Sex, Kabbalah, and the Academy at Fringe
NYC theater festival starts this week
The New York International Fringe Festival, that annual summer smorgasbord of off-off-off-Broadway theater, will include a handful of Jewish-themed plays this year among its 200-odd offerings when it opens tomorrow. For one, there’s Sex and the Holy Land, which began as the undergraduate thesis project of playwright Melanie Zoey Weinstein, now 23. Inspired by organized trips to Israel Weinstein went on in high school and college, it has a “girls just want to have fun, sex in the Holy Land vibe, but it’s about so much more,” she told the New Jersey Jewish News. Then there’s The Secret of Our Souls: A Kabbalistic Love Story, in which “the Baal Shem Tov (John Lopez) and his wife, Chana (Alexis Fishman) battle false messiah Jacob Frank (Adam Reich) over the Jewish blood libel,” according to the Jewish Week. The musical, by Sesame Street songwriting veterans Ben Goldstein and Philip Namanworth, won’t play on Shabbat and will be performed Orthodox-style one night, with no women singing, according the Jerusalem Post. And Peace Warriors, by Israeli-American historian Doron Ben-Atar, lampoons a group of philandering anti-Zionist professors; when it played in Washington, D.C. last month, The New Republic called it a “savagely witty satire of elite American academics, and their attitudes toward the Middle East.” We’ll have reviews early next week.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.