Meet the Rosenstocks – a mom and daughter performing together in NJT’s ‘Jerry’s Girls’

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Lisa and Greta Rosenstock

By Bill Motchan , Special to the Jewish Light

The New Jewish Theatre’s current performance of “Jerry’s Girls: The Jerry Herman Revue,” features the music of one of Broadway’s greatest Jewish composers. Jerry Herman wrote popular hits like “Mame,” “La Cage aux Folles” and “Hello, Dolly!”

The cabaret-style ensemble cast includes two members of the same family, Lisa Rosenstock and her daughter Greta. A former Jewish Star competition finalist, Greta Rosenstock, 26, is currently the choir leader at Rockwood Valley Middle School. She’s also a song leader at United Hebrew Congregation. Lisa Rosenstock, 58, is a talented singer as well. She toured with a college group and had lead roles in “Peter Pan,” “My Fair Lady,” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” The duo recently talked to the Jewish Light about working on stage together.

How did you get involved with “Jerry’s Girls?”

Greta: It was a little bit of a roundabout way that led to callback and casting. Through a couple of connections at the J and hearing about it and being encouraged by people we knew to audition, we both threw our names in the hat and then went through the audition process and we were fortunate enough to both get cast.

Is this the first time the two of you have performed in the same cast?

Lisa: We’ve done little cabaret shows in nursing homes and community theater, but this is the first professionally. We did a show together, Greta’s first, when she was 5 years old. Her older brother was in it, too. That’s when I learned it’s a lot of work to be in the show with your children. That’s not the case anymore. Now Greta helps me!

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How does it feel being together on stage?

Greta: It’s really special, it’s really cool. I was away for college, and I was in New York City for three years, and then I lived in Spain. Getting to come back to the stage and to do it with my mom in our hometown, it heightens it. 

Lisa: This is like a little dream that I don’t think I ever would have even dared to dream. I keep thinking I have to remember this moment right now because this is so rare for us to get to do this. 

Are there moments that are especially emotional for you?

Greta: We do this one duet together. We try to just go and have fun. And to get to sing that song, “The Best of Times is Now,” to sing that holding her hand at the end of the show is really special. And I wouldn’t be doing any of this if I hadn’t watched her doing it while I was growing up.”

Did you know much about Jerry Herman’s work before this project?

Lisa: I was in “Mame” years ago and grew up listening to “Hello, Dolly.” I was pretty familiar with his songs and his music.

Do you anticipate having friends and extended family members in the audience?

Greta: I think so. It’s not very often that you have a mother-daughter duo that are doing this, so that’s really cool. And for it to be a whole family and family friend affair, it’s really special.

Lisa: I keep teasing friends that they get to see two Rosenstocks for the price of one.

Can you describe the vibe of the show?

Greta: It’s like you’re walking into a nightclub cabaret. It feels like a celebration, and it’s just a very upbeat show—fast-paced, great music, great people and intimate at the same time. Each of us connects to our own songs in our own way. There’s a lot of opportunity for the audience to do the same as each song is presented.

Lisa: The other three women in the cast (Molly Burris, Christina Rios and Kelsey Bearman) are incredible and fun and professional and great to work with, and Ellen Isom, the director, and Cullen (Curth), the young pianist. His parents have to be so crazy proud of him. He’s incredible.

Lisa, in addition to performing, can you share some of your work with 100 Women Who Care?

Lisa: It’s a giving circle. We get together four times a year and vote on a charity that we all write a $100 check to. Our last donation was $5,900 to St. Louis Help (a free health equipment lending program).

“Jerry’s Girls” runs through Sunday, Dec. 18 at the Wool Theatre, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. Tickets are available here.