Wonderful article today, "Off-Broadway and Nearer to God: It's Curtain Time At A Synagogue," in the NY Times about the Actors' Temple Theatre where we open on Thursday. (You may need to register to view the article, but it's free).
Sounds like a good show!
Impressive, those names in the sanctuary of the little synagogue on West 47th Street in Manhattan: Joe E. Lewis and Sophie Tucker on the stained-glass windows, Jack Benny on a plaque in the rear. The names tell you why, in its golden age, this synagogue became known as the Actors’ Temple. They also tell you something about when that golden age was.
Recently — say, oh, during the last half-century — this temple, with a declining membership and a vanishing budget, has not been doing so well. So starting with an official opening night tomorrow, the Actors’ Temple, for the first time in its 89-year history, will be moonlighting as an Off Broadway theater.
“Maybe we’re returning to our roots,” said Alan Kifferstein, president of the temple’s board.
The first show, “The Big Voice: God or Merman?,” is about a Roman Catholic from Brooklyn and a Baptist from Arkansas who find spiritual solace in musical theater and each other. Hey, you can’t always book a show like “A Jew Grows in Brooklyn” (and believe them, they tried).