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).

FREE for virtual members, $10 for individual programs for non-members

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That's Entertainment!

Wednesdays, 1:00 pm and 7:30 pm as listed

Weekly lectures and discussions about all forms of entertainment that we love—film, theater, television, comedy, music, dance and more!

October 7, 1:00 pm:

Lifetime of a Jew in Song with Cantor-Rabbi Sharon Steinberg

Learn about the customs, superstitions and songs that surround Jewish Lifecycle Events from birth through marriage. Features a live performance by Cantor-Rabbi Sharon Steinberg.


October 7, 7:30 pm:

Hall Of Fame Actors with Dan Hudak

They’ve been heroic, downright nasty and as sweet as can be. But the greatest actors of all time share one unique quality: their humanity. These larger-than-life stars had the uncanny ability to morph into a variety of individuals from vastly different walks of life, and did so with what appeared to be the greatest of ease. This hour-long presentation celebrates the men who’ve moved us, and in one instance, changed acting for the foreseeable future. Clips and images from these great performances make this a presentation you will not want to miss. See lecturer bio below.


October 21, 1:00 pm:

Broadway Overtures with Richard Knox

The idea of using a symphonic introduction for a musical theater production had its roots centuries earlier when composers of grand opera decided to begin their works with a collection of musical motifs that allowed audiences to become acquainted with melodies that followed once the curtain was raised. This musical “foreshadowing” became a key ingredient in productions such as “Showboat," “Oklahoma!," “Guys and Dolls," “My Fair Lady," and “Gypsy." The act of weaving one song into another within a narrow time frame is an art unto itself and allows the composer to work independently of the lyricist to create an often underappreciated component of the show. See lecturer bio below.


October 28, 1:00 pm:

The Golden Age of Hollywood with Brian Rose

From the late 1920s through the end of World War II, studios like MGM, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, and RKO would dominate film production, not only in America but throughout the world. The reasons for Hollywood's success during this period are intriguing. Despite the economic problems posed by the Depression, the studios became virtual entertainment factories, with each studio producing more than 50 movies a year. The legacy of these years of frenzied activity are among the best-loved, and most significant films ever made. See lecturer bio below.


November 4, 1:00 pm:

The Movie Club - A Serious Man

A Serious Man, 2009, 1h 46min | currently available on Netflix In this film by Ethan & Joel Coen, Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoil, he seems to keep sinking. Moderated by Linda Horowitz


November 4, 7:30 pm:

Hall Of Fame Actresses with Dan Hudak

It brings a smile to any movie lover’s face to remember the greatest actresses the silver screen has known. They’ve demanded our attention, inspired us, and broken our hearts. Young or old, rich or poor, these actresses have stood the test of time to become icons of their profession. In this hour-long discussion clips and images showcase what made them unforgettable, and why we still revere them today. See lecturer bio below.


November 11, 1:00 pm:

The Films of Alfred Hitchcock with Brian Rose

Alfred Hitchcock is probably the most famous film director who ever lived. For five decades, first in England, then in Hollywood, he made fifty-four films, including classics such as The Thirty-Nine Steps, Rebecca, Notorious, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Vertigo, and Psycho. Few filmmakers have been as popular, critically celebrated, and as influential. See lecturer bio below.


November 18, 1:00 pm:

“Dream” Songs with Richard Knox

The subject of dreams and dreaming has been an essential ingredient in the history of music dating back centuries. Two excellent examples are Franz Liszt’s “Liebestraum” (Love Dream) and Robert Schumann’s "Traumerei" (Dreaming), both written for solo piano and an essential part of the Romantic Era repertoire. Around this time, America’s greatest 19th century songwriter Stephen Foster continued this tradition with melodies such as "Beautiful Dreamer" and "(I Dream of) Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair." See lecturer bio below.


November 25, 1:00 pm:

The Movie Club - The Squid and the Whale

November 25: The Squid and the Whale, 2005, 1h 21 min, currently available on Netflix When two married writers at different points in their careers head for divorce, they struggle to co-parent a pair of sons. Written & Directed by Noah Baumbach; starring Owen Kline, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney and Jesse Eisenberg. Moderated by Roberta Presser


December 2, 1:00 pm:

Sight and Sound....Integration of Film and Music with Richard Knox

Having motion pictures be accompanied by music has been a tradition in Hollywood that goes back to the silent film era when pianos and organs were commonplace in theaters. Movie directors, working closely with composers, have continually attempted to enhance the audience involvement and enjoyment of their films by adding musical scores and specific motifs which help us identify with particular characters or add an atmospheric tone to certain scenes. With the passage of time, many of these film scores have become iconic. Who can imagine, for example, Gone With The Wind without Max Steiner’s “Tara’s Theme” or the conclusion of The Natural without Randy Newman’s uplifting score. See lecturer bio below.

December 2, 7:30 pm:

Box Office Champs: The Real Top Ten Movies Of All Time with Dan Hudak

You may know that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the all-time domestic box office champ at $936 million. But when you adjust for inflation, it’s actually #11. What’s in the top ten? This hour-long presentation looks at the real top ten highest-grossing movies of all time after you adjust for inflation. Clips and images, as well as a discussion of why these were hits in the first place and how they’ve endured through the years, highlight this fun and engaging presentation. You may be surprised at what’s on the list! See lecturer bio below.


December 9, 1:00 pm:

From The Jazz Singer to A Star is Born: A History of the Movie Musical with Brian Rose

As soon as movies could talk, they began to sing and dance—and musicals quickly became among the most popular film genres in America. Over the next nine decades, the movie musical would evolve to embrace every type of performance, from operetta to rock and soul, from tap to ballet, and every type of format, from Broadway hits to original creations from composers like Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Irving Berlin. See lecturer bio below.


December 16, 1:00 pm:

The Jewish National Fund Postcard Project: How a New Musical Culture Was Conceptualized for an Emerging State of Israel with Michael Isaacson

When Israel statehood became a viable reality, many cultural leaders asked what kind of music and art should it reflect. This is the remarkable story of how the Jewish National Fund stimulated composers from around the world in a most original way to create Israel’s “musical sound.” See lecturer bio below.


December 30, 1:00 pm:

The Early Days of Television with Evan Weiner

Did you know that Television started in 1928? TV goes went through decades of growing pains including World War II. But when GI’s come home, they want their TV. They want to watch Ed Sullivan, Meet the Press, Uncle Miltie, Milton Berle, Joe Friday, Lucy and Desi and Ralph Kramden and even test patterns. TV always reflected society of the time. Stroll down Memory Lane and get reacquainted with the TV of the 1940s and 1950s. See lecturer bio below.

January 6, 13, 20, 27, 1:00 pm:

From Russia to Berlin: A Century of Irving with Charles Troy

Come along on Irving Berlin’s century long journey from poor Russian Jewish boy, Izzy Baline, to great American songwriter. See lecturer bio below.


January 6, 7:30 pm:

Famous Moments, Famous Movies: Behind The Scenes Of The Most Iconic Moments In Film History; Part 1 with Dan Hudak

The shower scene in Psycho. The flying bikes in E.T. The title song in Singin’ in the Rain. All are memorable movie moments that have been cherished for generations and will be cherished for years to come. In this hour-long presentation, you’ll enjoy an insightful look at these scenes and more, sharing the stories, backgrounds and secrets that made them so unforgettable. See lecturer bio below.


February 3, 7:30 pm:

Famous Moments, Famous Movies: Behind The Scenes Of The Most Iconic Moments In Film History; Part 2 with Dan Hudak

More famous movie scenes are chronicled in part two of the “Famous Moments, Famous Movies” series. See lecturer bio below.


March 3, 7:30 pm:

When Oscar Gets It Wrong: Best Picture Winners That Should’ve Lost, And The Movies That Should’ve Won with Dan Hudak

Is Ordinary People better than Raging Bull? Is How Green Was My Valley better than Citizen Kane? According to the Oscars, yes! This hour-long presentation examines the politics, voting patterns, and cultural influences that led the Academy to overlook movies we now consider classics. See lecturer bio below.


April 7, 7:30 pm:

Best Picture Oscar Talk with Dan Hudak

Journey into this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees in this discussion of why each film was nominated and which is the odds-on favorite to emerge victorious. Clips and background information about all nominated films will be shared, and a discussion of the Academy’s voting process and habits will lend perspective to choosing the likely winner. Oscar history, trivia, and other major categories will also be covered! It’s a lively, insightful and fun hour-long presentation that’s not to be missed! Attendees are encouraged to see as many of the nominated films as possible before the presentation. Note: Due to Covid-19, the next Oscar ceremony will be held April 25, 2021. See lecturer bio below.

Lecturer 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.

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