Showbiz

Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp not going to Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011

The pop-singer partner of Hollywood star Johnny Depp has cancelled a performance in Israel after she was targeted by pro-Palestinian campaigners calling on her to boycott.

French star Vanessa Paradis, who shot to fame as a 14-year-old with the hit “Joe Le Taxi,” was set to sing at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Centre next month and meet President Shimon Peres while in the country.

However Ms Paradis has now said that she cannot play the February 10 show because of a commitment in Los Angeles on the same date relating to her film career.

More..

Natalie Portman, Aaron Sorkin triumph at Golden Globes

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011

Jewish stars were celebrating last night after they swept the boards at the Golden Globes ceremony in Los Angeles.

Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman has been widely tipped for an Oscar-nomination after she was named Best Actress for Black Swan.

The film, released in Britain this week, stars Ms Portman as a tormented prima ballerina and is directed by Jewish filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.

Mr Aronofsky was nominated for Best Director but lost out to The Social Network, a retelling of the origin of Facebook and its Jewish misfit creator Mark Zuckerberg.

More..

Hall of Fame: Rachel Zoe

January 11, 2011

"I'm also Jewish. So I'm a little superstitious.

"I've been sent a lot of gifts and things and my team just hides them."

More..

Spiderman star Andrew Garfield up for Bafta rising star nod

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

Jewish actor Andrew Garfield has been nominated for this year's Bafta rising star award.

The half-British star, chosen as the next star of the Spiderman franchise, will soon be on screen alongside Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan in the film version of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel Never Let Me Go.

Last month Mr Garfield was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook.

The film, written by Aaron Sorkin, has also been placed on the long-list of potential nominees for the 2011 Baftas.

More..

Interview: James Bierman

By John Nathan, January 6, 2011

You can hope, but I don't think you can plan for it. That would be dangerous," says wise James Bierman about success.

Bierman knows a lot about the subject. As executive producer of the Donmar Warehouse he oversaw and was largely responsible for the theatre's greatest era - a period so great that it even overshadowed Sam Mendes's tenure in the job, and Mendes managed to persuade Nicole Kidman to appear at the 250-seat Covent Garden venue.

Those heady days seem relatively tame compared to the heights reached by the Donmar under Bierman, and the artistic director Michael Grandage.

More..

Brigitte Bardot campaigns to ban shechitah in France

By Jennifer Lipman, January 5, 2011

Actress Brigitte Bardot has launched a campaign to ban the religious slaughter of animals in France.

Ms Bardot, along with six other animal rights groups, aims to put up more than 2,000 posters encouraging the government to outlaw both the Jewish practice of shechitah and the Muslim method, halal, of killing animals.

The posters include a graphic image of a cow’s head.

Ms Bardot, 76, wants religious slaughter to be replaced “to prevent animals suffering."

More..

Liverpool actress plans all-female Joseph

By Jonathan Foreman, December 31, 2010

A young actress who appears in the latest Harry Potter movie is fronting a Liverpool Jewish theatre project.

Gemma Kayla, who plays a senior Hogwarts student in the film, wants to create a community production of the musical Joseph with a difference - the cast will be all-female. Liverpool Jews are now being asked to audition for parts in the modified version, which will have the internet and Israeli politics as themes.

It is being organised in conjunction with Allerton Hebrew Congregation and Liverpool's Jewish activities co-ordinator.

More..

Tom Jones goes yiddish

By Simon Rocker, December 29, 2010

Before the year is out, let me add my own salute to the evergreen Sir Tom Jones, who turned 70 in summer.

Lesser known among his musical repertoire is a rendering of the Sophie Tucker classic, My Yiddishe Momme, which has earned more than 300,000 Youtube hits (according to David Mishon, who drew my attention to it).

Not quite up there among his greatest hits Sex Bomb and Delilah, I grant you, but it would have gone down a storm in The Catskills.

Sir Tom says that he learned the song from his father but is it possible he could have picked it up from another source?

More..

On this day: Corey Haim is born

By Jennifer Lipman, December 23, 2010

Before Zac Efron, another Jewish actor was known all over the world as a teenage heartthrob. Corey Haim, star of Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys, Lucas and License To Drive.

Born in Toronto, Canada, the actor had an Israeli mother, Judy, and a Canadian-Jewish father Bernie. He was raised Jewish, although his parents divorced when he was eleven.

More..

Hall of Fame: James Van Der Beek

December 22, 2010

"She looked like an Olivia. There's an olive tree in Israel that's special to us.

"We spent time under it when we first met in Israel."

More..