Arts features

Garland, Minnelli and me: Luft on family, fame and performing

By Sandy Rashty, November 14, 2013

At 60, cabaret star Lorna Luft has seen it all. The daughter of Hollywood legend Judy Garland and film producer Sidney Luft, she lost her mother to an accidental overdose, watched her half-sister Liza Minnelli’s rapid rise to stardom and suffered the psychological impact of battling breast cancer.

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Not flash, but Gordon makes a splash with directorial debut

By Stephen Applebaum , November 7, 2013

Many is the child actor who has tasted success and then faded into obscurity. But Joseph Gordon-Levitt has managed to make the transition to adult roles look easy and is carving out an impressive career on screen and behind the camera. Now Don Jon, the 32-year-old’s first feature as a writer, director and actor, opens here next week.

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‘Jewslims’ on love across the divide

By Sandy Rashty, October 24, 2013

Lenny is the son of a Holocaust survivor who has converted to Islam for love. Like others in the same situation interviewed under pseudonyms for BBC Radio 4 programme “Meet the Jewslims”, which aired on Monday, he married his British-Iranian wife Sheherazade in a Muslim ceremony but also sought to reconcile Islam with his Jewish heritage.

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It’s all history: Isaacs looks back fondly on broadcasting landmark

By Jenni Frazer, October 17, 2013

Few of us can claim the gift of prophecy and even the doyen of television grandees, Sir Jeremy Isaacs, would be reluctant to cast himself as someone who could see into the future.

Forty years ago, however, the young Isaacs had a vision of how television documentaries should be presented.

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She's doctor in the house for Channel 4

By Sandy Rashty, October 17, 2013

As a general practitioner, Ellie Cannon is well used to patients bringing in their home remedies for her approval. Now the JC’s health columnist will be sharing her views with a much wider audience in a prime time Channel 4 series, Health Freaks, which launches on Monday night.

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Sinatra, the Gershwins and me — a life of American song

By Sandy Rashty, October 10, 2013

Michael Feinstein says Americans have lost their appreciation of the arts. So the singer, pianist and purveyor of The Great American Songbook is eagerly anticipating his capital concert next month as part of the London Festival of Cabaret.

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Schama completes his tour de force

By Jenni Frazer, October 7, 2013

The Story of the Jews
(BBC 2)

Sunday nights will scarcely be the same now Simon Schama’s lavish and exuberant roller-coaster of a ride through Jewish history — the best-known bits and the almost-never-told stuff — has concluded its five-week run.

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Artists enjoy their brush with fame through LJCC enterprise

By Sandy Rashty, September 17, 2013

Helena Spearman was sipping calmly from a plastic cup of water at the London Jewish Cultural Centre last Thursday night when her work was announced among the “highly commended” entries to the London Jewish Cultural Centre’s Art House contest and exhibition. Floods of tears ensued as the Totteridge resident was embraced by friends.

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Goodman plays the most evil of characters

By John Nathan, September 17, 2013

It seemed as if Henry Goodman had broken the mould of playing villains such as the “scumbag lawyer” in the musical Chicago or the “vicious, nasty, ugly human being” (these descriptions are his) in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.

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Brought to book: How my relative captured Auschwitz commandant

By Jennifer Lipman, September 16, 2013

When Thomas Harding phoned up the Imperial War Museum and asked whether, as he had recently been told, his German Jewish great-uncle might have brought one of the highest-ranking Nazi officers to justice, the woman on the other end of the line burst out laughing, doubtless imagining him to be a fantasist.

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