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Beau Jest

The Concert and Theatre Arts Series at B’nai Torah and Producer/Director Shari Upbin will bring James Sherman’s ‘comedy with romance’, Beau Jest, to the B’nai Torah Stage for one performance only, on February 22nd at 7:30 pm. Now in its 21st season, The Concert Series at B’nai Torah has proven to be a popular program for congregational members and non-members alike.  The Theatre Series, spearheaded by Cantor Udi Spielman and Producer/Director Shari Upbin, was added three years ago.

Sarah Goldman is a nice Jewish girl with a problem:  her parents want her married – to a nice Jewish boy, of course. They’ve never met Sarah’s boyfriend, who happens to have the unfortunate name of Chris Kringle, and who doesn’t exactly fit that description, so to make them happy she invents Dr. David Steinberg – the man of their dreams.  When they insist upon meeting Dr. Steinberg, Sarah contacts an escort service to provide her with a Jewish date – but instead they send her Bob Schroeder, an out of work actor who agrees to perform the impersonation.  Sarah’s mother – armed with challah and lokshen kugel sets out to snare this Beau for her daughter with hilarious mix ups and consequences!

“When Cantor Udi Spielman asked me to bring a comedy to B’nai Torah, I immediately thought of the wonderful Beau Jest by James Sherman, the author of the highly successful Door To Door – which I also directed for our Theatre Series,” Director Upbin says. “This well-crafted play has a lot to say about families of any ethnic persuasion. Coming from a family devoted to comedy – my dad was a writer for Jack Benny – it was a wonderful experience blending farce with a genuine insight into this family I knew so well.

“Jewish mothers are a tribute to society,” she continues. “I miss my own Jewish, mother but now that I have grown children of my own, I get the opportunity – over and over again – to pass down the very statements my own mother used to say to me. “So… that’s what you are wearing?” is now an anthem filled with love and familiarity. I believe our audiences will enjoy seeing the Goldman family on stage!”

Emily Freeman, who recently placed first in the National Society of Arts and Letters Musical Theatre competition will play Sarah Goldman.  Roy Lynam, Christopher Mitchell, Larry Bramble, Chris Anthony Ferrer, and Phyllis Spear round out Upbin’s talented cast.

James Sherman is the author of numerous plays, including The God of Isaac, Mr. 80%, The Escape Artist, Romance in D, From Door to Door, The Old Man’s Friend, Affluenza, and Jacob and Jack. He began his professional career as a writer and performer with The Second City in Chicago and received an M.F.A. degree from Brandeis University. Since 1985, he has had thirteen plays premiered at the Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, and he was a founding member of the Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble. His plays have been published and are regularly produced by theatres throughout the United States and have also been seen in Canada, Mexico, Australia, South America, England, Germany, Austria, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, China, and Korea.

Beau Jest will play for one performance, only – on Wednesday, February 22nd, at 7:30 pm at Congregation B’nai Torah in Boca Raton.  Tickets are $45 ($36 for congregational members), and may be purchased by calling 561-392-8566 or on line at www.bnai-torah.org.  Group rates are available.

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