by Ozzie Nogg
The Whipping Man: Sunday, Nov. 9, matinee at 2 p.m. in the Omaha Community Playhouse Howard Drew Theater. $20.
The Civil War has ended. Caleb, a wounded Jewish Confederate soldier, returns to his parents’ ruined home. His family has fled, but their former slaves, Simon and John, remain. The three men, tied by faith and bound by secrets, hold an impromptu Passover Seder. This is a gripping drama woven with a complex web of revelations that bound this family. Sponsored by the Center for Jewish Life, Jewish Social Services, with partial sponsorship by Marty and Iris Ricks.
Noah’s Ark, The Mini-Musical: Friday, Nov. 14, at 1:30 p.m. in the Jewish Community Center Theater. The production, written and produced by Deborah Greenblatt and David Seay, is free and open to the entire community. This original adaptation of the Flood and life on the Ark features Rose Blumkin Jewish Home Residents and students from the Friedel Jewish Academy singing selections in a variety of styles, inducing blues, Cajun, calypso and Klezmer. Noah’s Ark, an intergenerational program, is a gateway for more projects in the future that will allow the Jewish youth and elderly in our community to interact. The performance is made possible with support from the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and the Esther K. Newman Memorial Fund of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation.
Enjoy lunch with author Milton Mendel Kleinberg: Monday, Nov. 17, 12:30 p.m. in the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home Auditorium. Kleinberg will discuss his book, Bread or Death: Memories of My Childhood During and After the Holocaust. Originally written as a memoir for his grandchildren, the book chronicles Kleinberg’s 4,500-mile journey from Poland through Russia and Siberia and eventually to Uzbekistan in Central Asia, as he and his family used bribery and darkness of night to flee while the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939. This coming-of-age Holocaust memoir is the author’s personal account of how — through great sacrifices by his mother — he managed to survive the worst atrocities in human history, his uncertain days in a Polish Children’s Home, scrambling for fallen fruit, and surviving kidnapping and murder on the Black Road, his return to German Displaced Persons’ camps at war’s end, and his eventual immigration to America. Bread or Death is filled with remarkable twists of fate and a reunion quite unlike other Holocaust stories. Luncheon entrees include 1/2 hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy or baked cod with seasoned rice. Both selections include green beans, cranberry sauce, challah roll, beverage of your choice plus a slice of pumpkin pie for dessert. Cost is $10 per plate. Reservations must be received by Monday, Nov. 10. Make check payable to Jewish Social Services and send reservation with full payment to Mainstreeters, c/o Maggie Conti, 323 South 132nd Street, Omaha, NE 68154.
Free Community Concert with Michael Gurciello: Wednesday, Nov. 19, 1:30 p.m. in the Jewish Community Center Auditorium. Join us as Jewish Social Services brings veteran Las Vegas entertainer and Omaha native Michael ‘Gooch’ Gurciello and his swinging big band sound to the JCC. Gooch grew up in Omaha’s Dundee neighborhood and started playing trumpet at nine. He majored in jazz studies at the University of North Texas and went on the road with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Mike moved to Monterey, CA, where he founded the Monterey Jazz Orchestra, which played weekly at actor, jazz-lover, and pianist Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch. You’ll find Mike and his gang every Monday night on the bandstand at the Ozone Lounge in Anthony’s Restaurant, where he conducts, blows trumpet and flugelhorn and croons songs from Sinatra, Bobby Darin, and Michael Buble while patrons fill the dance floor. In the vernacular of jazz, come hear these cool cats on November 19, and (as Gooch urges on his web site), “Return to a time when the big bands roamed the earth. Rediscover what original pop music sounds like. Lyrics that speak of the beauty of a love gained and the heartache of a love lost.”
Join Us at the Movies: Chef, Friday, Nov. 21, 1 p.m. in the JCC Theater. No charge for the film or for unlimited bags of warm, delicious popcorn. No reservations necessary. Invite a friend. When Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what’s next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo) and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen — and zest for life and love. Chef’s charming cast and sharp, funny script add enough spice to make this feel-good comedy a flavorful treat. If you want to have lunch at the Star Deli at the Blumkin Home before the movie, call Maggie Conti at 402.334.6521 to reserve a table. Lunch is on your own. The Star Deli opens for business at 11:30 a.m.
Mainstreeters activities are geared to area residents age 60-plus. Its programs give participants the chance to meet new people, exercise their brains, learn new skills and enjoy life to the fullest. Maggie Conti, Director of Activities and Outreach Programs at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home, said, “Mainstreeters continues to offer diverse programs every month, and we invite community members to join the November excitement.” For transportation to events or questions about Mainstreeters programs, call Maggie at 402.334.6521.
Mainstreeters programs are supported in part by grants from the United Way of the Midlands and the Jewish Federation of Omaha.