On December 14, 2012, Scarlett Lewis experienced something that no parent should ever have to endure: she lost her son Jesse in an act of unimaginable violence. The day started just like any other, but when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Scarlett’s life changed forever.
Following Jesse’s death, Scarlett went on an unexpected journey, inspired by a simple three-word message he had scrawled on their kitchen chalkboard shortly before he died: Norurting Helin Love (Nurturing Healing Love). It was as if he knew just what his family would need in order to go on after this horrible tragedy.
The Roundabout Theatre Company’s Roundabout Underground program gives productions to emerging playwrights. Last year, they had a hit with Bad Jews - a play by Joshua Harmon, directed by Daniel Aukin.
The show did so well in their 62-seat Black Box Theatre, in fact, that they brought it back to run in the Laura Pels Theatre (their bigger-small space) as part of their season this year - where it continues to earn excellent reviews and enthusiastic response from audiences.
In the play a young Jewish woman, Diana (played by Tracee Chimo, she prefers to be called by her Hebrew name, Daphna) fights with her cousin, Liam, to get a religious relic left behind by their recently deceased grandfather - who had kept it safe during his years in a concentration camp by holding it beneath his tongue. Liam’s brother (Jonah, played by Philip Ettinger) and girlfriend (Melody, played by Molly Ranson) observe and reluctantly weigh-in as Daphna and Liam argue and insult-sling as only family can.
Michael Zegen plays Liam in Bad Jews. Zegen attended Skidmore College and his other Off-Broadway credits include Liz Meriwether’s Oliver Parker! and Greg Moss’ punkplay. On television he’s been featured in recurring roles on The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, How to Make It in America, Rescue Me, and he’ll appear in the upcoming season of the HBO hit, Girls. His film credits include Adventureland, Taking Woodstock, and Frances Ha.
The book is the story of Wenger's search for the grandmother she never knew. Stumbling over a hidden legacy left behind by Grandma Edna in an authentic 1920s recipe collection, she embarked on a voyage of discovery.
The turn of every crumbling, yellowed page unlocked mysteries, as she uncovered recipes either handwritten or snipped from newspapers, often affixed with straight pins to the pages! This was an unexpected springboard into the past, spurring a nostalgic journey that jumps back and forth from the 1920s to today.
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, Andrew Solomon’s book on parents, children and the bond between them and the cases of extreme difference - was published to ecstatic acclaim last year - landing on best-seller lists across the country, and "Best of" lists from The New York Times, Amazon, The Economist and more.
The book has now been released in paperback. Solomon opens Far From the Tree with an autobiographical chapter detailing his experience as a gay son of heterosexual parents. At the time of his youth, homosexuality was considered an illness and a crime. The book is about the struggle for those who are different and their need to find their own identity.
In it, she tells the story of her eccentric, fractured family; her 1980s childhood of bohemian neglect in the squalid attic of Rokeby, the family’s Hudson Valley Mansion; and her escape from the clan. Aldrich reaches back to the Gilded Age when the Astor legacy began to come undone, leaving the Aldrich branch of the family penniless and squabbling over what was left.