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October 22, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 22, 2004

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|E FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 22, 2004 PAGE 7 Payne Editor is 90 percent ,s AI Krulick, and ~roducer of the Center's Players theater group. has assembled a fine JCC's production Simon," a trio of plays pulled from "Plaza Suite" ) and "California Suite" From Philadel- Opens with Marvin waking up woman he only remembers through missed his call, he can't find and his wife's landed and she's up to the room. ptyvodka unconscious t and realizes he for conceal- being the tiny the bedcoverings and is asuperb comedian with a ,made of Silly Marvin, he throws out of bed, onto the Into the air and across in a kind of wild with his clothes, (and only partly attempt to cover was a master of balletic clum- and Creenman proves able disciple. Sue Mil- an excellent sense of timing, and makes perfect foil mania. Cohen Millie warm, likeable rather than por- awoman Millie and Marvin SOme marvelous verbal we learn adultery by eatingat on the receiving end ,purchase a ge, daughter Savage and grand- of Alvin and Rose making these pins as gifts ago after she the daunting lg up with on a tight dma Rose. beadstore to the sales m them and finally a style called peyote resembles a brick "I found this It gave me the use the beads like and create images." by making human if ma- and, thus, the first was born. Each ~ade in the shape of colorful and fun, a Savage will the vendors at the the shopping being spon- Friends of the Jew- ~n November 11 'Suite a taco-and-spaghetti restau- rant in Los Angeles will lead to certain disaster. Meaghan Justice as the young woman in the bed somehow manages to give the spark of individu- ality to a character whose only function is to remain a comatose prop. "Visitors From New York," set in the same California hotel room, is typical NeiI Simon: highly verbal, witty, with multiple riffs on popu- lar culture references. This is usually a wonderful thing, but I found that these qualities made the piece age the least well of the three. The other two plays are filled with bois- terous physical comedy and over-the-top situations that are as fresh as this morning's New York Post. In this one, the low-key humor relies solely on the battling banter between NewYorkwriter Han- nah (Jackie Levine) and her L.A.-transplant screenwriter ex-husband Billy (Larry Stall- ings) as they joust and jibe in a quest for custody of their teenage daughter. Levine and Stallings are skilled ac- tors, but, lacking the broad physical business of the other two plays, their roles struck me as being the hardest in this group. They are up to the demands of the verbal by-play, but the laughs from the opening night audience were far fewer. The produc- tion crew did an able job of updating the many 1976 pop culture references (i.e Eric Severaid rnorphs into Ted Koppel, a record becomes a CD), but, for me at least, the East Coast angst versus West Coast ia-la-land rivalry that Simon intended to mark a central division between the characters doesn't come in this particular flavor any more. The tone of the bicoastal conversation has changed over time, and Simon's lines in this piece, while still clever, don't pack the old punch. Levine and Stallings lend credibility to the central emotional truths of their characters, though, as their personal digs turn into a bittersweet resolution. "Visitors From Forest Hills," which comes from the 1968 "Plaza Suite," has aged far better, in spite of the fact that nervous brides appear to have gone the way of the bustle and the polyes- ter leisure suit. Bride-to-be Mimsey (Meaghan Justice) won't come out of the Plaza Hotel bathroom where she's barricaded herself'on her wedding day. Her sweet- faced mother Norma (Sherri DeWitt) tries to cajole, and her raving father Roy (Mark Shami) tries to break down the door. As they alternately try to bribe, coax and terrorize Mimsey into coming out, the parents bicker over everything from the fact that the wedding party downstairs is eating its way through a small fortune in hors d'oeuvres to the failure of their own relationship. As Roy, Mark Shami is a raging Tasmanian devil, a pratfalling comedian, a sarcasm-spew- ing social commentator, and a tender husband and father equally bewildered by the ways of women and the cruel ironies of his fate. Shami's characterization of Roy evokes a combination of Tony Soprano and Danny Thomas--and does it believ- ably and to uproarious effect. Sherri DeWitt's Norma, whoat first seems feckless and fluffy- brained, gradually reveals her- self to possess the purity of soul and the earthy common sense of Edith Bunker in "All in the Family." In her laven- dar wedding suit, big flowery hat, ripped stockings, and one silver shoe, Norma pleads with her daughter one minute, ex- changes verbal fisticuffs with Roy the next, then instantly becomes the embodiment of smiling serenity as she stalls the groom's importunate fa- ther on the telephone. DeWitt is deft in her handling of this role. Norma and Roy could have easily veered into cari- cature, but DeWitt and Shami achieve just the right balance of hysteria and humanity. Meaghan Justice.makes a sweet-looking Mimsey, who, like many a fairytale princess, will only emerge when just the right words are spoken. Adam Ben-Evi as Borden is a charm- ingly nonchalant groom who saves the day with a single offhand remark. This fam- ily amply demonstrates that when Shakespeare wrote about "brawling love," he wasn't kidding. Producer and director AI Krulick brings a high level of professionalism and wide the- ater experience to this work. He demonstrates his knack for casting in the astute selection and pairing of the actors who play the three couples. His fine sense of detail, his apprecia- tion for Simon's split-second comic beats, and his ability to bring out the best in his actors are evident in the performanc- es. The details of staging and production values on open- ing night were good (look for a glimpse of the marble statue in the bathroom at the Plaza), and it was obvious that every- one involved took their jobs seriously and worked hard to stage a professional production on asmall community-theater budget. The JCC Center Players deserve respect and applause for this fine effort--but most of all, they deserve a much larger audience than they have been getting. Just how many reruns of "JeopardyI" are you going to sit through at home, when you could be sitting among friends laughing with Nell Simon and the sparkling cast and crew who are waiting to entertain you? "Suite Simon" runs Sat- urday nights at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. through October 31. For tick- ets and more information, call 407-645-5933. MOLLIE SAVAGE, creator of Savage Souls. at the Winter Park Farmer's Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Savage will also be displaying framed Souls and pieces from her newest venture, headed flower pins. Admission price is $10 and includes a free raffle ticket, free refreshments donated by Panera's, and a shopping bag. The GiftPavilion isbeingorga- nized by Friends of the Jewish Pavilion to benefit The Jew- ish Pavilion's programming for the Jewish elderly who are living in Central Florida nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Tickets may be purchased ahead of time from any of the Friends board members or by calling either of the co-chairs, Gay Harrison at 40%786-2628 or Ellen Lung 407-648-9284. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. The Jewish Pavilion is spon- sored, in part, by a generous grant from the Jewish Federa- tion of Greater Orlando. For more information, contact the Program Coordinator at 407-678-9363. Central Florida Synagogue Service Schedule and Directory Celebration Jewish Congregation (R), Services and Hotiday scedules shown at; 407-566-9792. Congregation Ahavas Yisrael/Chabad (O), 708 Lake Howell Rd Maitland, 407-644.-2500: Services: Sunday, 8 a.m Mon-Fri, 7 a.m, Fri 6:30 p.m Sat. 9: 30 a.m. Family Service 4th Friday of the month. Congregation Bet Chaim (R), 1033 Semoran Blvd Suite 151, Casselberry, 407-830-721 I; Shabbat service, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Am (C), 3899 Sand Lake Road, Longwood, 407-862-3505; Shabbat service, 8:15 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. Congregation Beth El (C), 2185 Meadowlane Ave West Melbourne, 321-779- 0740; Services, 8 p.m. 1st & 3rd Fridays; 9:30 a.m. 2nd & 4th Saturdays. Congregation Beth Emeth (R), 2205 Blue Sapphire Circle, Orlando, 407-855- 0772; Services once a month, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Shalom (C), 315 North 13th St Leesburg, 352-315-0770 Congregation B nai Torah (C), 445 S. Nova Rd Ormond Beach, 32174, 386-672-1174; Services Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation Chahad (O), 1301 S. Patrick Dr. #62, Satellite Beach, 321-777- 2770. Congregation Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Daytona (O), 1079 W. Granada Blvd Ormond Beach, 386-672-9300; Shabbat services Fri. 7:30 p.m Sat. 10 a.m. Congregation of Liberal Judaism (R), 928 Malone Dr Orlando, 407-645- 0444; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; except Ist Friday, Family services begin 7 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. Congregation Mateh Chaim (R), P.O. Box 060847, Palm Bay, 32906, 321, 768-6722. Congregation Ohev Shalom (C), 5015 Goddard Ave Orlando, 407-298-4650; Shabbat service, 8:15 p.m.; Salurday: 9 a.m.; Junior Cong 10:15 a.m. Congregation Shalom Aleichem (R), 3501 Oak Pointe Blvd Kissimmee, 407- 935-0064; Shabbat service, 8 p.m 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month. Congregation Shalom, Williamsburg (R), P.O. Box 69108 I, Orlando, 32869: Friday night services once a month at 7:30 p.m. at the Rosen Centre, 9840 International Drive, Orlando. 407-238-7943. Congregation Sinai (C), Jenkins Auditorium, West Montrose St Clermont: Services on last Friday of the month at 8 p.m. 352-243-5353. New Jewish Congregation (R), Oxford United Methodist Church, Rt. 466just west of Rt. 301, The Villages, 352-751-3109; Shabbat Services fourth Friday of the Month: 7:30 p.m. Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation/Ohalei Rivka (C), 11200 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd Orlando, 407-239-5444; Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple Beth El (R), 579 N. Nova Rd Ormond Beach, 386-677-2484. Temple Beth Shalom (R), P.O. Box 031233, Winter Haven, 813-324-2882. Temple Beth Shalom (C), 40 Wellington Drive, Palm Coast, 386445-3006; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. Temple Beth Sholom (C), 5995 N. Wickham Rd. Melbourne, 321-254-6333. Temple B nai i)arom (R), 49 Banyan Course, Ocala, 352-624-0380; Friday Services 8 p.m. Temple Israel (C), 555 Markham Woods Rd Longwood,407-647-3055; Shabbat service; 6:15 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple Israel (R), 7350 Lake Andrew Drive, Melbourne, 321-631-9494. Temple Israel (C), 1400 S. Peninsula Ave Daytona Beach, 904-252-3097; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. Temple Israel (C), 1001 E. New York Ave DeLand, 386-736-1646; Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m. Temple~alom ofl)eltona (R/C), 1785 Elkcam Blvd Deltona, 904-789-2202; Shabbat service, IOa.m. Saturday. Temple Shir Shalom of Oviedo (R); Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m. Ist and 3rd Fridays of the month at Carnllon Elementary School, 3200 Lockwood Blvd Oviedo. Call 407-366.3556 for information. (Check with individual synagogues for the dates and times of.servlces if not listed) (R) Reform (C) Conservative (0) Orthodox (Re ) Reconstructionist F~t~ ~auao ~ Wu~,ma~ LI ~ ~ Located in the Albertson's Dlaza I PHo'roamAPHY I I I HANoE,'xoro=,qA stuff on eBay! Items That Sell On eBay Cars Antiques Art Computers Jewelry Auto Parts &.Accesories Golf Clubs Cameras Collectibles Consumer Electronics and More! 1048 S.R. 436 Casselberry 407-478-QUIK (7845) (comer of Red Bug & 436 in G~atcr Marketplace) Store Hours: Mon-Sat 10am - 6pro Sunday closed Franchise e-mail: Opportunities Available