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Category Archives: Events

Donna Fletcher is one of Winnipeg’s busiest theatre artists, but luckily for us she found a few moments to chat in advance of Love, Loss, and What I Wore, which she will be directing! Read on to find out more about Donna’s favourite clothes,  what she hopes the audience will take from this special one-night-only fundraiser, and the Nora Ephron movie she loves the most!

What excites you about Love, Loss, and What I Wore?

I love the poignancy of the stories and the universality of each woman’s experience.  I personally identify with about half of these stories and laughed out loud as I saw myself and my own experience reflected from the page. We all have those outfits we wore that we now realize were disasters, we had our mums issue dire warnings about wearing the “wrong” clothes, we have the pieces we hold onto even though they don’t fit because of an associated memory or experience, and we all have the comfort pieces that we slip into when we need to collapse with our favourite beverage and bag of Doritos!

What will your process be for working with the star-studded cast we have assembled for this evening?

I will ask them about their experiences and have them share their thoughts about their clothes [related] memories. I will take them through the script story by story and work to develop that sisterhood that women can easily create through shared experience. I want a lot of laughter and perhaps even some tears.

What do you hope the audience takes away from this production?

I would love the audience to leave feeling uplifted and empowered by these stories. I would love them to feel the joy, humour, pathos, pain and wonder of these stories.  Most of all I want the deep love of the Ephron sisters to fill the room and fill the hearts of the audience.

How do you personally relate to the characters and stories that are shared in the script? 

I am very much a sense memory person.  I absolutely remember everything I was wearing (often down to my shoes and earrings) at seminal moments in my life.  I remember how the clothes felt; the texture, exact shades and cut of the fabric; the cost of the garment (I am a huge bargain hunter!); and most of all how the clothes made me feel. I may not remember the date, the year or who was with me but I can describe my outfit in ridiculous detail!

Do you have a favourite work from play author Nora Ephron? 

I LOVE When Harry Met Sally.  This is by far my favourite of her pieces!

Did you or do you have any articles of clothing that have a special significance to you? 

Oh yes! A pair of brown buckled flats that I wore all through junior high; a beautiful royal blue knit dress that caught my husband’s eye when we were students in University; a two piece navy silk outfit with a gorgeous V neck, short sleeve blouse, and calf length pleated skirt that made me feel tall and elegant; my dad’s cream and tan plaid wool jacket that I still wear to this day! I can go on for paragraphs! Clearly I love my clothes…

Love, Loss, and What I Wore features Gail Asper, Chrissy Troy, Janet Stewart, Nancy Sorel, and Debbie Maslowsky. This special fundraising event is happening for one night only this Thursday, April 20th at 7:30 PM! Tickets are going fast, but there are still a few available –  click here to get yours now!

What’s new at WJT? Read on!

 

jake

Jake Ehrenreich

A Jew Grows in Brooklyn Dec 13-14, 2014

Brownsville Memoir-Growing up in Brooklyn, in the shadow of the Shoah.When Jake Ehrenreich was growing up in Brownsville in the 1960s, he wanted nothing more than to be an American. But his Yiddish-speaking parents, who failed to understand the game of baseball or make sense of rock music, made it difficult for him to feel part of the mainstream culture. In his new one-man show, “A Jew Grows in Brooklyn,” directed by Jon Huberth, Ehrenreich explores how his family history, dominated by the shadow of the Holocaust, shaped the man he turned out to be.
Ehrenreich, 55, has appeared on Broadway in “Dancin”, “Barnum” and “They’re Playing Our Song.” He has also performed Yiddish music in two Off-Broadway productions, “Songs of Paradise” and “The Golden Land.

His father’s Hasidic family had been one of the wealthiest in Poland, but during the war both he and his wife ended up in a work camp in Siberia, where one of their daughters was born. After spending time in a displaced persons camp, the family came to America, where they tried to give their children a life free from the taint of victimhood.

But it was not to be. Ehrenreich and his two sisters grew up feeling, as he put it, that existence was “tenuous” and that the “world could end at any moment.” Yet he also shares many wonderful memories of his youth, from playing stoop ball to attending Shea Stadium to vacationing in the Catskills, where Ehrenreich began performing in a band at the tender age of 12. Indeed, Ehrenreich tells much of his life story through music; he is backed by four instrumentalists, playing songs ranging from “Brooklyn Roads” to “Doo Wah Diddy.” One striking moment in the show occurs when Ehrenreich recalls learning that almost all of his favorite composers were Jewish like him. For Ehrenreich, his show is ultimately a “celebration.” He quotes Billy Crystal, who quipped that performing a show about his life was like “a visit with my family every night.”

ABOUT THE SHOW
A smash hit in the heart of the Broadway, where it played for a more than a year and a half, A Jew Grows in Brooklyn is an “engaging, poignant and hilarious” (Palm Beach Post) comedy musical about the search for identity and meaning. The highly acclaimed show chronicles the life of Jake Ehrenreich; a uniquely talented American born child of Holocaust survivors.
From the streets of Brooklyn and struggle with his family’s past, to the laughter and rebirth of Catskills summers, to his mother and sisters heartbreaking early Alzheimers disease, this “tour de force performance” (Las Vegas Journal Review) is “a delightful journey that speaks to anyone hoping to live out the American Dream” (ABC TV).

The New York Times raves A Jew Grows in Brooklyn is “funny, touching and beautiful… you don’t have to be Jewish or Brooklynish…Jake Ehrenreich is Dazzling!” The Philadelphia Inquirer calls it “An uplifting treasure with universal appeal—in the same elevated company as Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays, and Chaz Palminteri’s A Bronx Tale.”

Through stories, comedy, music, and multi-media video and photos – including a classic Rock Medley (California Dreamin’, Secret Agent Man, Sunshine of Your Love), a multi-instrumental version of Louis Prima’s Sing, Sing, Sing, and even a selection of Yiddish songs – Jake mesmerizingly recreates his unforgettable journey of discovery and lessons learned. From the stoops of Brooklyn to Rock n’ Roll days–from the comedy and musical stages of the Catskills and Broadway to the bedsides of ailing parents and siblings, this show “has a glow all it’s own” (Chicago Tribune) and is “one of the most touching, soulful, and laugh out loud shows you’ll ever see!” (Jazz FM 91).

Jake’s story is personal and universal at the same time, and has now spawned a book by the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” Publishers A Jew Grows in Brooklyn, the Curious Reflections of a First Generation American (see Book page), a TV documentary and a related feature film.

The New York Times raves A Jew Grows in Brooklyn is “funny, touching and beautiful… you don’t have to be Jewish or Brooklynish…Jake Ehrenreich is Dazzling!”

Gala performance, Dec. 13, 2014, 8:00
$100.00 (includes gala wine reception and partial tax receipt)
Other performances Dec. 14, 2:00 and 7:00
Tickets $40.00 (plus fees and taxes)

The Buzz:
“Great timing, boundless energy… warm-hearted…Such Skill” Toronto Star
“A showstopper… heartfelt…Yanking on the heartstrings and jabbing at the
funny bone!” The Globe and Mail
““One of the most touching, soulful and laugh -out-loud shows you’ll ever see!“
Jazz.FM 91
”Excruciatingly funny!” Toronto Sun

The Facts:
A Jew Grows in Brooklyn – December 13-14, 2014
Berney Theatre – 123 Doncaster Street, Winnipeg
Tickets on Sale NOW
by calling (204) 477-7478

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