As reports of antisemitism and white supremacist violence rise around the globe, the glittering lights of Broadway in the city that never sleeps have been shining on Jewish life. Productions like Parade, Leopoldstadt, Prayer for the French Republic, Harmony, Camp Siegfried, and Funny Girl give essential representation and celebrate the power of Jewish storytelling.
Lynne Marie Rosenberg, host of ALL ARTS’ Famous Cast Words series, will moderate a conversation with Tovah Feldshuh, the first Jewish actress to play Mrs. Rosie Brice in Funny Girl, award-winning playwrights Alfred Uhry (Parade) and Bruce Sussman (Harmony), alongside other renowned Broadway actors and writers. The panelists will share their insights and experiences on the critical issue of antisemitism, and the significance of Broadway’s role in combatting antisemitism in this moment.
Tovah Feldshuh is a six-time Emmy and Tony Award nominee, four-time winner of the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as the recipient of the Lucille Lortel and Helen Hayes awards for Best Actress. Her multi-decade career on Broadway has given us indelible performances in Cyrano, Rodgers & Hart, Dreyfus in Rehearsal, Yentl, Sarava!, Lend Me a Tenor, Golda’s Balcony, Irena’s Vow, Pippin, and now in the boffo Broadway hit Funny Girl, where she plays Rosie Brice, the mother to Lea Michele’s Fanny.
Alfred Uhry is distinguished as the only American playwrights to have won a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, and two Tony Awards. A 1958 graduate of Brown University, he began his professional career as a lyric writer under contract to the late Frank Loesser. He made his Broadway debut in 1968 with Here’s Where I Belong, which ran for one night. He had better luck with The Robber Bridegroom in 1976, which won him his first Tony nomination. He followed that with five recreated musicals at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut. His first play was Driving Miss Daisy, which began life at the 74-seat upstairs theatre at Playwrights Horizons in 1987 and went on to run for three years and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. The film version, starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy, won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1989 and gained Uhry his own Oscar for Best Screenplay. His next two Broadway outings won him Tony Awards: The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Best Play of 1997) and Parade (Best Book of a Musical 1999). In 2014, he was inducted into both the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.
Bruce Sussman (Book and Lyrics) is the recipient of the 2022 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical for Harmony. He is the co-author of well over 200 published and recorded songs written for dozens of artists, films, television programs and stage musicals. The majority of these projects were written with his collaborator of 50 years, Barry Manilow. For the stage, he co-authored with Jack Feldman the scores for Ted Tally’s Coming Attractions (Outer Critics Circle Award) and Wendy Wasserstein’s first musical, MIAMI, both produced Off-Broadway by Andre Bishop at Playwrights Horizons in New York. With Mr. Manilow and Mr. Feldman he co-authored the score and book for Copacabana – The Musical, (Olivier Award nominee) which ran for two years on London’s West End, toured the U.K. and then the U.S., and has since been performed all over the world. His songs have been featured in numerous stage revues including The Madwoman of Central Park West, Tuxedos for Hire, and the long-running Off-Broadway and London productions of Whoop-Dee-Doo! (Drama Desk Award, Obie Award.) For television, he is the author of scripts and scores for several Emmy Award-winning children’s series, including “The Unicorn Tales,” “Hip Patches,” “Cranberry Christmas” and “Nick and Noel.” He is particularly proud to have written a song for the televised bicentennial celebration of the United States Constitution. The song, “Let Freedom Ring,” was later performed at the televised Inaugural Gala for President Clinton. With Mr. Manilow, he wrote the song scores for the animated feature films, The Pebble and the Penguin, Thumbelina and Disney’s Oliver and Co. His songs have been featured in over two dozen feature films and have been recorded by an array of pop, jazz, country and international artists, earning Grammy Awards and multiple Gold and Platinum records from around the world.
Lynne Marie Rosenberg is the creator and host of the three-time Emmy-nominated interview series Famous Cast Words on ALL ARTS.
This panel conversation is a live event only in Edmond J. Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Doors open at 6:30 PM.