Goodman Theatre and Spertus Institute Toast HIGH HOLIDAYS With Festive Dining Event 11/23

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From Manischewitz to Matzo balls to the mayhem of High Holidays by Alan Gross, Goodman Theatre's Education and Community Engagement division and Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies join forces for a unique dining event, "Tasting Tradition: Tales at the Table of Jewish Culture," on November 23 from 6:30 - 8:30pm at the award-winning Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies facility (610 S Michigan Ave) with floor-to-ceiling views of Grant Park and Lake Michigan. Noted Kosher Chef Laura Frankel serves up a menu inspired by the play and its 1960s setting; participants will enjoy a scrumptious family-style dinner of classic Jewish fare-and some surprises. Storytellers from Serendipity Theatre Collective's 2nd Story, Ilana Shavanov, Michael Przygoda and Julie Ganey, join the fun with tales of tradition in the spirit of the high holidays. Tickets are $36; call 312.443.3800. Due to the unique nature of this event and its limited capacity, ticket sales end November 19; tickets will not be available for purchase at the event.

"'Tasting Tradition' celebrates the way food, story and history are linked in Jewish culture. Each dish has significance and import, each meal filled with stories that remind us how we stand on the struggles and triumphs of the people who have come before," said Willa Taylor, Director of Education and Community Engagement at Goodman Theatre. "You see this in High Holidays-and to experience it personally with Laura's amazing cuisine is like manna from heaven."

Laura Frankel has been Executive Chef for Wolfgang Puck Catering's kosher foodservice operations at Spertus since 2007. She was the founder and chef of the adventurous, gourmet kosher Shallots restaurants in Chicago and Manhattan, and has extensive training and experience in both savory and pastry kitchens. After she started a family and began maintaining a kosher home, she became interested in expanding kosher offerings in the Chicago area; it was from this revelation that her career as a kosher chef was born. A lively and entertaining presenter, Chef Laura teaches kosher cooking classes for adults and children at Spertus and across the country, including at Chicago's Green City Market and at New York's legendary DeGustibus cooking school. She is the author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons: Fresh, Flavorful Kosher Recipes for Holidays and Everyday and a regular commentator-in print and on air-on all things kosher.

Curated by April Newman, "Tasting Tradition" is directed by Amanda Delheimer of 2nd Story, a hybrid performance event that combines storytelling, wine, and music, produced by the Serendipity Theater Collective. Three 2nd Story storytellers, Ilana Shavanov, Michael Przygoda and Julie Ganey, join "Tasting Tradition" to personify the history, values and memories in food rituals.

High Holidays runs through November 29, 2009 in the Goodman's Owen Theatre. Tickets ($10 - $40) are now on sale 312.443.3800 or From civil rights upheaval to political cataclysm, 1963 was a pivotal year in American cultural and political history. The changes that are roiling the Roman family in High Holidays are more personal and mundane, but no less earth-shattering for those involved. Billy is terrified by the prospect of reciting from the Torah at his upcoming Bar Mitzvah and desperate to find a way out of it. Rob is equally desperate to find an escape from a different sort of ritual-higher education-and embraces the growing counterculture that would come to define the 1960s. Parents Essie and Nate feel they have sacrificed everything to provide a decent life for their children, but are now trapped between the expectations of their own immigrant parents and their children's disdain for the family's suburban lifestyle. Production Sponsors for High Holidays include the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and the Goodman World Premiere Season Sponsors M. Ann O'Brien and Randy and Lisa White, and New Works Season Sponsors: Julie and Roger Baskes; Joan and Robert Clifford; Patricia Cox; Eva and Michael Losacco; Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Foundation; Karen and Richard Pigott; Alice Rapoport and Michael Sachs, Sg2; Shaw Family Supporting Organization; and Orli and Bill Staley.

About the Goodman's Education and Community Engagement

Goodman Theatre offers a wide variety of programming to enable Chicagoland learners of all ages to experience theater first hand with working professionals, teachers and artists; Willa Taylor is the Director of Education and Community Engagement. Programs are offered to audience members of all ages to engage in deeper explorations of the work on the Goodman's stages. In its 24th year, the Student Subscription Series works with over 40 Chicago public high schools each year to creatively supplement students' reading, writing, critical thinking and communication skills. Special matinee performances of Goodman productions are supplemented with exclusive teacher training workshops, educational guides and post-show discussions. CONTEXT: Discourse & Discussion is a series designed to engage the community in debate, dialogue and deeper exploration of themes within Goodman productions. Unlike a traditional post-show discussion which centers on the production, CONTEXT events focus on particular issues raised within the plays and explore how they resonate in today's culture. Cindy Bandle Young Critics (CBYC) is a joint venture between Goodman Theatre and the Association for Women Journalists that introduces 11th grade girls to the art of theater criticism and the world of professional writing. Participants see every show in the Goodman's season, interview theater artists and receive one-on-one mentoring from professional journalists. CBYC is named in honor of Goodman Theatre's late, longtime Press Director, Cindy Bandle. General Theater Studies (GTS) is a six-week summer intensive for 14 - 19-year olds with a focus on critical thinking, literacy, oral history and storytelling. Designed to validate student voices, help them examine their creativity and introduce them to the creation of theater, GTS is an ensemble-building program that culminates in an original student performance.

About Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies

Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies is located at 610 S Michigan Avenue in an environmentally sustainable facility designed by Chicago's Krueck & Sexton Architects. The building houses Spertus College, the Asher Library, and Spertus Museum, as well as a state-of-the-art theater for live performance and film, the innovative Gray Children's Center, space for community events and celebrations, kosher catering facilities and a comprehensive book and gift shop. Spertus is a Jewish institution grounded in Jewish values that invites people of all ages and backgrounds to explore the multifaceted Jewish experience. Through its innovative public programming, exhibitions, collections, research facilities and degree programs, Spertus inspires learning, serves diverse communities and fosters understanding for Jews and people of all faiths, locally, regionally and around the world. Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies is a partner in serving our community, supported by the JUF/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Learn more at

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