+ Rabbi takes comedy shtick to Burns Court
If we’ve learned anything from Jerry Seinfeld, it’s that Jewish comedians can pack a house.
Sarasota Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman knows this, even if his day job is in a temple.
The witty rabbi earned big props this summer when he led an adult education class on Jewish jokes at Temple Emanu-El. The series, which covered 100 years of Jewish humor and storytelling, was such a hit that the congregation encouraged Glickman to take his comedy act on the road — well, in a manner of speaking.
The father of three will host an evening of free stand-up comedy in a cabaret-style setting at 7 p.m. Feb. 16, at Fresh Start Café in Burns Court. See what all the fuss is about. Gentiles are welcome.
+ Restaurant adds magic to its melting pot
I knew dipping your food in melted cheese is delicious, but “magical” seems like a bit of a stretch.
For weeks, a magician has been bouncing around The Melting Pot in downtown Sarasota.
As if fondue wasn’t exciting enough, he’s been wowing restaurant patrons with tableside sleight-of-hand tricks. (Think: your grandpa’s quarter-behind-the-ear ruse, but cooler.)
According to the restaurant, a magician will be on hand from 6 to 9 p.m. every Sunday through March 25.
Sounds like a good date to me. I wonder if my husband is reading.
+ Writer publishes addicting novel
OK, so the subject matter isn’t exactly light reading, but who doesn’t love a gritty novel from time to time? “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” has been at the top of best-seller lists for years.
East County resident Marni Mann’s first novel, “Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales: A Story of Addiction,” was released last month by the Seattle-based publishing house, Booktrope.
The 30-year-old writer grew up in Bangor, Maine, the hometown of Casey Key resident Stephen King, a novelist with an even darker imagination.
A property manager by day, Mann started and stopped several novels after graduating from the University of Maine eight years ago, until a first-person narrative about a girl struggling with heroine addiction took shape in her head.
A former journalism major, she gathered material for her book by interviewing and meeting with addicts. She listened to their language, watched them shoot up, sat beside them as they experienced highs and listened to them talk about lows.
She visited rehab facilities and questioned friends and family members whose lives have been affected by drug abuse — including her own.
“I needed to understand what (addicts) were seeing and feeling, how much they paid for the drug and what type of lingo they used,” Mann says. “I needed to understand all of it because I had to write a novel that was believable.”
Mission accomplished. The book, which is for sale on Amazon.com, is so believable that the author is repeatedly asked if it’s an actual memoir. It’s not. She barely drinks.
+ It takes a village to raise a Jewish library
If you’ve seen “Yentl” at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, please tell me you paid close attention to the meticulously detailed library crafted by the theater’s brilliant scene shop.
The vision of Chicago-based set designer Brian Sidney Bembridge, the show’s massive floor-to-ceiling religious library is stocked with 1,262 prayer books constructed out of Styrofoam.
To bolster the show’s authenticity, Bembridge asked that some of the faux foam books have Hebrew lettering printed along the binding.
The job was no small feat. (Hebrew script is complicated!) So, to help speed things along, Asolo Rep staffer Carole Goff organized a committee of local volunteers who were either artists or fluent in Hebrew, including her mother, Harriet Krass, and the theater’s systems administrator, Joe Pelish.
In October, the group met at the Koski Production Center, where they noshed on bagels and lox and for, three hours, printed Hebrew letters in gold marker along the spines of 300 books.
“We had a grand old time,” Krass says. “They came out absolutely gorgeous.”
Take that, techies. The next time you sing the praises of your e-reader, imagine how dull things would be if you read “Yentl” from a Kindle.
‘God of Carnage’: The Asolo Repertory Theatre receives a gold star for good timing. Just as Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” hit move theaters this month, the play on which the film is based — Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage” — opened in the Mertz Theatre. This searing Tony Award-winner about petulant parents meeting to discuss their petulant sons will leave you feeling less guilty about that awkward comment you made last weekend at your in-law’s place. The show runs now through April 6 at the Asolo Rep. For tickets, call 351-8000 or visit asolorep.org.