Showbiz

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.

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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."

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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."

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Mel Gibson's dodgy jibe

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

Mel Gibson is never going to win that Anti-Defamation League man of the year award. The Australian actor notoriously ranted against Jews in a outburst after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in 2006.

Now actress Winona Ryder - who lost relatives in the Holocaust - has revealed an encounter she had with him at a Hollywood party some 15 years ago.

"Somehow, it came up that I was Jewish," she recalled in an interview with GQ magazine. "He said something about 'oven dodgers' but I didn't get it. I'd never heard that before."

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Denzel Washington flashes cash on Israel visit

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2010

Hollywood actor Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta spent more than £9,000 on jewellery in Jerusalem last week after flying to Israel on a private plane.

The Training Day star, in Israel to visit a friend from his drama school days, spent the money at the Padani jewellery store in the upmarket Mamilla Mall.

He also bought two red-gold wedding rings with the couple’s initials engraved on the inside.

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A year in Jewish showbiz news

By Jennifer Lipman, December 21, 2010

The celebrity gossip of 2010 - in pictures.

Images: 
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Madonna donates big to Jewish and Kabbalah charities

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2010

Madonna donated thousands of dollars to a Jewish charity last year, according to the tax records for her charitable foundation which have been published on the website Showbiz 411.

The pop star, who is also a famous follower of Jewish mysticism Kabbalah, gave the Jewish Big Brothers and Sisters scheme $10,000 in 2009.

The charity, based in Los Angeles, runs mentoring programmes for Jewish children.

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