4000 Miles”4000 Miles
By Amy Herzog

May 11 – 28, 2017

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After suffering a major loss while on a cross-country bike trip, 21-year-old Leo seeks solace from his feisty 91-year-old political activist grandmother Vera in her West Village apartment. Her solitary existence is entirely shaken when Leo appears at the door in the middle of the night assuring her that he won’t stay long. Leo is in crisis, grieving deeply for his best friend and biking partner, Micah. While Leo seeks solace in his grandmother, Vera finds companionship in another person for the first time since the loss of her husband, Joe. 4000 Miles is a compassionate, intimate, and funny play that examines the love of the family we can choose, the family we can’t, and the healing power of trust as these unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder, and ultimately reach each other. We discover how two outsiders find their way in today’s world.
Directed by Edward Coffield

Cast
Amy Loui* as Vera
Chris Tipp* as Leo
Rachel Fenton as Bec
Fox Smith as Amanda

Finalist! 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Winner! 2012 Obie Award, Best New Play
Winner! 2012 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award
Winner! Time Magazine‘s #1 Play or Musical of 2012

Golda's Balcony: October 6 - 30, 2016
“Golda’s Balcony”
By William Gibson

Golda's Balcony
October 6 – 30, 2016

Following the trajectory of the life of Golda Meir from Russian immigrant to American schoolteacher to an international leader as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel, much of the focus of the play is on the defining moment of her public life surrounding the disastrous 1973 Yom Kippur War. The play suggests that Meir threatened President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger with unleashing nuclear weapons if the United States failed to come through with military support for Israel. It shows the struggle between the ideals that lead one to power, and the pragmatic compromises demanded by actual leadership as it asks, “what happens when idealism becomes power?”

Tovah Feldshuh nominated for Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play
Tovah Feldshuh won Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance8370_MKT_NJT-Website-Calendars

Directed by Henry Schvey

Cast
Lavonne Byers as Golda Meir

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Driving Miss Daisy: December 1 - 18, 2016

“Driving Miss Daisy”Driving Miss Daisy
By Alfred Uhry
December 1 – 18, 2016

In 1948 Atlanta, Daisy Werthan, a rich, sharp-tongued, Jewish, 72-year-old widow has just demolished another car. Her son Boolie informs her that he will from this point on be hiring a chauffeur for her. Thus begins the 25-year relationship between Daisy and Hoke Colburn, her driver. She regards him with disdain and he is not impressed with her patronizing tone and latent prejudice. But despite their differences, they grow closer and more dependent on each other over time. The once contentious relationship blossoms into a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries placed between them. An iconic tale of pride, changing times and the transformative power of friendship.

8370_MKT_NJT-Website-Calendars-DaisyWinner 1988 Pulitzer Prize
Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play

Directed by Sydnie Grosberg Ronga

Cast
NJT Artistic Director, Kathleen Sitzer* as Daisy
J. Samuel Davis* as Hoke
Eric Dean White* as Boolie

Talkbacks
Thursday, December 8: Karen Aroesty, Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League
Wednesday, December 14: Rori Picker Neiss, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council

More talkbacks may be added. Please continue to check this page.

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Intimate Apparel: January 26-February 12, 2017

“Intimate Apparel”Intimate Apparel
By Lynn Nottage
January 26, 2016 – February 12, 2017

New York, 1905, Esther, a black seamstress, lives in a boarding house where she sews intimate apparel for clients ranging from wealthy white patrons to prostitutes. As the other denizens of the boarding house marry and move away, Esther remains, lonely and longing. Through a mutual acquaintance, she begins to receive beautiful letters from a lonesome Caribbean man working on the Panama Canal. But Esther’s heart seems to lie with the Hasidic shopkeeper from whom she buys cloth, and his heart with her, but the impossibility of the match is obvious to them both. The play offers poignant commentary on an era when the cut and color of one’s dress—and of course, skin—determined whom one could and could not marry, even talk to in public.

8370_MKT_NJT-Website-Calendars-ApparellWinner 2004 New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle Awards.
Winner Obie Award for Performance – Viola Davis

Directed by Gary Barker

Cast

  • Jaqueline Thompson
  • Jim Butz *
  • Linda Kennedy *
  • Chauncy Thomas *
  • Andrea Purnell
  • Julie Layton

The St. Louis Art Museum will offer a free tour on Sunday, February 5, 2017 at 2 pm in conjunction with the New Jewish Theatre production of Intimate Apparel. The tour, “Artists and Artisanship in the Gilded Age,” will showcase complimentary ideas from the Museum’s collection raised by Lynn Nottage’s award-winning play, Intimate Apparel, which is being presented January 26 to February 12, 2017. Group size is limited. Please RSVP to the New Jewish Theatre Box Office, 314-442-3283.

During the run of “Intimate Apparel” there will be several talkbacks. These dates are TBA. Please check this page.

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2015-2016 Season

The Sunshine Boys
“The Sunshine Boys”the-sunshine-boys
By Neil Simon

October 8 – November 1, 2015

Al Lewis and Willie Clark, as “Lewis and Clark” were top-billed vaudevillians for over forty years. But they haven’t spoken in over a decade. Now CBS is inviting the team to reunite for a “History of Comedy” retrospective. A grudging reunion brings them back together, along with a flood of memories, miseries and laughs. Classic Neil Simon, a lot of it is epically funny and all of it is cheerful.

“It’s ham on wry…Simon’s sure footed craftsmanship and his one liners are as exquisitely apt as ever.” – New York Post

Directed by Doug Finlayson

Bad Jews

“Bad Jews”
by Joshua Harmonbad-jews

December 3 – 23, 2015

Good Jews, Bad Jews – it’s all relative in this razor sharp and savage comedy about family, faith, and legacy. Meet Daphna Feygenbaum, a “Real Jew” with an Israeli boyfriend who she met on Birthright. When Daphna’s cousin Liam brings home his shiksa girlfriend Melody for their grandfather’s shiva and declares ownership of “Poppy’s” Chai necklace, a vicious and hilarious family brawl ensues. A gleefully funny, thought-provoking evening of theatre. Outrageously and laceratingly funny, it’s about what you choose to believe when you’re chosen.

“A combative meditation on contemporary American Judaism, and funnier than anything you’ll find at the JCC.”

“The best comedy of the season” — Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

Directed by Sydnie Grosberg Ronga

Underneath the Lintel

“Underneath the Lintel”
By Glen BergerUnderneath-the-Lintel

January 28 – February 13, 2016

A haunting, beautifully constructed one-person meditation on time and devotion. A returned library book, 113 years overdue with a clue scribbled in the margin and an unclaimed dry-cleaning ticket take the Dutch librarian on a life-changing quest with an obsession to find its owner. Our protagonist follows multiple clues- tickets to the Peking Opera, a love letter written in Yiddish – on a worldwide search that ultimately decodes” the meaning of life. A metaphysical detective story that is funny and fierce, quirky and smart.

Troubling and soaringly hopeful – it is an examination of myth and loss.

“A satisfying mix of intelligent writing and quirky humor in a package that isn’t neatly wrapped up with pat answers.” – Jana J Monji, Los Angeles Times

This production is sponsored in part by:
Mary Strauss

Directed by Lana Pepper

Old Wicked Songs

“Old Wicked Songs”
By Jon Maransold-wicked-songs

March 17 – April 3, 2016

Hoping to reconnect with his music and shatter the artistic block that has plagued his career, a young American piano prodigy travels to Vienna in the spring of 1986. He is assigned to a vocal teacher who gives him the “Dicheterliebe” song cycle by Robert Schumann. Marans incorporates the poetry of Heinrich Heine and the music of Robert Schumann into the series of events. Through the sessions between the two men, Marans creates a link between two generations who find they much more in common than they think. This is the inspirational journey of two very different men who, with music as their one common bond, must find a way to break through their pasts.

“Mr. Marans’ play…is lighted with warmth and humor, and his two protagonists are splendid companions for the evening’s journey into the soul.” —NY Times.

“…one of the best plays of the year, a fascinating exploration of art, guilt, compassion and identity…” —NY Post

Directed by Tim Ocel

Yentl

“Yentl”yentl
By Leah Napolin with Isaac Bashevis Singer, Music by Jill Sobule

May 12 – June 5, 2016

Based on Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy” and updated with new music and lyrics by Jill Sobule, “Yentl” tells the story of a young girl in 19th century Eastern Europe forbidden to pursue her dream of studying Talmud. Unwilling to accept her fate, she disguises herself as a man. But when she falls in love, Yentl must decide how far she’s willing to go to protect her identity. This marks 40 years since the play — then without music — ran on Broadway. With parallels in Singer’s short story coinciding with the burgeoning second wave of feminism, we find Yentl as an outsider seeking to find her own voice within a very proscribed world. Sobules’ klezmer/rock/folk score underlines the ageless ideas of young love and sexual questioning.

“This is a story about the mystery of appearances, the deceptions of the heart, and the divine androgyny of the soul.”

This production is sponsored in part by Noemi & Michael Neidorff

Directed by Edward Coffield