Theatre Or and The JCC Mizel Arts And Culture Center Present Tovah Feldshuh In DANCING WITH GIANTS To Open JAAMM Festival 2019
Theatre Or* and the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center are pleased to present Emmy and Tony-nominated Tovah Feldshuh in Dancing with Giants, a play in development, to open the 2019 Neustadt JAAMM (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music) Festival September 13 - 15 in The Elaine Wolf Theater at the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC Denver). Written and directed by Pulitzer Prize Finalist David Feldshuh, (Tovah's brother) the play will have four performances, and three post-performance talkbacks with Tovah and artists. Saturday evening, September 14, will be the Gala Premiere opening for JAAMM Fest, with an optional opportunity to join Tovah and the artists privately after the performance for a dessert reception with wine and discussion about the play.
Politics. Sports. Fake News. Truth. The riveting dramatic comedy, based on actual events, depicts an unusual cross-cultural friendship that develops in the years preceding World War II. In order to preserve their special friendship, the great American boxing champion Joe Lewis, German boxing great Max Schmeling, and wise-guy strategist and boxing manager Joe "Yussel the Muscle" Jacobs (played by Tovah), confront the lies of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda and Enlightenment, in a whirling 90-minute theatrical adventure.
Theatre Or's Producing Artistic Director Diane Gilboa learned about the project at last year's Alliance for Jewish Theatre's annual conference in Philadelphia where Tovah was awarded the Alliance's annual Theodore Bikel Award for her contributions to American Jewish Theater. When Diane learned the playwright was adding new scenes, after its premiere in Minneapolis last year, to further develop the characters' relationships, she offered to assist with a new presentation with the revised script. Theatre Or is bringing to Denver two of the original actors from the Minneapolis production as well as a new ensemble member from Germany. According to Diane, the presentation is an unusual format. "Although actors will refer to scripts, we are enhancing the presentation with select set, sound, lighting, and costume elements, providing the aura of performance. Audience member feedback during the talkbacks will be vital to the play's advancement. It's a wonderful opportunity for our community to participate in the development of a new play with an internationally acclaimed actress, who also sings during the performance! Although the story is from the past, its themes are remarkably topical."
"The play is very important to me," remarks Tovah. "It's the first time in my career that I am playing a man, a character whose optimism is a legacy of every immigrant who came to this country in search of a better life."
Tovah, known for her starring roles in TV/Film/Broadway (The Walking Dead, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Kissing Jessica Stein, Golda's Balcony), is joined by Sam Bardwell as Max Schmeling, Ricky Morisseau as Joe Louis, and Ben Bela Boehm as Dr. Goebbels. Richard H. Pegg is developing new production elements in concert with the director.
Steve Wilson, Executive Artistic Director of the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center, is delighted to welcome Theatre Or for the presentation. "Theatre Or continues to demonstrate their commitment to high quality Jewish theatre works, and this year they have leveraged their reputation by not only bringing one of the most notable Jewish theatre artists to our community, but by providing our audiences with the ability to preview a new play that could ultimately open in New York. In addition, those who witnessed Tovah's mastery in her one woman triumph, Golda's Balcony, will experience her versatility as she transforms herself beyond recognition playing a male boxing promoter. It's a unique, not-to-be-missed opportunity to see one of the great actresses of our time."
*Or is the Hebrew word for light.