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Avi Hoffman's ROUGH PATCH and THE RISE OF DAVID LEVINSKY Get Reading Today

The actor and director Avi Hoffman is organizing two staged readings in October. The first, a new play "Rough Patch" by Charles Gluck, will get off to a 'smooth' start today, October 7 at 6pm, at the Roy Arias Studios, at the Times Square Arts Center, 300 West 43rd Street.

The second is a special presentation of "The Rise of David Levinsky," a musical by Isaiah Sheffer and Bobby Paul, which will honor Sheffer, the late founding artistic director of Symphony Space. The open-to-the-public reading on Monday October 21 at 7pm, takes place at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (at 95th Street). The event marks the yartzeit of Sheffer, who died in November of last year.

Hoffman is currently appearing concurrently as Pozzo in the highly acclaimed world premiere of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" in Yiddish (at The Castillo Theatre), and his own critically acclaimed one-man musical "Still Jewish After All These Years" at Stage 72.

Both performances will feature Hoffman, who will be joined by film/TV star Paul Ben Victor; Broadway actress Cheryl Stern; Lisa Conrad; Mark Della Ventura; Michelle Franco Perez, and Atlantic Acting School students Arielle Hoffman, and Rachel Epley in the cast of "Rough Patch," and by Broadway star Etai BenShlomo ("Wicked") in the cast of "David Levinsky."

In the serio/comedy "Rough Patch" a close-knit family is nearly torn apart when a medical emergency causes a secret source of sadness and anger to be revealed. As they face this medical crisis, unlikely heroes emerge, showing us that sometimes strength can be a weakness and weakness a strength.

This will be the first New York presentation of "Rough Patch" (a new family drama). In addition to its invited audience, a limited number of seats are available on a first-come basis. RSVP required by e-mailing beckblitz@aol.com.

Originally produced at the American Jewish Theater and the George Street Playhouse before enjoying an Off-Broadway run at the John Houseman Theater in 1986, "The Rise of David Levinsky" was based on the popular 1917 novel by Abraham Cahan, the influential editor of the Jewish Daily Forward. Sheffer and Paul's riveting story of assimilation follows the young David Levinsky, as he arrives a penniless orphan from Russia, and becomes the most successful garment manufacturer in America. Alternately bright and brooding, the show captures the natural strains and ambivalence of 20th century Jewish immigration as material wealth, comfort and security are achieved at the expense of spirituality and identity. The musical director will be Lanny Meyers.

Incidentally, Hoffman, who appeared in the show's premiere as the young Levinsky, will now portray the adult Levinsky in this reading.

For tickets to this free event, call 212/864-5400 or visit www.symphonyspace.org.


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