Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
You comforted me in the dressing room one night. I was distraught, telling you I felt totally at sea. "Nicky-Nick," you said, your eyes brimming with compassion, "what would Toozenbach really like to say to Irena at that point?" "Please," I said, "touch my cheek." Whereupon I burst into tears -- knowing that with you it was safe to do so.
Then one night early in the run, I had been killed in a duel, and I was sitting in the dressing-room, doing the crossword with a kid I was convinced had no future in show-business (Colin Mochrie). Suddenly, just before she went out on stage to do her plaintive speech about the 'happy birds', Goldie came up behind me, put her arms around me, and said: "This is like hugging an old blanket when you know you have to go and do something scary."
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It was a wonderful evening and I am so glad that I was in the audience. Your talk is fantastic – warm and intimate and educational and inspirational. I hope our paths will cross again soon some time. Thank you for joining us and for bringing such a special evening to the Studio.
Many thanks, and a Merry Christmas to you too, Nina.
I tried to respond to one of your blogs; but after 20 minutes of changing my password and copying out 10 different codes I gave up. So I'm copying it here. ( It was the blog where you complained - yes, yes, I know. It's hard to believe, but you actually complained about something!) and I'm responding to the complaint:I love these weeks before Christmas. I love hearing 'Little Drummer Boy", and "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" as I walk along the streets of Montpellier in 18°C weather under a bright blue sky with a mistral blowing. I love the smile on the girl at the cash desk at the 2 euro store because she's already getting into all the joy of the people buying 2 euro junk to decorate their places for Christmas.I love all the hope there. It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. No earplugs for me. But then again, I live above a bar. But you know that. lynn
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
These days, when I start a formal talk about my book, I quote my French friend Daniel, who told me that the book “is part of the battle against amnesia.” The book fights to uncover and respect the past and understand its legacy. Last night, an audience got that exploration of legacy as never before.
What a thrilling event. I had no idea what to expect – perhaps a handful of people, as has happened in some of the other places that sponsored a talk – about 20 at the Stratford Festival, which got around to publicising it late; about a dozen at the Jewish library in Toronto. About 30 came, including five relatives, to the 92nd Street Y the last time I spoke in New York; I was hoping for at least that but prepared for far fewer.
I got to the Stella Adler Studio early, to work, as Tom Oppenheim the director of the Studio had asked, with the actors. It’s exciting just walking into the acting school, its cramped, busy space on West 27th crawling with intense young acting students – there, a huge bust of Stanislavsky, and there, portraits of Tom’s grandparents, the great actress and teacher Stella and her husband Harold Clurman, the influential director. “The theatre is a sacred space,” said a sign on the door of the small theatre where I was to speak and an assembly of actors to read excerpts from the plays. Marvellous actors – Betsy Parrish, who teaches at the school, read from Mirele Efros, Adam Gerber and Danielle Rabani, graduates from the school, read from the Kreutzer Sonata, and Michael Howard was the Jewish King Lear. We ran through their pieces, set up the space, and retired to the Green Room to chat.
From there, we heard a noise, growing – the sound of a lively audience. Michael said to Adam and Danielle, “May you hear that sound every night for the rest of your lives. Except for your day off.” Tom began, speaking with his usual eloquence about building a meaningful theatre, a theatre of social relevance, and then he introduced me. A joyful moment, to step onto a stage with fine actors behind me waiting to work and in front, a full house. The space was packed – standing room only. Maybe 70 or more, some of them young students from the school sitting on the floor at the front. “This is a friendship,” I said, hugging Tom, “that started 120 years ago.”
I told stories about Gordin and my search for him for almost an hour, then the actors did their magnificent readings – I had goosebumps, they were so good - and I finished off. The audience liked it. Some of the young actors, paupers though they undoubtedly are, bought the book and had me sign it.
Then adults, a whole group of Adlers, including Tom’s mother, Stella’s only daughter Ellen, and Josie, daughter of Tom’s aunt Lulla Rosenfeld who wrote her own book about the Yiddish theatre and helped me with mine. Josie reported a conversation. Ellen, at the end of my talk, asked Josie, "Are you going to say hello?" And Josie replied, "Say hello? I’m going to move in with her!"
They were so warm and generous, this bunch of descendants of Jacob Adler’s, to this descendant of his colleague Jacob Gordin. We must have lunch, Josie said. I’ll make dinner, said Ellen, who has incredible stories to tell. The Studio should help you sell your book, said Tom. And so I must come back to New York sooner rather than later, to greet my new family. Because that’s how it felt.
On the subway home, a group of women opposite were talking about the reading at the Cooper Union with Tony Kushner et al. Apparently Kushner was fabulous. I’m sorry I missed him. But my own small event was pretty fabulous too.
This morning I've received a very nice note from the Artistic Director of the Folksbiene, saying it was all a misunderstanding, he is very interested in the book and my work. That's great news. Perhaps we can work out an event of some kind.
I have been fighting a bug with massive doses of Cold-FX, but now that my talk's over, miraculously I feel healthy again. Half a day, now, to explore NYC - late afternoon I move from my cousin Ted's to Cousin Lola's and take her to the theatre tonight. She's 87 and it's supposed to pour with rain, so there are logistical problems, but she is the feistiest 87-year old in the world, so we'll make it. She has a plan. You don't go anywhere with a New Yorker without a plan.