Jew You Love Me? - Israel tour
On November 2018 we were invited to perform Jew You Love Me? in The International Jewish Performing Arts Festival. We were also extremely lucky to be one of only a few shows to have more than one performance, making this a really incredible opportunity to give Israeli audiences a refreshing take on contemporary issues that are relevant to the modern Jewish cultural debate.
The International Jewish Performing Arts Festival is a celebration of theatre, music, dance and more held at the Beit Mazia performing arts centre in the heart of Israel, Jerusalem. International companies from around the world, as well as the very best Israeli artists, are brought together for six days to showcase work from across the Jewish spectrum.
About the show
Jew You Love Me? is an original new musical about love, sexuality, and self discovery. It is a lighthearted comedy conceived by the JEWish Cabaret, following their successful productions of Purim – Uncut! in 2017 & early 2018.
With a refreshingly new take on the challenges of relationships, romance, and religion, Jew You Love Me? received great reviews at its debut run at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in July 2018, and is sure to touch Israeli audiences as we take it on tour in Israel.
The musical tells the story of Gabi - a Jewish girl who ends up finding love in an unexpected partner, Ethan and Alon - a gay couple struggling with the concept of monogamy and hetero-normative love, and Bracha - a religious woman who’s too afraid to explore her sexuality.
There is no cliché boy-meets-girl fairy tale here. The JEWish Cabaret gives you the unfiltered story of 21st century love. Complex. Messy. Imperfect. Sexual. Vulnerable. Beautiful.
Putting on a full-scale musical over 3,000 miles away is no mean feat, especially with a cast of 9, a director, producer and musical director. The only way we were able to make this incredible opportunity a reality is by raising £7,000, and we reached out to friends, family and supporters of The JEWish Cabaret to help us reach our target.
Thanks to the amazing support we've received both in Israel and from within the UK we managed to raise the money and make this dream come true!
The money we raise was used to pay for:
flights to and from Israel, travel, accommodation and food during the festival, recording of a cast album, costume, props, set, sound and lighting.
Why was this important to us?
We see our participation in the festival as a great opportunity for several reasons:
Both David and Shar, the co-founders of The JEWish Cabaret and the writers of the musical, have strong ties to Jerusalem and are invested in its cultural future. David grew up in the city and Shar spent over ten years there studying and volunteering following his army service. They see their participation in the festival as an opportunity to give back to Jerusalem.
Furthermore, the topic of dealing with one’s sexual identity in light of what an Orthodox Jewish family may dictate to us, is a subject that is close to our hearts and that we have experienced either first-hand or through close friends. This conflict of religion and sexual-identity is an integral motif in the musical, and is an issue that is extremely relevant in Israel.
On a professional level, we believe that creating ties between the Musical Theatre scenes in the United Kingdom and Israel could have a tremendous positive effect and provides a fantastic platform for future cooperation. Our visit was a great opportunity to exchange knowledge and share our creative process with contemporaries in Israel.
GOD IS LOVE
Check out the official trailer for ‘Jew You Love Me? - A New Musical’ following our sold out run at the Lion and Unicorn last month!
Our cast and crew are working hard at making the show even better, and we should be able to release even more exciting news about where we are performing next shortly.
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We dedicated the song "God is Love" to the Jerusalem Equality March, and to all the Rabbis who have forgotten their obligation to love others as themselves.
The song describes the inner turmoil of Bracha, a young Orthodox woman facing the all too known supposed contradiction between her love of God and her love of women.
From the reviews
LONDON PUB THEATRES (Sepy Baghaei) “a little musical with a big heart”
"It is clear that Djemal and Shamai understand the ingredients of a successful musical. There is tension in each of the three major threads, broken up by a number of strong comedic interludes’.
Building on the music, there was an overall sense of joy, celebration and positivity throughout which was lovely to see.
Overall, The Jewish Cabaret have pulled off something quite special. Jew You Love Me? simultaneously delves into what it can mean to look for love as a member of the British-Jewish community, while presenting narratives that can also be related to by audience members of non-Jewish backgrounds."
breaking-the-fourth-wall.com (Michael Davis)
"Jew You Love Me? has the distinction of not only being a British musical, it focuses on the seldom explored subject of being Jewish in the UK – as part of society as a whole and within their own community. Set within Golders Green in north London, the fictitious nexus of this neighbourhood is a café called ‘Desire’."
"Religious traditions are brought into question in Jew You Love Me?, a musical that ultimately sends out a message that ... Love expresses itself in many different ways, and various forms of sexual orientations and consented relationships all have their place in the modern world, and should be celebrated.
Because of the convincing plotlines, the show overall leaves its audiences with a mixture of feelings. This is not a straightforward comedy. It is more of a multi-layered tale of lust, love and loss... there is still much to be taken away from a compelling and accessible production that refreshingly departs from ‘A meets B and they live happily ever after in perpetual bliss’."
Life in the cheap seats - Webcowgirl's London Theatre Reviews
"And LOOK, here I was in London in 2018, and the community that I am not a part of but which lives side by side with me is doing their own theater, theater that represents THEM, and I am having this opportunity to get to learn about another culture and other values and, look at Bracha, the same conflicts and heartaches that have been going on for centuries when you want to fit in, you want to do right, but you just can’t seem to live up to what is expected of you."
David DjemalWriter / Diretcor / Co-producer
David is an actor who has performed professionally both in Israel & the UK.
David studied acting at the Stella Adler Studio in New York as well as the Royal Academy of Music in London, graduating with distinction.
Recent credits: Behrouz Boochani in CITIZEN (The Space Theatre) and Benny in SCOOP (The Rose Playhouse), as well as providing voice work for notable film & TV projects including ENTEBBE, THE CROWN (Netflix), and BBC’s McMAFIA.
Shar ShamaiWriter / Diretcor / Co-producer
Shar is a Musical Theatre performer and a voice teacher. He recently completed his second MA degree in music - MA Musical Theatre, at The Guildford School of Acting (GSA). Shar came to the UK after graduating with an MA in Classical Singing at the Jerusalem Academy of Music & Dance.
Anna OggeroAssistant producer
Anna trained in Italy as a performer at Accademia dello Spettacolo and she has a MA in Law. There she worked as a musical theatre teacher and as a performer. Credits include Nabucco, The Sound of Musical, Solo Chi Sogna and JCSS. She moved to London to do the MA in Musical Theatre at Goldsmiths. As freelance producer she worked on Under-the-Skin and Baby Love by Tik-sho-ret, she is Co-Producing Butterfly Lovers The Musical and Production Manager of Opera Co-Pro Ltd.
Emily Rose SimonsCo-writer
Emily is a London based musical theatre writer. She is an alum of the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at Tisch, NYU, The CRY HAVOC Company apprenticeship program and Book, Music, Lyrics workshops in London. She is currently a participant in the Advance Mercury Musical Developments Workshop. www.songsofemilyrose.com . Composer-Lyricist credits include: The Inconvenient Miracle, Confessions of A Rabbi’s Daughter, Yet, My Mum. Composer credits include: Far From Heaven.
Tanya TrumanTanya trained at London School of Musical Theatre, and will be playing the roles of Hermione/Riversong in "Harry Poppers & Doctor Whosical - The Musical" at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018.
Musical Theatre credits: "The Inconvenient Miracle" at Theatre Royal Stratford East, BEAM 2018. "Rasputin Rocks!" at the Stockwell Playhouse, "You Won't Succeed on Broadway (If You Don't Have Any Jews!)" at the Garrick Theatre, and "Love Story" at The Union Theatre.
Adi LoyaOriginaly from Israel, Adi moved to the UK to follow her heart, her passion and her partner.
Since coming to the UK in 2012 she appeared in several plays and musicals, including taking part in The JEWish Cabaret’s fundraiser evening in June 2017.
She recently performed the double lead role of Charlotte Rosner / Bube in play Under the Skin that performed in The Old Red Lion Theatre in London this March. The play was received warmly by the audience and reviewers alike.
Josh BeckerBorn in Israel to British parents, Josh moved to London in 2006 to attend Arts Ed, from where he graduated from with a BA (Hons) in acting in 2009. Josh has since worked on stage - working with various companies including TNT & Menagerie Theatre, film (Woman in Gold) & TV (McMafia, Silent Witness). After much toil and agony, Josh finally found love when he met his wife-to-be Nomi. They are happily married for nearly two years, and parents to Mia, born March this year.
Ido GonenIdo Gonen moved to London, having graduated with honours from Beit-Zvi, Israel’s leading performing arts school and after completing a two-year run in the Tel-Aviv production of Mel Brooks’ The Producers. Credits in London include: Leon Czolgosz in All Star Production’s Assassins (Theatro Technis), Dino Valentino in Loving Art! (Landor). Vlad in Head – The musical (Keneth Moore). Ensemble in Me And My Girl and Crazy For You (London Palladium) and in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Adelphi).
Batel IsraelBatel trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama as well as with 'The Bridge Theatre Company' and currently represented by MAA agency.
Batel just completed a successful run of the play ‘Under the Skin’ as Ida Berman /Dr Schmidt /Cabaret host at Brighton Fringe Festival & The Old Red Lion Theatre as well as at Camden Fringe festival & 'Women and War' festival last year.
Batel just finished filming a role in the upcoming Irish TV series ‘Finding Joy’.
Ashley RacovAshley Racov is thrilled to once again be working with The JEWish Cabaret on their second 'Purim Cabaret'. Having spent many years training abroad, she returned to the UK to further develop her skills by training at Southampton Solent University. Other than working on this incredible show, Ashley is also continuing to develop her own writing as well as working on the Fringe sell out show 'Harry Poppers and the Deathly Swallows' which is on its way back to the Edinburgh Fringe.
Michael Dahl RasmussenMichael trained at the Anne Rosing Institute in Copenhagen and then studied Music Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He has enjoyed a varied career as a creative entrepreneur, ranging from composing, writing, producing, musical directing, musicking and performing. He is Associate Producer on the UK Tour of Fame the Musical and Variant 31, an immersive zombie survival experience, and in summer 2018 he took his new musical MESS to Edinburgh Fringe Festival to 5-star reviews.
ThomasinThomasin trained in Musical Theatre at the prestigious Arts Educational. She has starred in the award winning short films, When Sky Was Sea and For Want of a Nail. For Camden Fringe 2018, she wrote, produced and featured in her first play, Welcome to My Channel about the perils of YouTube, receiving a five star review. In 2016-17, Thomasin featured in Boy Stroke Girl a play challenging gender norms, and sang for a concept musical of Guy Fawkes. She is delighted to be returning to the medium.
William Osbeldiston-HawkesWilliam is an English actor born in Germany. Since moving to England William has trained at the ‘Year Out Drama’ in Stratford-upon-Avon and ‘Fourth Monkey Drama School’ on the two year course.
William is currently working as part of four man touring production of Macbeth across the South East of England.
This will be Williams debut in musical theatre, and he is thrilled to be part of telling such a worthwhile story.