Two renowned Jewish artists, Gary Lucas and Tovah Feldshuh, will lend their stellar talents to the 2010 Jersey Shore Film Festival at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal.
Grammy-nominated guitarist Gary Lucas will perform during the screening of the 1922 silent classic The Golem at the festival opening on Sunday, June 27. Illuminated by a single blue spotlight, Lucas will play the solo soundtrack he created for the eerie fantasy flick about a clay statue brought to life to save the Jewish ghetto of Prague.
Feldshuh, star of stage and big and small screen, will make a special appearance at the screening of the indie comedy hit Goyband on Wednesday, July 14, where she will receive the Jersey Shore Film Festival Award for Artistic Achievement.
“We are incredibly honored to have two world-class performers at the Jersey Shore Film Festival,” said Stevie Doueck, founding director of the festival, which runs June 27-July 18. “Not only do their names add a great deal of excitement to the lineup, but Gary’s performance to The Golem is so beyond the ordinary the audience will not know what hit them.”
A songwriter, international recording artist, and soundtrack composer for film and television, Lucas was recently cited as one of the “100 Greatest Living Guitarists” in Classic Rock magazine.
In a phone interview, Lucas told NJJN he played The Stone Pony in Asbury Park in 2005 and is thrilled to return to the Jersey shore. He said he shares a special bond with the Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen and contributed to the Boss’ Light of Day benefit album.
Raised in a Reform Jewish household in Syracuse, NY, as a child Lucas aspired to be “either a vampire or a rabbi,” he said. “I thought they were both equally cool as an occupation.”
He considers himself a pioneer of the radical Jewish music culture. He has appeared on stage in Israel and recorded three records with producer John Zorn on the Tzadik label.
Lucas has been performing his Golem soundtrack at festivals around the world since he first received the commission from the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1989. “When I first heard about the film I thought, ‘How cool is that? A Jewish Frankenstein,’” he said. “This is the most incredible unknown film I’ve ever seen.”
He describes his soundtrack as “psychedelic, mystical, spacey, and atmospheric. But the underlying soul of it is Jewish. It’s sort of like Pink Floyd meets ancient Jewish music,” he said. “The audience will be astonished and experience a sense of wonder. They’re never going to see or hear a combination of film and music like this again.”
Following the July 14 screening of the 2008 romantic comedy Goyband, Feldshuh, one of its stars, along with director Christopher Grimm and screenwriters Christa McNamee and Dan Bar Hava, will answer audience questions.
A “gefilte fish out of water tale,” the movie depicts a former boy-band superstar who falls for a rebellious Jewish girl while performing at the world’s first kosher hotel/casino.
Best known for her portrayal of Golda Meir in Broadway’s Golda’s Balcony, Feldshuh has earned four Tony nominations for Best Actress, four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Obie, the Theatre World Award, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actress.
Last season she starred to much acclaim in Irena’s Vow on Broadway and is about to join the cast of Love Loss & What I Wore by writer Nora Ephron. She is a two-time Emmy nominee for her work in the mini-series Holocaust and as Danielle Melnick in Law & Order.
Goyband premiered at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival and screened at numerous festivals in the United States.
“We were extremely fortunate with our cast,” Bar Hava said. “For authenticity’s sake we rented an entire Catskills hotel…and bussed everyone up there for a couple of weeks until the cold drove us back to New York City.”