Mini Series brightens winter for Jewish fest fans
Stereo Sinai, made up of Alan Sufrin and Miriam Brosseau, will perform their “Biblegum pop” at the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival Mini Series on Nov. 13.
Greater Chicago Jewish Festival Mini Series
at Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
Nov. 6-Jan. 28
$20 per concert or $170 for all 10 concerts, 15 percent discount for purchasing five or more concerts at once
(847) 677-7761, www.skokietheatre.com
Updated: November 1, 2011 10:25PM
About 20,000 arts lovers gather every other year at a forest preserve in Morton Grove to enjoy the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival. The next event is Sunday, June 10, 2012.
But, festival chairman Michael M. Lorge, who co-founded the event in 1980 with his wife, Susie Fox Lorge, thinks people shouldn’t have to wait that long to see all of those acts. So, he’s planned the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival Mini Series at the Skokie Theatre, where 10 concerts are scheduled between Nov. 6 and Jan. 28, featuring festival favorites.
“Part of the festival’s mission
has always been to showcase local talent, whether it’s fine arts or music or other aspects of Jewish cultural expression,” Lorge said. “In the festival setting, we always struggle to keep that as part of our focus while, at the same time, bringing in performers from other parts of the country.”
The Mini Series is consistent with the festival’s mission, he said.
Lorge added, “We find the Skokie Theatre such a marvelous place. It’s intimate and has wonderful acoustics. It provides the opportunity to create the feel that we want — intimate musical experiences on cold winter nights.”
The Mini Series opens at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, with a double bill starring Steve Justman and the Modern Klezmer Quartet featuring Lisa Fishman. Justman said his performance will be “a nostalgic evening of vintage folk and Americana. I’m going to be doing a lot of songs that people know, encouraging a little singing along and taking them down memory lane.”
Justman hadn’t chosen his set at press time, but indicated that he will be doing covers of songs by Peter, Paul and Mary, the Kingston Trio, Hank Williams and even Dean Martin. The performer will accompany himself on guitar and banjo.
“Unfortunately not at the same time,” he joked.
Justman, who attended many of the festivals before performing there for the first time in 2010, praised the event.
“It brings the whole Jewish community together no matter where you fit into it,” he said.
A week later, at 7 p.m. on Nov. 13, Stereo Sinai will perform what they refer to as “Biblegum pop,” or stolen lyrics from God. The music that duo Miriam Brosseau and Alan Sufrin perform is all their own, though.
“We do pop music in Biblical Hebrew,” Brosseau said. “We like to have fun with it. We take the text seriously. We try and put together solid pop music that has a good hook and a good feeling to it. We’re excited to bring a really vibrant show to the stage.”
They’ll present songs from their soon to be released double album, “Biblegum Pop” and “The Revelation will not be Televised.”
The New York-based duo also performed at the 2010 festival.
“It’s a unique community event,” Brosseau said. “It’s something very special to be a part of. It’s a wonderful sense of camaraderie and coming together around the arts and culture. It’s a rare and beautiful thing.”
The Mini Series continues with Rabbi Joe Black singing songs of spiritual awareness at 7 p.m. on Nov. 27; Listen Up! performing a cappella at 8 p.m. on Dec. 3; klezmer, jazz and Jewish rock by Ruby Harris at 8 p.m. on Dec. 11; and Kumsitz, a Chanukah celebration with Rabbi Michael Weinberg and Bruce Herst, at 4 p.m. on Dec. 25.
In 2012, Shakshuka will give a twist of jazz to Hebrew songs at 8 p.m. on Jan. 7; Tracy Friend and Andy Dennen will have a CD release party for their Jewish soul album at 8 p.m. on Jan. 14; Maxwell Street Klezmer will take the stage at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22; and Kol Sasson will conclude the series with Israeli and American folk songs at 8 p.m. on Jan. 28.