Alice’s Gift: The Life and Music of Alice Herz-Sommer

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Saturday, November 10 & Sunday, November 11Bell’Arte Music Drama is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform again Alice’s Gift: The Life and Music of Alice Herz-Sommer. Performances will take place on Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 11 at 2:30 pm at 2875 Tudor Avenue, Victoria V8N 1L6.  Tickets $25 each can be purchased at alicesgift3.brownpapertickets.com or call 1-800-838-3006.  For more information call 250-721-2121 or email bellartemusicdrama@gmail.com

This musical one act play written by Elisabeth Wagner and performed by Lina de Guevara with Elisabeth Wagner at the piano lasts for one hour.  There will be a short “Question and Answer” session following each performance.

Alice Herz-Sommer was born in Prague and lived through World War II playing piano recitals in Theresienstadt ghetto. At the time of her death, at 110 years of age, she was the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor.  Besides having a remarkable story of a cultured upbringing, and a story of endurance and survival, Alice had an extraordinary ability to embrace life and the people she met. In the play, the audience is warmly invited into her living room and given the opportunity to hear some of her stories, her music and her simple but profound wisdom.

Ayre: a song cycle by Osvaldo Golijov

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October 25, 26, 28 at 7 pm 925 Balmoral Road — Soprano Miriam Kralil and the Aventa Ensemble will perform Ayre, a one-hour opera, composed by Jewish Argentinean Osvaldo Golijov and produced by Pacific Opera Victoria (POV). All three performances take place at The Baumann Centre, 925 Balmoral Road, Victoria at 7:00 pm on Thursday, Oct. 25, Friday, Oct. 26 and Sunday, Oct. 28.  Ticket prices (general seating) Adult $35, Student $15.  Limited tickets per show: purchase tickets from Pacific Opera Victoria Box Office, call 250-385-0222 or www.pov.bc.ca…
Continue reading Ayre: a song cycle by Osvaldo Golijov

Bēma Productions Audition Call

BEMAlogoSunday, October 7, 1461 Blanshard Street — Our own Bema productions will hold auditions for its newest venture—a Readers Theatre Festival to be held during the last weekend of January 2019. We are looking for readers for the following three plays.

Bēma stages “Kalamazoo” at Victoria Fringe

Kalamazoo

August 23 – 29, 2018 — Bēma Productions is thrilled to present their fourth Victoria Fringe Festival production, the comedy “Kalamazoo” by Michelle Kholos Brooks and Kelly Younger, directed by Zelda Dean and performed by Angela Henry and Ira Shorr.  All performances take place at Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue, 1461 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2J3.

  • Thursday, August 23 – 7 pm
  • Sunday, August 26 – 2 pm
  • Monday, August 27 – 7 pm
  • Tuesday, August 28 – 7 pm
  • Wednesday, August 29 – 7 pm
  • Thursday, August 30 – 7 pm

TICKETS: $11 each available online from August 1 at victoriafringe.com or ticketrocket.co or in person at Ticket Rocket Lounge: 10 am–5 pm Monday to Friday at 101–804 Broughton (across from the Royal Theatre), Fringe HQ: noon–7 pm daily starting August 21 at 2–1609 Blanshard (at Fisgard, across from Romeo’s), or at the door.

Kalamazoo offers a refreshing take on a familiar story. Peg and Irv, two quirky but endearing baby-boomers, bravely venture into the world of modern dating. But when these opposites attract, they discover love isn’t any easier the second time around. What could sound like the pilot for a TV sit-com ends up touching you in ways you might not expect. Winner of the Riva Shiner Comedy Award, “Kalamazoo” is a romantic comedy about life’s second act and learning you’re never too old to be young.

“A disarming comedy that lets us laugh about growing older while addressing the very real hardships and heartaches that come when one spouse from a life-long marriage is suddenly left alone . . . the banter in this play is both hilarious and startlingly honest. It just rings true in ways that can be surprising and shocking, but always satisfying.” —Examiner.com.

“. . . a rich story about love at any age.” —EncoreMichigan.com.

“Bouts of riotous laughter . . . it’s hard to imagine a better show.” — Herald-Times (Bloomington, Indiana).

Special Screening Ben-Gurion: Epilogue

Ben Gurion

Sunday, June 3 at 7:30 pm at The Vic Theatre — The Victoria International Jewish Film Festival will launch its fourth season with a special pre-festival screening of the new film Ben-Gurion: Epilogue on Sunday, June 3, from 7:30-9:00 pm, at the Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas Street, Victoria. The 70-minute documentary is based on recently discovered archival interviews with Israel’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. Five years after he retired from decades of political life to live on a small kibbutz in southern Israel, Ben-Gurion reflects on a variety of topics, both personal and political, in all of his brilliant and worldly complexity.

Sitting for these remarkable and long-lost interviews in 1968, Ben-Gurion reflects strikingly, in English, on his years in power. He reveals his pride, but also his qualms, about Israel’s path as a nation since its establishment in 1948. The film offers neither judgment nor celebration, but allows Ben-Gurion to reflect on topics ranging from his arrival in Palestine and desire to reinvent Jewish life, to his very modern understanding of the Bible, and his pragmatic but sometimes deeply unpopular political decisions.

“To see the documentary Ben-Gurion: Epilogue is to understand with greater insight the dilemmas and struggles of the early Jewish leaders of the young state of Israel,” said Lincoln Z. Shlensky, the VIJFF’s director.  “As violence continues to permeate Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians and its neighbours, and as Israeli society increasingly is riven with social and religious conflicts, Ben-Gurion’s interviews in 1968 offer the remarkable portrait of a self-reflective leader unafraid to discuss his own sense of resolve alongside his doubts.”

This feature film will be preceded by a delightful Israeli short film, I’m from the Jews, written and directed by Aharon Shem-Tov, Niv Hachtili based on a story by Almog Behar about an Israeli teacher haunted by his Kurdish-Jewish grandfather.

This delightful fable examines the complexities around Israelis’ identity.  A young man becomes possessed by his dead grandfather, forcing him to choose between his Arab family identity or continuing on with his life as an Israeli.

The June 3 screening is a special event that will serve as a pre-launch for the fourth Victoria International Jewish Film Festival, which will take place November 3-6, 2018, at the Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St., in Victoria. Tickets for the screening are $8 and are available at the festival website: VIJFF.ca. The VIJFF is presented by the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria.

Mazel Tov to Noa Paster!

Noa and Wes
Mazel Tov to Noa Paster for her role in Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s Swan Song & Other Farces.
Noa Paster and Wes Tritter are starring in the first show in Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s 10th Anniversary Season, Swan Song {and Other Farces} by Anton Chekhov. Running April 24 to May 6 it is four one act plays: On the Dangers of Tobacco, The Bear, The Proposal and Swan Song.
Link to an interview with Noa Paster and co-actor Wes Tritter…

Bēma offers us Lessons!

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April 12, 15, 16, 17, 19 & 22 — Bēma Productions proudly announces the Canadian premiere of Lessons, a thoughtful, compelling play by Wendy Graf about finding faith and love in a sometimes violent and alienating world, in the sanctuary at Congregation Emanu-El on April 12, 2018. The play will run for six performances.

Lessons is performed by Christine Upright (last seen as Edna in Bēma’s Prisoner of Second Avenue) and Alf Small (Horowitz and Mrs Washington). Zelda Dean directs. When Ben finally decides to have a Bar Mitzvah (at his age!) he hires Ruth, a Rabbi who’s lost her faith, to tutor him. The two characters forge a friendship as they each search for healing and forgiveness while wrestling with their own deep-rooted problems. Lessons is a touching, funny and poignant drama that asks the question: Can we find healing and forgiveness when our beliefs are questioned?

TICKETS: $22.00, available online or at Ticket Rocket, 101-804 Broughton Street, or at the door

  • Thursday, April 12   7:30 pm
  • Sunday, April 15      2:30 pm
  • Monday, April 16      7.30 pm
  • Tuesday, April 17     7.30 pm
  • Thursday, April 19   7.30 pm
  • Sunday, April 22      2.30 pm

All performances will be taking place in the Sanctuary at Congregation Emanu-El.

“A blend of wit and wisdom, “Lessons” questions, amuses and beguiles. Graf is in the long tradition of Jewish writers that include Neil Simon. And, very much like Simon, she mixes the angst in our lives with an overlay of humor that is both touching and tender.” – Ed Kauffman, Hollywood Reporter

“This quest for faith—in his case, a faith he’s never had, and in hers, a faith that she’s forsaken—is a poignant plea that touches everyone,” – KABC Radio

Wendy Graf is an award winning playwright whose plays have been produced throughout North America. “Lessons” was first produced in 2004 by West Coast Jewish Theatre and The Group at Strasberg in West Hollywood.

 

The Prisoner Of Second Avenue

Prisoner

January 7 to 28Bēma Productions is delighted to present Neil Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue starring Cam Culham and Christine Upright with Angela Henry, Lynda Raino, Katya Delancey and Michael Rodgers; directed by Zelda Dean for seven performances only:

  • Saturday evenings 7:30 pm January, 13, 20 and 27
  • Sunday afternoons 2:30 pm January 7, 14, 21 and 28

Tickets are $20 each available from Ticket Rocket www.ticketrocket.co or at the door.

Mel Edison is a well-paid executive of a high-end Manhattan firm which has suddenly hit the skids and he gets the ax. His wife Edna takes a job to tide them over; then she too is sacked.  Compounded by the air pollution killing his plants and with the walls of the apartment paper-thin, allowing him a constant earful of his neighbors private lives, things can’t seem to get any worse…then he’s robbed and his psychiatrist dies with $23,000 of his money.  Mel does the only thing left for him to do – he has a nervous breakdown and it’s the best thing that ever happened to him.

“A gift for taking a grave subject and, without losing sight of its basic seriousness, treating it with hearty but sympathetic humor…A talent for writing a wonderful funny line…full of humor and intelligence.” New York Post

“Creates an atmosphere of casual cataclysm, an everyday urban purgatory of copelessness from which laughter seems to be released like vapor from the city’s manholes”. Time

 

The Original Deed – two performances left

Zuzana MacKnight

Saturday & Sunday, November 18 & 19 at 7 pm — are your last opportunities to see Zuzana Macknight as Rivka Abelman, wife of the lead character in the play The Original Deed by Sid Tafler currently running at Congregation Emanu-El synagogue.

Tickets are available at Ticket Rocket $20 for adults, $15 for students and will be available at the door. Continue reading The Original Deed – two performances left