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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)
“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!“
”Excruciatingly funny!” Toronto Sun
A Jew Grows in Brooklyn – December 13-14, 2014
Berney Theatre – 123 Doncaster Street, Winnipeg
Tickets on Sale NOW
by calling (204) 477-7478