NJT nominations, local NA’AMAT office closing

Jacqueline Thompson and Jim Butz perform in New Jewish Theatre’s 2017 production of ‘Intimate Apparel.’  Photo: Eric Woolsey

Ellen Futterman, Editor

Dress for success

Congratulations to the New Jewish Theatre, whose show “Intimate Apparel” last year earned the second highest number of production nominations from the St. Louis Theater Circle. The group released its 2018 award nominees last week for locally produced professional theater performed in 2017.

NJT had a total of eight production nominations, following right behind Stray Dog Theatre’s “Ragtime” production, which received the top number of nine. Among the categories NJT received accolades in were outstanding ensemble in a drama, outstanding actress in a drama, outstanding supporting actress in a drama (with two nominations) and outstanding supporting actor in a drama.

“We are thrilled for the success of ‘Intimate Apparel’ in all of the mentioned categories,” said Kathleen Sitzer, artistic director of NJT. “It was by all accounts a magnificent production and we’re glad to see it, and those involved, get the recognition they deserve.”

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis led the number of nominations, with 23, followed by Stray Dog Theatre, with 17.  In total, 27 production companies had more than 60 nominations.

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This is the sixth year of the awards. All professional St. Louis productions are eligible; touring shows are not.

The awards will be announced at a gala ceremony on Monday, March 26 at the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts in Webster Groves. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and tickets, at $15, are available through brownpapertickets.com

Jewish organization office closing

The St. Louis Council of NA’AMAT USA (formerly known as Pioneer Women) is closing its local office on Warson Road on Jan. 31. In a letter to its membership, Beverly Stuhlman, president of the St. Louis Council, explained that “due to financial limitations” the office is closing, but she assured members that “the work of our organization is continuing.”

For more than 85 years NA’AMAT USA has supported the women and children of Israel.  NA’AMAT (a Hebrew acronym for working women and volunteers) provides a broad range of social services in communities throughout Israel and the United States, ranging from day care centers to domestic violence shelters, from legal aid to alternative high schools and senior centers. 

In recent years, the St. Louis Council has focused its efforts on promoting equal rights for women as well as programs dealing with health issues affecting women. Locally, it also has supported the Jewish Book Festival and the Jewish Film Festival as well as Project Backpack for abused and neglected children.

“While the (physical) office in St. Louis is closing, it will continue to operate virtually,” said Shari Erlich, administrative director of the Midwest Area NA’AMAT office based in suburban Chicago.

In her letter to local membership, Stuhlman provided the phone numbers of NA’AMAT St. Louis members in charge of tributes, scholarships, tree planting, scrip and special gifts, so that people could keep on volunteering and donating. “Groups will continue to function in their usual manner,” she said. “Our friendships are golden and there will be events so we can continue to see each other.”

For more information, call 314-993-3033 or email [email protected]mail.com or contact the Midwest office at 773-727-1410.

Singing for a cause

The 9th annual Sing for Siteman benefit concert will be held at 6 p.m., Saturday, March 17, at the Performing Arts Center at John Burroughs School, 755 S. Price Road. Proceeds benefit the Siteman Cancer Center’s Discovery Fund in support of cancer research projects. 

The event will feature four artists from the Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ 2018 Opera Tastings series: soprano Mary-Hollis Hundley, mezzo-soprano Melody Wilson, tenor Joshua Blue, and baritone Robert Mellon. Members of the event’s steering committee include Fran Zamler, Margie Jaffe, Alice Handelman, Susan Sherman, Susie Knopf, Phyllis Langsdorf and Mueriel Carp. Both Handelman and Carp are members of the Jewish Light’s Board of Trustees.

Tickets are $100 for preferred seating, $50 for general seating and $25 for students. For tickets and more information, call 314-961-0644, or go to  singforsiteman.org.

Pre-game with Gabe

If you’re looking for some pre-Super Bowl action, or just want to be better informed politically, consider “an afternoon with Gabe Fleisher” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, at the University City Library’s auditorium, 6701 Delmar Blvd.

Gabe, a 16-year-old student at John Burroughs School and son of Rabbi Randy Fleisher of Central Reform Congregation, has written a political newsletter/blog called “Wake Up To Politics” each morning since he was 9 years old.  The blog provides an in-depth and comprehensive summary of national political stories for the day.

In May, Gabe was the subject of a long profile in the New York Times, which called his blog, “a surprisingly sophisticated, well-researched summary of the day’s political news.”  

Before the Times story was published, Fleisher’s newsletter had just over 2,000 followers. It now boasts more than 48,000 subscribers, including reporters and editors from The Atlantic, Politico, the Washington Post, USA Today, and The New York Times, not to mention the Jewish Light.

The event at the library is free and refreshments will be served.