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Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas

keberoxu 31 Dec 19 - 06:01 PM
keberoxu 31 Dec 19 - 06:29 PM
Jack Campin 01 Jan 20 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 01 Jan 20 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Gerry 02 Jan 20 - 05:46 PM
Cool Beans 02 Jan 20 - 06:34 PM
meself 02 Jan 20 - 08:02 PM
robomatic 02 Jan 20 - 09:02 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jan 20 - 09:22 PM
GUEST,Felipa 03 Jan 20 - 12:22 PM
Jack Campin 03 Jan 20 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 03 Jan 20 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 03 Jan 20 - 03:04 PM
keberoxu 04 Jan 20 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,Felipa 07 Jan 20 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 08 Jan 20 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Felipa 08 Jan 20 - 07:57 PM
GUEST,Felipa 08 Jan 20 - 08:01 PM
Mrrzy 09 Jan 20 - 03:58 PM
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Subject: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: keberoxu
Date: 31 Dec 19 - 06:01 PM

This is not brand news, it has been around for a few years.
The film lasts less than an hour
(it makes for a tidy network broadcast with time for adverts).
The idea came from a filmmaker who was raised in
Jewish-American New York City,
and who now lives in Canada, where the film was produced.

Has anyone else seen "Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas" ?
In order to view the film online as a video,
I went here.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: keberoxu
Date: 31 Dec 19 - 06:29 PM

"Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas" is a highly entertaining,
family-friendly presentation that combines
staged performances of popular Christmas-season songs with
brief remarks about how Christmas is observed and celebrated,
in this era and in earlier historical epochs.

The setting for this series of performances is
a Chinese restaurant in New York City
(but don't ask me to tell you which restaurant).

The particular emphasis is on popular American song,
songwriters of Jewish-American origin,
and their success in contributing -- and earning a living from --
an occasion outside of their own Jewish way of life.

What I'm going to say is an opinion, not a critique as such:
I think one could take this very presentation
and produce it live on stage.
It is so good-humored and generous that
it would have the whole audience humming the tunes
as they left the auditorium/theater.   

Here are the songs in the order that they are presented.

"Winter Wonderland," performed by the Chinese restaurant staff.

"The Christmas Song," performed by
an African-American lady guest at the restaurant
(nice nod to Nat King Cole, there).

"Have a Holly Jolly Christmas",
performed in the kitchen by the line cooks.
Who then do a Chinese New Year Parade routine in the dining room.

"Silver Bells", performed by a customer waiting for
Chinese take-away by the cash register.

"Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer", performed by two ragged-looking musicians in the street outside the
Chinese restaurant, from which the staff emerges
with free plates of food for the musicians.

"Do You Hear What I Hear", performed in the dining room for the guests
by a singer and instrumentalist.

A Yiddish/Klezmer rendition of "Winter Wonderland"
performed by an Orthodox Jew at the piano in the dining room.

The End. I loved it!


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Jan 20 - 02:29 PM

This year Chinese New Year falls on Burns Night.

The Edinburgh tourist industry has a sizable leafletful of tie-in events as you might expect.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 01 Jan 20 - 04:10 PM

Oh, Jack, the mind boggles.

Especially after watching
"Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas,"

with everything being sung, acted, and played out
in a Chinese restaurant,
in the kitchen and dining room,
by actors/dancers of Chinese origin
as well as
the guests, an ethnically diverse lot.


Let me think:

a Chinese restaurant carrying on
about the sonsie face of a haggis !


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 02 Jan 20 - 05:46 PM

Old joke that may be relevant here:

“Chinese culture is old, perhaps 4000 years. But Jewish culture is 1000 years older! The only question is: How did we survive for 1000 years without Chinese food?”


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: Cool Beans
Date: 02 Jan 20 - 06:34 PM

That was fun! Thanks, keb!


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: meself
Date: 02 Jan 20 - 08:02 PM

I enjoyed it - but I felt it couldn't really decide what it wanted to be. It would have been far more effective as just a fanciful, dream-like memoir - all the talk got a little tedious, tbh.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: robomatic
Date: 02 Jan 20 - 09:02 PM

Sounds interesting:

From the ancient past: "Have a Jewish Christmas"

My only direct memory of the broadcast was a skit where 2 Jewish suburbanites are competing to out-do each other on Christmas decorations. One of them invites the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to sing on his lawn.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jan 20 - 09:22 PM

I'm looking at the video keberoxu recommended. Damn, it's good.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6zf9u8

Happy New Year! (a holiday we all can celebrate)

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: GUEST,Felipa
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 12:22 PM

Keberoxu
Apart from Burns Night, in Glasgow and I imagine in Edinburgh too, one can find the likes of an Indian restaurant offering Haggis curry on the menu.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 01:57 PM

There used to be a pub in Glasgow called Murphy's Pakora Bar.

The Edinburgh University Jewish Society used to have a Rabbi Burns Night every year and I imagine they still do. With next year being the Year of the Rat there's an obvious number to include with only slight adaptation.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 02:24 PM

The best laid plans of rats and men ...


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 03:04 PM

The trouble with "Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas"
is all the songs and songwriters
who got left out!

Quite right, of course,
to limit the program as it was done,
keeping it just the right length
to leave the public wanting more.

That's the thing: there are so many more!
The first one that comes to mind is
songwriter/showwriter Jerry Herman
(his Mudcat Obit thread has been deleted -- wonder why)
who gave us "Hello, Dolly" and "Mame."

And I was unaware, until just now checking, that
"Mame" is the source of

"We Need a Little Christmas"
which has always been one of my favorites.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Jan 20 - 05:04 PM

This is a link to something
that I have yet to watch / listen to.

Christmas and Chinese Restaurants


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: GUEST,Felipa
Date: 07 Jan 20 - 05:28 PM

Are other people seeing a lot of advertising in the midst of Keberoxu's long review posted 31 Dec.?

----
Tangentially related, you may be interested in YIVO's online courses re Yiddish folklore, culture and theatre:
https://yivo.org/Online-Classes
The institute also has live seminars in New York City and maintains the Ruth Rubin archive of Yiddish folksong.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 08 Jan 20 - 01:25 PM

Here is a short skit/sketch
about
Chinese dinner on Christmas for Jewish customers.

What Jews Do On Christmas


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: GUEST,Felipa
Date: 08 Jan 20 - 07:57 PM

well, that's a novel way to learn a bit of Chinese, Keberoxu
... more thread drift... people have been discussing the odd phrases included in the new Duolingo Scottish Gaelic course, like "Tha Iain a'goid drabhais" = Iain is stealing underpants. A useful comment was that this is a ploy in language learning; outrageous or silly comments help one to remember!


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: GUEST,Felipa
Date: 08 Jan 20 - 08:01 PM

"China saved my life and I love the Chinese":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU0xgvkvOUk and there are several youtube videos about "Exploring American Jews' tradition of eating Chinese at Christmas" ... I don't know what that has to do with Christmas songs though.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Jan 20 - 03:58 PM

"She carried the bones in the basket" from a Greek phrasebook.


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