Jewish Hollywood, 4 Stars

Jewish Hollywood
Upstairs at the Gatehouse
16th March to 17th April 2022

“The Jews of Hollywood invented the ‘American Dream’. Although they came from poverty-stricken shtetls, they ended up in Californian mansions. And they sold the world a ‘Technicolor’ fantasy version of American life.
‘JEWISH HOLLYWOOD’ is a revue crammed full of songs, which explores the reality as well as the glitz!
It tells stories of ambition, insecurity and sacrifice. What was the price paid for assimilation? How did the Jews of Hollywood confront anti-Semitism? How did the Holocaust change their depiction of Jews on-screen? How badly hit were they by the notorious blacklisting of the 1950s?
And what caused the rebirth of Jewish cinema in the 1960s – giving rise to stars like Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Dustin Hoffman?”

From the producer who brought you RAGS, The Jewish Legends, The Great Jewish American Songbook, That’s Jewish Entertainment and Bar Mitzvah Boy
Katy Lipson for ARIA ENTERTAINMENT presents
Script by Chris Burgess
Direction and Choreography by Cressida Carré
Musical arrangements by Andy Collyer
Musical Direction by Amir Shoenfield
Starring: Sue Kelvin, MacKenzie Mellen, Jack Reitman and Howard Samuels

Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars

What a wonderful evening of well-known songs, performed with panache and great flair by 4 wonderful charismatic vocalists! Every song delivered with joie de vivre!

Chris Burgess has put together a thoroughly entertaining whirlwind show that trips the light fantastic through the history of Hollywood, showcasing the Jewish powerhouse that drove it through World War events, adversity and controversy. Never flinching from the betrayals, nor glossing over bad behaviour, always fast-paced, this production zings from start to finish. And who doesn’t love to hear some of the finest music ever composed! 37 songs presented within a 2 hour show (including an interval). Backed up with a live band who play with sensitivity and balance without drowning out the live singers. This is a show for everyone to enjoy!

You can’t put on a show like this without a brilliant cast. Sue Kelvin, MacKenzie Mellen, Jack Reitman and Howard Samuels rock! Each and every one perform with incredible vocals and charisma bringing individuality and prowess.

It’s a  show with loads of content, but very stripped back in staging and set, and occasionally it felt as though the choreography could do with a few more performances to have chance to bed in. It does feel much simpler and less glamorous than “That’s Jewish Entertainment” which was an earler version of this production. But, despite this, there is a lot of emotional tugs in this delightful evening, with a strong and important message, not to be missed.

Tickets and further information:
Upstairs At The Gatehouse

Photo Credit: Louis Burgess