Jewish Voice of Peace gets a big yasher koah for lining up some of the most talented theater people in the US and UK to support the decision of Israeli actors not to appear in the Occupied Territories. That decision was backed also by a list of Israeli academics and cultural icons of the Zionist and non-Zionist left.
What is interesting about JVP's list that it doesn't include just the usual suspects. OK, so Vanessa Redgrave is there. But so is somebody who almost never signs petitions, the great Broadway composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim. In fact, the number of first-time signers demonstrates that every day more and more people are jumping on the "No-business-as-usual-in-the-Occupation" bandwagon.
Among the signatories I noticed one of the giants of the Broadway musical stage, Sheldon Harnick, who wrote the lyrics for the Fiddler on the Roof. Of course, his approval is not needed to put on the show in Ariel, and the Cameri Theater may one day bring it there.
But I know one Tevye who won't appear there: the legendary Theodore Bikel, who has played Tevye more times, apparently, than Topol. He, too, is a signatory.And here is another Tevye who has endorsed the actor's letter, singing Harnick's "If I Were a Rich Man" in a recent Jerusalem production of Fiddler.
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Shanah Tovah/Happy New Year!