Arizona Onstage Productions will present “Stars of David: A New Musical,” based on Abigail Pogrebin’s 2005 bestseller, subtitled “Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish,” April 15 and 16 at the Berger Performing Arts Center.
The musical revue presents little known stories about some of the most famous Jews of our times, from Leonard Nimoy to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, featuring music and lyrics by more than a dozen different composers and lyricists, including Michael Feinstein and Marvin Hamlisch.
The show combines songs with anecdotes from the book, such as Natalie Portman dishing about growing up on Long Island, explains Dolly Spalding, manager of Arizona Onstage Productions. Some of the songs and stories are funny and others, she says, are sad and poignant.
Norman Lear is lampooned in a song called “The Book of Norman,” while a ditty about Gwyneth Paltrow is called “Who Knew Jew” because “she looks like Grace Kelly,” says Spalding.
The song about Ginsburg, whose mother died the day before Ginsburg’s high school graduation, “makes me cry every time,” says Spalding.
The show is directed by Arizona Onstage founder Kevin Johnson, with two-time Grammy-nominated local artist Hank Feldman as music director.
For ticket information, visit arizonaonstage.org.