A New New Year Spectacular

The Project : 

A workshop of A New New Year Spectacular

produced by Harriet Leve & Jennifer Isaacson

The Pitch :

Shiri Levine, a Jewish widow in her late forties, tries to stay connected to her faith, the memory of her husband, and her place in the world even as her world slips increasingly out of her control. A new romance feels like an insult to her late husband, Abe. Her grown (and still single) daughter, Tamarah, who never took an interest in Judaism or her father’s cantorial work when she was younger, now wants to abandon her dreams of a life in New York City and the theatre. And God is no longer listening. Of course, Shiri is no longer praying.

The setting of this musical play is an audition room in a conservative temple in upstate New York where Shiri is trying to revive the annual New Year Spectacular that was central to Abe’s work and symbolic of their relationship.

The Team :  

Rinne Groff, writer

Harriet Newman Leve, Ron Nicynski, C. Michèle Kaplan, original conception

Leigh Silverman, director
Larry Yurman, musical director

Roy Gabay, general manager

Lori Amondson, stage manager
CJ Thom, assistant stage manager  

Rachel Hoffman/Telsey + Co., casting

Suzanne Toren, Yiddish consultant



Courtney Balan Tamarah

Derrick Baskin Leon

Stephen Bogardus Jonathan

Katie Foster stage directions

David Rossmer Rabi Samuels

Barbara Walsh Shiri

Lenny Wolpe Manny



Larry Yurman, piano
Danny Taylor, drums 


(how's that for a line-up?)



I play Frank O'Shaughnessy, token goy, who comes to audition for the spectacular. Dressed as Barbra Streisand. And singing Don't Rain On My Parade. With back-up singers. There's a little more that happens with—or through—Frank, but that's enough to get your attention, right? It got mine.