"Half" of me, courtesy of my father, comes from Russian/German/Jewish stock. When I think of my Grandma and Grandpa Wolfsohn, I think of Grandpa's keen sense of fun and Grandma's wonderful cooking. Mmm, the lavish dinners which I later learned were religious celebrations; the matzo balls and soup; chopped liver, borscht, salami, fat garlic pickles; the sweet sesame-flavored treat halvah, and the best corned beef I've ever eaten. (Waukesha's Rochester Deli, is a very close second!)
That heritage would've been so much richer had someone explained to my sisters and me the who, what, where, why and how that makes us "half" of who we are. By the time I was old enough to care, there was no one left to ask. My father had moved to California and left his roots firmly behind. My grandparents had died. The other relatives were both relationally and geographically distant. Most, I wouldn't know if I bumped into them. Interestingly enough, about sixteen years ago a New York relative, one whom I'd never heard of or met prior to this, was tracing the family tree and found us. At some point during the immigration process, a number of relatives left New York, settled in Milwaukee and lost touch with one another. Now, however, thanks to him I've a chart of who's who and my roots are less of a mystery.
Being cast as Bubbie in Waukesha Civic Theatre's upcoming romantic comedy, Crossing Delancey, February 3 - 19, 2012; is indeed a mitzvah, (a blessing!) Not only am I honored to be working with such an exceptional cast, the talented and much appreciated production staff, and having had the patient expertise of Steven Adams, Rabbi, Emanu-El of Waukesha, who also treated us to a kugel - courtesy of his cantor; but in a roundabout way it's allowed me to touch my roots just a bit.
Crossing Delancey, written by Susan Sandler, is a timeless tale.
"Isabelle, "Izzy" Grossman is a smart, Jewish twenty-something working at a New York bookstore. While she is captivated by the intellectual world of authors like Anton Maes, her grandmother, Bubbie Ida wants her granddaughter to settle down with a "nice man." Izzy sets her hopes on Anton, but Bubbie calls on a local matchmaker to set Izzy up with Sam, who owns a pickle shop. This fun romantic comedy crosses generations and customs with wit and warmth - as Izzy eventually "crosses Delancey" to find love."
Whether you're in the mood for love during this Valentine's Day season, you want something sweet and lighthearted to chase away the winter blahs or like me you've roots to touch - Crossing Delancey, February 3 - 19, 2012 is a delightful Pix Fix we're sure you'll enjoy because, "Finding love is a funny thing!" And, "When it comes to love, these are serious people, these Jews!"
P.S. WCT is in need of ushers for all upcoming productions; particularly Friday and Saturday evenings. For more information, please phone the theatre and leave a message for Sara Toenes. Thanks!