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June 15, 2012

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 15, 2012 By Emma Silvers J the Jewish news weekly of Northern California As a young Jewish boy growing up in San Francisco, Louis Pearl knew he was expected to become a doctor. His father, Dr. Milton Pearl, was thewell-regarded chief of surgery and chief of staff at Mount Zion Hospital Pearl's brother, Jeffrey, followed suit into medical school, eventu- ally becoming the associate dean at UCSF/Mount Zion after the hospital merged with the university. And Louis? Louis Pearl became the Amazing Bubble Man. With 30 years of live, inter- active bubble performances at places like Edinburgh's renowned Fringe Festival; rave reviews and a legion of dedicated fans; 21 "bubble inventions" and two books about bubbles under his belt, Pearl has made a name for himself as the father of an art form that's not often considered beyond children's birthday party entertain- ment. That's a big mistake, says Pearl, 54. "It's absolutely an art form, and it's performance art. There are so many ele- Louis Pearl is forever blowing bubbles. ments to experiment with-- Pearl'susualschedule,which light, color, music, different involves traveling mainly to gaseslikesmokeandhelium," appear in schools, smaller he adds. "These are not the theaters and science muse- bubbles your grandma used urns. Although every now to blow." and then, "I have had top Pearl's family-friendly photographers fly me out to performance, "The World's New York to put naked models Funniest Bubble Show," in bubbles," says the artist. will run through June at "Just a handful of times." the Marsh Berkeley Theater Pearl grew up in the Rich- Stage. At month's end, he mond District and attended will fly to Auckland, New George Washington High Zealand, to open a full-scale School; his family belonged theatrical bubbleproduction to Congregation Beth Sho- designed around his work-- lom. He majored in English "directors, lightingdirectors, and art at U.C. San Diego. "I set designers, everything," thought I was going to be a says Pearl--that's the result writer,"he remembers.Itwas of selling out theaters five in New Hampshire, where years in a row in Edinburgh. Pearl spent a few months on It will be a break from a Dartmouth College-UCSD exchange program, that he his theater and circus arts and when I first started out, first discovered the magic of camp, forasessionwithadults I know there was a period of bubbles, before the kids arrived, time when they were worried "Iwas20,andlateatnight "ThatwashowIlearnedto because it didn't seem like I in the dorms, it started as me be onstage," says Pearl, who had a real job. They didn't and my friends just playing lives in Sebastopol, Calif., getwhatIwasdoing,'recalls around," he recalls. "We'd when he's not on the road. Pearl. "And then one day I got make giant bubbles. We "I've been doing shows ever my father out on the back figured out how to fill them since" porchofthe house to trysome with smoke, shine lights on Pearl can cater his per- of it. And he blew this really them indifferentways, make formances to almost anygiant bubble and couldn't movies of them." demographic, and he regu- stop laughing. And he got it. After graduation, while liv- larly performs for toddlers, That was it." Soon after, the ing in Berkeley, he discovered elementary through highesteemed doctor helped his a toy called the Bubble Trum- school-age students--often son find his company. pet. He began performing incorporating age-appro- It's one of the many too- with it, demonstrating how priate science lessons about ments that has made Pearl to use the toy and selling it physics and aerodynamics, feel grateful for his unusual near the university, quickly However, he's been work- career path. becoming a fixtur~ on Tele- ing intensely the past few "Ineverimagineditwould graph Avenue. His act was a months on taking his shows go on this long," he says. "I hit. His repertoire grew as he for adults to the next level, thoughtitwasjustsomething learned how to make"square To that end, he's collaborat- I would do while I was in my bubbles, bubblesintheshape ing with his wife, the singer 20s, until I figured what else ofaspaceship--younameit," and performer Jetty Swart, I could do for a living ... and he says. "And the next thing to incorporate her music into then this thing that was just I knew, I had founded a toy his performances. The two fun for me got successful. company." Berkeley's the are currently using a former "And it's still fun," he adds. Nature Co. published his first dance studio in Oakland as "Ihave more fun doing shows book and interactive bubble a rehearsal space. Pearl also onstage than any other job I kit for kids. still operates his online toy could think of." In 1983, a chance run-in company, Tangent Toys. FormoreinfoonPearlvisit withtheiconicactivistanden- He's happy to count hishttp://www.amazingbubble- tertainerWavy Gravy changed parents, who initially were Pearl's life. The two met in a skeptical about his career, Emma Silvers is a staff nightclub in Mill Valley, and among his many fans. writer for J the Jewish news whenPearldemonstratedabit "Like all Jewish parents, weekly of Northern Califor- of his act, the activist invited they wanted their kid to nia, from which this article Pearlto CampWinnarainbow, have a successful career ... was reprinted by permission. By Alan D. Abbey In his academic research, Bar-IlanUniversityin2004for died June 3 at 83. A major at 97 on March 4. Achituv examined mythichis contributions to religious general, he commanded the Jonathan Hoffman, shoot- JERUSALEM (JTA)--The and other perspectives on Zionismandthereligiouskib- navy from 1968 to 1972.ingvictim, 17 Eulogizer highlights the life the nature of women and the butz movement, and for his Botzer was born in Poland Jonathan Hoffman, a accomplishments of famous significance of sexuality in role developing Israel's Jew- in 1929 and moved to pre- 17-year-old living with his and not-so-famous Jews who rabbinic literature. He also ish, Zionist and democratic State Palestinewithhisfamily grandmother in the Detroit have passed away recently, wrote on the subject of Jew- character, in 1936. suburb of West Bloomfield, YosefAchituv, Israelischol- ish belief and life after the Achituv was born in Ger- He rose through the ranks Mich., died after being shot ar and Zionist Holocaust. many in 1933and immigrated of Israel's navy after joining eight times with a handgun Yosef "Yoske" Achituv, a His publications included, to pre-state Palestine with the naval branch of the Pal- on May 20. fellow at the Shalom Hart- "On the Frontier of Change: his family two years later. In machin 1946.TheIDFsaluted Police said thai when they man Institute and teacher The Meaning of Judaism 1952, he became a founding Botzer for "his achievements, responded to an emergency of Judaic studies at Yeshivat in Modern Times," and he member of Ein Zurim. his legacy and his longstand- call at Hoffman's home, his HaKibbutz HaDati and the published more than 150Avraham Botzer, former ing contribution to the secu- grandmother, Sandra Layne, Ya'akov Herzog Center at Ein articlesofcontemporaryJew- Israeli navy commander rity of Israel." 74, came to the door bear- Zurim, the kibbutz he helped ish thought.Achituv received Avraham Botzer, eighth Shmuel Tankus, fifth corn- ing a gun and said she had found, died June 5. an honorary doctorate from commander of Israel's navy, mander of Israel's Navy, died murdered Hoffman. Layne's attorney has said in prelimi- nary statements and court appearances that she was afraid of her grandson, who was livingwith her so he could finish high school while his parents resettled in Arizona. Hoffman was described as bright, funny, kind and car- ing by his many friends and former classmates, who were stunned by his sudden and violent death. "Some of my funniest memories from Hillel arewith him," Ryan Grosinger told the Detroit Jewish News. By 6NoBacon staff erberg), the popular writer moment: a scene of her in a Aaron Sorkin is moving on video wearing a Hitler mus- Matisyahu's newest look: to the late Steve Jobs. Jobs tache and with a swastika on No kipah may get better treatment, herforehead.TheQueenofPop NEW YORK The Jewish however. "I can't judge this alsotookamomentduringthe reggae star is changing his character,'Sorkinsaidduring concert to offer this pearl of appearanceatapacethatcould aweb conferenceinCalifornia, wisdom Iftherelspeace here put Lady Gaga to shame. In explaining how it will be dif- in the Middle East, then there a video released to promote ficult to create the character can be peace in the world." his recent single "Sunshine," of Steve Jobs. "He has to be, Twitter chronicles Matisyahurevealedblond hair for me, a hero." Our favorite Canadian Jew- and a T-shirt, looking almost The celebrity shiva ish rapper, Drake (yes, that unrecognizable from his days A new movie is in the works one), received a surprise as a Chasid. And in a photo that will feature Jason Bate- response from Texas tycoon Matisyahu posted June 3 on man, Zac Efron, Goldie Hawn T. Boone Pickens after tweet- Instagram, he appears to be andLeslieMannasfourJewish ing "The first million is the sans kipah, siblings, hardest." Boone wrote back, Mazel toy to Drew Bar- ThemovieisaboutaJewish "The first billion is helluva lot rymore family with a lot of baggage harder." Drake's answer:"Just The popular Hollywood (surprise, surprise) thatcomes stunted on me heavy." actress married Will Kopel- home to sit shiva for the de- On the flip side, Gwyneth man, a Jewish art dealer and ceased father. The family is Paltrow got the short end of son of the CEO of Chanel, trapped in the house for seven the tweet when she tweeted in a ceremony reportedly days, and all the skeletons are the title of a Jay-Z and Kanye performed by a rabbi under bared. Production is slated to song, "N***as in Paris." She a "custom-made" chupah, start early September. got a lot of heat for tweeting Barrymore reportedly wore a Madonna as Hitler the N-word. Chanel gown. Did Madonna take Tel Aviv Family Guy Jewish mo- Aaron Sorkin working on by storm May 31 or did she ments Steve Jobs movie create a storm? In her MDNA Here's how "Family Guy" Themanbehind"TheSocial tour debut concert in the city creator Seth MacFarlane de- Network"~ is moving from one featuring a dynamic stage, cidedtotry to convince Emmy tech guru to another. After flying performers, gigantic judgestovotehisshowthebest tellingthestoryofFacebook's video screens and countless comedy of the year: He took Mark Zuckerberg (or, at least, costume changes, Madonna out an ad calling there"bloat- Hollywood's version of Zuck- also offered this memorable ed, overprivileged Brentwood Matisyahu's Instagram Matisyahu (1) used Instagram June 4 to broadcast his newest look (no kipah) in a photo with rapper Wiz Khalifa. Jews." MacFarlane's language life forever. should come as no surprise Apparently, NBC execs had to regular viewers of"Family hoped for a 10th season of Guy,"whichmakesfunof, well, the "show about nothing," everyone. FormerNBC executiveWarren Seinfeld turned down Littlefield said recently that NBC offer Jerry Seinfeldwas offered $100 The popular show "Sein- milliontokeeptheshowgoing feld" ended in 1998 after nine butturneditdownbecausehe seasons that changed sitcom wanted to have a family. Oren Peli's 'Chernobyl Dia- ries' shot inside Nazi bunkers The Israeli creator of the successful horror trilogy "Paranormal Activity" has a new film out, "Chernobyl Diaries," that takes place in the deserted nuclear-disaster town in Ukraine. Of course, it was impossible (or, at least, highly ill-advised) to film in Chernobyl itself. Peli revealed that the movie was filmed in Serbian bunkers with a very dark history, "There were bunkerswhere they had the Nazi headquarters," Peli said. "That place was very, very creepy." Israeli teen to star in Pas- sion of the Christ prequel Fifteen-year-old Israeli actress Odeya Rush has been cast to play the role of Virgin Mary in the prequel to Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ." The upcoming movie, which doesn't involve Gibson, chronicles Mary's early years. Of course Jesus had a Jewish mother! Rush, a Haifa native, moved to New York several years ago to pursue her act- ing career. For more Jewish celebrity news, visit, the illegitimate child of JTA.