New York State of Mind

It’s about time someone made something of the fact that many of the best-known Christmas songs were written by Jewish composers, and no one who knows anything about his career is surprised that it was Jake Ehrenreich who finally did it.

A Jew Grows in Brooklyn, the actor’s almost-one-man show (he’s joined onstage by musicians and singers), is New York-centric, so references to “Spal-deens” and the significance of certain NYC boroughs may be lost on desert rats. But people from everywhere will love his intro shtick — singing “Meet the Mets” in Yiddish — and much of what follows, as well. The Mets bit sets the tone for an atypically pleasant trip down a pretty standard musical memory lane, this one about a Brooklyn kid whose immigrant family survived the Holocaust, who wound up on Broadway, and who — lucky for us — wrote a lively entertainment about it. (A caveat: The pre-show announcement about how it’s okay to make and accept cell-phone calls throughout the show is a joke. Don’t do it.)

Dec. 24-Jan. 11, 2008
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela