Music & Comedy
Join us for our exciting 2020-2021 season featuring both virtual and live programs. (Our season will begin with virtual programs only, and we will introduce in-person programs later in the season, when it is safe to do so).
Prices vary by program. Purchase tickets through designated links below each description.
If you need assistance purchasing tickets or membership, call the Box Office at 561-558-2520.
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LEVIS JCC SANDLER CENTER | 561-558-2520
Jewish Broadway Cabaret in the Courtyard with Ari Axelrod
SOLD OUT - Wednesday, March 24, 7:00 pm and
SOLD OUT - Thursday, March 25, 7:00 pm
Live OUTDOORS in the Greenberg Courtyard at the Sandler Center
Wednesday, March 31 - Virtual Performance
Free for Platinum members, $10 for all other tickets
Aaron Kula, Artistic Director
Sunday, June 6, 4:00 pm
Stravinsky's A Soldier's Tale
with Aaron Kula and the Sinfonietta Society
Performance will be recorded and available virtually after June 14.
Aaron Kula conducts Sinfonietta Society, a new chamber orchestra in a performance of "A Soldier's Tale" by Igor Stravinsky written in 1918.
L'Histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale), is a theatrical work "to be read, played, and danced" by three actors accompanied by seven instruments:violin, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, bass and percussion.
Conceived by Igor Stravinsky and Swiss writer C. F. Ramuz, the piece was based on a Russian folk tale. The libretto relates the parable of a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil in return for unlimited economic gain. The work premiered in Lausanne on 28 September 1918, conducted by Ernest Ansermet. A full performance of L'Histoire du soldat takes about an hour.
The music is complex but uses popular dance rhythms including tangu, rag, and jazz with changing time signatures. This presentation will not be a formal concert but rather an open rehearsal to the public with commentary offered throughout the hour. The audience will be able to see how the ensemble works and rehearses this iconic composition along with the actors. This will be a performance in progress as the ensemble reads through and rehearses this unusual 20th century dramatic musical work.
Limited seating available for live performance. Social distancing and masks required. All Covid-19 protocols observed.
Live Performance: FREE for platinum members, $15 for gold members, $20 for non-members
Virtual Performance: FREE for virtual members, $10 for non-members
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Wednesdays, 1:00 pm and 7:30 pm as listed (except where noted)
Weekly lectures and discussions about all forms of entertainment that we love—film, theater, television, comedy, music, dance and more!
FREE for virtual members, $10 for individual programs for non-members
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April 21, 1:00 pm:
Early Rock & Roll Ballads Part 3 with Richard Knox
Monday, April 26, 7:00 pm:
The Oscars Aftermath with Dan Hudak
A day after the Oscars: What happened, why, and are you kidding me? We’ll discuss why the winners won, why the losers lost, and other highs and lows from Hollywood’s biggest night. Note: This is not a formal presentation; it is an informal conversation in which Dan Hudak will share his thoughts on the big night, and invite others to do the same.
April 28, 1:00 pm:
The Changing Face of Television with Brian Rose
May 5, 7:30 pm:
Great Musical Moments Part 1 with Dan Hudak
The dawn of the “talkie” in the late ‘20s didn’t just bring spoken words to the big screen – it also brought songs! This hour-long presentation chronicles the era of the “traditional” Hollywood musical, highlighted by Busby Berkeley’s choreography, Fred Astaire dancing with Ginger Rogers, the great Gene Kelly, and many more. Clips and images will be shared in what is sure to be a toe-tappin’ and informative good time!
May 12, 1:00 pm:
Cole Porter & The Great Depression with Charles Troy
Between the stock market crash and Pearl Harbor, Porter wrote twelve musicals and four movie scores and was at the height of his success—but was permanently injured in a riding accident. This program wends its way through this packed period in Porter’s life. See lecturer bio below.
May 19, 1:00 pm:
Sinatra with Richard Knox
May 26, 1:00 pm:
The History of Movie Going with Brian Rose
Tuesdays, June 1, 8, 15, 20, 3:00 pm:
George & Ira: The Gershwins (4 parts) with Charles Troy
The brothers worked together only 13 years before George’s early death in 1937. But they sure packed in a lot! We’ll review their lives from their breakthrough year, 1924, through Porgy and Bess, and then the movie songs of George’s last year. See lecturer bio below.
June 2, 7:30 pm:
Great Musical Moments Part 2 with Dan Hudak
With the era of the Hollywood musicals complete, the mid-1950s saw a shift in production. No longer were song and dance sequences stuck inside a studio; now musicals were shooting on location with bigger budgets, which allowed the genre to get bolder, more experimental, and in some cases, more satisfying. But like many good things, it didn’t last. Clips and images from the greatest musicals of all time will be featured in this hour-long presentation that covers great changes both in the genre and the industry itself.
Thursday, June 10, 7:30 pm:
Songs That Changed the Game with Music Critic, Curtis Ross
The tech world would call them disruptors. Every so often a song comes along that heralds something new, a shift in pop music’s cultural landscape that will have an impact long after it’s replaced on the charts. In this presentation, we’ll look at five songs that changed music permanently. Drawing from a number of publications and sources, this presentation takes an entertaining look at songs that changed the way we listen.
July 21, 7:30 pm:
The Top Ten Longest Running Shows in Broadway History with with Theater Critic, Hap Erstein
One measure of a show’s success is how long it runs on Broadway. Oklahoma!, which ran more than five years (2,212 performances), led the list in the 1940s. Now it ranks a mere 32nd. Today the top thirty shows are all musicals, and include popular titles such as The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago and The Lion King. Do any of those crack the top ten? This hour-long discussion that examines the ten longest running shows Broadway has ever seen.
August 11, 7:30 pm:
The Jewish Composers of Broadway with Theater Critic, Hap Erstein
As they sing with tongue-in-cheek in Monty Python’s Spamalot, “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway (If You Don’t Have Any Jews).” It is in fact true that the vast majority of the musical theater’s composers have been Jewish. From Irving Berlin to George Gershwin to Richard Rodgers to Stephen Sondheim, they have shaped this uniquely American art form, yet rarely until recent years have they written about the Jewish experience. This hour-long talk is a survey of the evolution of the Broadway musical, with a celebration of the creative individuals who made it happen.
Tuesday, September 14, 7:30 pm:
The Hamilton Phenomenon with Theatre Critic Hap Erstein
Hamilton has been a hot ticket since it debuted in 2015. But what possessed composer-lyricist-playwright-original star Lin-Manuel Miranda to write a musical about the first Secretary of the Treasury and his Founding Father contemporaries, and set their history to a hip-hop beat? For those lucky enough – or wealthy enough – to snag seats to the show, this hour-long talk will deconstruct the musical to increase your enjoyment and appreciation of the highly acclaimed – and highly profitable – Broadway sensation.
Aaron Kula is a nationally recognized conductor, educator, composer, accordionist, and producer, who was awarded a 2018 grant as a Fulbright Specialist to conduct and lecture in Israel with appearances at the U.S. Embassy, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, schools in the Central and Southern Arava, and at conservatories throughout the Western Galilee. He attended the New England Conservatory of Music and pursued graduate studies in conducting, theory, composition, and ethno-musciology with world class musicians including Gunther Schuller, Frank Battisti, John Heiss, the late sitarist Peter Row, and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As an orchestral conductor, Aaron Kula has led orchestras throughout the US, Europe, and Israel. From 1986-2013 he served on the conducting faculty at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and taught at Boston University from 1995-1996. He led high school and college orchestras at Chautauqua Music School in New York from 1990-1995. An active guest conductor, he has worked with Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Erie Ballet (PA), Boston Conservatory Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony and Chorus, Boca Raton Sinfonia, and New Hampshire Ballet. Locally, he was invited to conduct the Collier (FL) All County Honors Orchestra in Naples during the 2014 season. He has collaborated with renowned artists including Yo-Yo Ma/cello, Richard Stoltzman/clarinet, Colin Carr/cello, Denise Graves/singer, David Leisner/guitar, and Avery Sommers/actress, Avi Hoffman/Yiddish actor, as well as artists from the Metropolitan Opera and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As music director of the New England Conservatory Youth Symphony from 1986-2003, Mr. Kula led numerous international orchestra tours throughout Europe and Israel and was invited to organize international tours for the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra and the Stanford Symphony Orchestra from 1996 to 1998.
That's Entertainment Bios
A lifelong film lover, Dan Hudak, has worked extensively as a film critic in print, radio and television. Dan’s film reviews are syndicated throughout the country. He is the owner of Hudak On Hollywood, Inc. He is the former chairman of the Florida Film Critics Circle and a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. He studied Film History and Criticism at Bard College and the University of Miami, where he received his M.A. in Film Studies.
Brian Rose was a Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center, from 1982 until his retirement in 2020. He’s written several books on television history and cultural programming, and conducted more than a hundred interviews with leading directors, actors, and writers for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Directors Guild of America.
Following his retirement, after 38 years as a school teacher and administrator, Richard Knox began to develop a series of multimedia presentations based on his first love, the performing arts. His interactive programs are immensely engaging, entertaining and informative!
Founding Music Director of The Israel Pops Orchestra, and the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music, Dr. Michael Isaacson enjoys a distinguished career as a composer, conductor, producer, and educator with over 500 Jewish and secular musical compositions published, including instrumental, vocal, sacred and secular arrangements.
Evan Weiner is an award winning journalist and recognized global expert of the "Politics of Sports Business". He has a daily video podcast called The Politics of Sports Business. He has been a radio commentator, TV pundit on MSNBC, NewsMax and ABC. He is also an author of six books and is a frequent college speaker.
Charles Troy, popular speaker and presenter, is an acclaimed musical theatre historian and graphic designer. He has created over 50 multi-media presentations and has presented his work to countless national audiences.