Saturday, December 24, 2016

THE MESHUGANUTCRACKER!  by Carol Kaufman Segal
            The MeshugaNutcracker! was not at all, what I was expecting.  However, I certainly was not at all disappointed with this musical comedy about the Jewish Holiday of Chanukah told by   a company of extraordinarily talented performers.  
            The members of the cast play characters who live in the fictional town of Chelm, (Yiddish word for fools).  They are Stephen Guggenheim (Gronim Schmegegi, the Mayor of Chelm), Susan Gundunas (Esther Schmegegi, the First Lady of Chelm), Shannon Guggenheim (Treitel Schlmazel), Jeremy Kreamer (Velvel Schnook), Linda Divito (Rivka Schmuel, the Dairywoman), Benjamin Pither, (Rabbi Motke Schmerel), Krista Wigle (Yetta Schmendrick), and Jacob Davis (Jacob Schlemiel, the Farmer).
These actors tell eight stories about Chanukah in words, song, and dance, accompanied by a Klezmer-style orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite (Orchestrations by Thomas Tomasello).  The original book is written with much humor, and directed by Scott Evan Guggenheim, Shannon Guggenheim, and Stephen Guggenheim.  All of the cast are gifted comedians, singers, and dancers.
            The cartoonish-style set and the wild, but humorous costumes are by Julie Engelbrecht, Lighting by Derek Duarte, and stage managers are Ronn Goswick and Morgan Zupanski.

            For s joyous production, something unusual to enjoy during this seasonal time of the year, and for fun for the whole family, don’t miss the opportunity of seeing The MeshugaNutcracker! at the American Jewish University’s Gindi Auditorium, located at 15600 Mulholland Drive, in Los Angeles.  Performances are Wednesday at 2 PM and 7 PM, Thursday at 7 PM, Saturday at 8 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM and 7 PM, through Jan.1, 2017.  Tickets are available online at, or by phone at (408) 404-7711,

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