Jewish Shows for Adults
Betty has performed at Bar Mitzvahs,
college Hillels, weddings, donor dinners, 80th birthday parties, and
all kinds of events in between. Programs include humorous and touching
tales of familial and romantic love; immigration tales; folk tales
and literary stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer, I. L. Peretz, David
Einhorn and others. Songs and niggunim (wordless melodies)
round out the programs. The following is a selected list of stories
and songs which Betty performs most frequently. Many others are available.
Most shows run 45-55 minutes.
Challahs in the Ark: In 1492 a poor immigrant to the Holy Land
brings bread to the Temple, believing he is serving God. He learns
that helping another person is just as important.
Chicken Soup, an original love song to Jewish penicillin
The Golden Mountain edited by Howard Schwartz: The princess
who wants to know everything is imprisoned because of her lack of
restraint, and is rescued by one who also loves learning.
Lena's Story: An original family
story of intercultural love. Betty's great aunt and uncle leave Russia,
spend twenty years in China, and finally emigrate to the US.
Ballad of Erica Levine a song by Bob Blue: Erica doesn't want
to belong to anyone; when she decides to finally get married,
her story doesn't end happily ever after - "but they tended to
be happy more often than not."
Joe: Joe Glashow came from Russia, worked in the West Virginia
coal mines, served in WWI, smuggled his parents out of Russia, married
the love of his life, and writes his brothers back in the old country
after 57 years.
the Kvetch by Carol Chapman: Meshka complains all the time - about
her son ("He's so lazy he's like a bump on a pickle!"),
her daughter, her health... until the day that all her kvetching comes
true, and she must learn to "look on the bright side of things...
see the bagel instead of the hole."
The Old Siddur by David Einhorn:
A family prayerbook is lost and then re-discovered, and a grandmother
is honored with a baby's name.
Who Wanted to See God by Molly Cone:
A privileged child learns the meaning of compassion.
The Blue Shawl, a Russian
Memoir (grades 4 and up, adults)
Twelve-year-old Emma and her mother must
cross Russia on an orphan train in the winter of 1920-1921, journeying
to say goodbye to Emma's grandparents, who are leaving for America.
They bring a shawl as a going-away present. But on the train, Emma's
mother becomes dangerously ill and Emma must care for her. Emma finds
a strength and maturity she didn't know she had. Many years later,
Emma herself goes to America, and is reunited with the shawl. At the
end of the show, Betty produces the shawl which inspired the tale.
Based on a true story from Betty's grandmother's memoirs. This exquisitely
detailed, meticulously researched piece includes original music scored
and performed live by Larry Unger on guitar and mandolin. Best for
middle and high schools, Jewish adults, libraries, and others with
an interest in immigration, or Russian or Jewish history. Teacher
resource packet included.
70 minutes, plus Q&A.
I have never seen an audience more transfixed... We were very privileged
to host such an exceptional event.
- Kitty Schacht, Librarian, Framingham Public Library, MA