Celebrity Jews – Movies, TV And A PSA
AT THE MOVIES
Opens Aug. 10: Dogs Days is a romantic comedy that seems appropriately titled. It’s a breezy little movie that doesn’t tax your mind during the summer heat. We are all familiar, now, with the ensemble anthology film — a bunch of strangers have something in common (a holiday they all celebrate, etc.) and eventually their respective storylines join up. Days’ gimmick is that the main characters are all Los Angeles dog owners. Humans and dogs run into each other, lives intertwine and some things change. The large cast includes Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), 36, as one of the main dog owners. Pally recently told a Canadian interviewer that he was grateful to appear in a movie that his young children could see with him. Pally and his wife, Daniela Liben Pally (his high school sweetheart), 37, have three children (two boys, age 6, and age 1; and a girl, age 5). Their younger son is named Drake. I’d love to know if the name was inspired by the Jewish rapper Drake, 36. His latest double album, Scorpion, is breaking just about every sales record.
TV OFFERINGS: NEW AND DISCOVERED
Chicago Voices is a PBS “Great Performances” musical event that highlights the diversity of music in the Chicago area. The 90-minute show includes opera star Renee Fleming singing the classic George Gershwin tune “Summertime.” Jussie Smollett, 36, a star of the hit TV show Empire, is joined on stage by Terrence Howard, another Empire star. Together they sing “A Change is Gonna Come,” a 1960s civil rights anthem that crossed-over into a pop hit. (Airs Friday, Aug. 10, at 9 p.m.).
Meanwhile, over on Netflix, you might check out Insatiable, a dark comedy starring Debby Ryan as Patty, a woman long bullied for being overweight who seeks revenge on those who shamed her. Jordan Gelber, 42, an accomplished mostly-Broadway actor, has a recurring role as Hank Thompson (starts streaming on Aug. 10). Looking ahead: It’s been confirmed that famous novelist Michael Chabon has written a Star Trek: Discovery episode that will air this fall on Netflix.
During the summer, I look for hidden gems among series I haven’t seen. I found at least one: I’m Sorry, on the TruTV cable station. I’m Sorry is a funny, if not hilarious, sitcom about a suburban mother (Valerie Savage, 45) who is also a comedy writer. The first two seasons now stream on Hulu and On-Demand. Savage co-created the series, and Andy Samberg is the executive producer.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
As you might imagine, readers sometime contact me and ask if someone infamous is Jewish. Recently, several asked me if the late Dr. Richard Strauss, who allegedly molested around 100 Ohio State college wrestlers, was Jewish. While out of my “beat,” I see it as a public service to usually respond because I know many tribe members wonder. The short answer: Dr. Strauss’ family history (obit, census records, etc.) is on the internet and his family (both sides) was not Jewish. Several generations back were checked by me and by an expert friend.