Today is the 42nd day of the Omer as well as the day of the long-awaited comedy event of the year: The Congreataion Beth Israel annual meeting. More on that tomorrow, perhaps.
I had lunch today with a friend of mine who will shortly be appearin a production of William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice.” The picture above, by the way, is Patrick Stewart as he looked playing Shylock in his one-man show, “Shylock.”
Anyway, so this friend of mine recently got cast as Shylock and wanted me to tell him how to, as he put it, “Jew it up.” So we had lunch at an Indian buffet today. I gave him some advice on costuming (the students in the Shakespeare at Winedale program, which is the best way in the United States to see Shakespeare’s works performed, make their own costumes) and we talked a little about the history of Jews in England and in Venice.
I parted ways with one of my older talit katans and we talked about growing a nice beard as well as head covering options. One the one hand, we reasoned, a small kipah like most Americans would recognize would be a good visual shorthand for the Texan audience. On the other hand, since they’ll be performing the play in the 16th century Venetian time and place, a floppy hat like Al Pacino’s might be more accurate. We also discussed one of the large sephardic kipot.
You can see my fringes, and my friend Daniel, in “The Merchant of Venice” in Shakespeare at Windale’s barn in Round Top Texas in July and August of this summer. Details.
And now, the Omer: