Jewish Federation International Film fest: “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” on Sept. 10

By: Reporter staff

Joel Gray in “Cabaret”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton’s 2017 Jewish International Film Fest will begin on Sunday, September 10, with a dinner at 5 pm, followed by the film “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” at 7 pm at the Jewish Community Center, 500 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal. The event will be open to the entire community. Tickets will cost $10 per film or $45 for a subscription to the festival. To purchase tickets in advance or for more information, call 724-2332.
Following the screening in the JCC auditorium, a discussion of the film will be led by Larry Kassan, coordinator of special events and theatre at the Binghamton City School District’s Rod Serling School of the Arts and a former instructor and assistant technical director for Adelphi University on Long Island. He called the film “a must see documentary for anyone who has ever seen a musical or just ever whistled a Broadway tune.”
“Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” chronicles the role of Jewish composers and lyricists in developing the modern American musical as well as the songs referred to as “The Great American Songbook.” Throughout the 50 years of its creation, Broadway musical songs were written almost exclusively by Jewish Americans. The film explores this ethnic cultural history with perspectives on the origins and meaning of some of Broadway’s “most beloved” songs, stories and shows.
“This delightful documentary includes provocative interviews with many great Jewish composers and lyricists, accompanied by memorable performances and rare archival footage,” noted Phil Cali, a member of the Film Fest Selection Committee. He called the movie “a delightful trip through musical theater history!”
The film, which looks behind the scenes of Broadway, has been called “engaging, humorous and provocative.” It features interviews and discussions with composers and writers of the Broadway stage considered to be among the nation’s pre-eminent creators of musical theater, and footage of performances by many stars.
Community members have been welcomed to bring their own chair if they wish, and the Federation has offered to store these chairs from film to film.