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SJ Super 7

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2004-10-12



The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: Rowetta reaches the final 15 of The X-Factor, Jews lend voices to cartoons, moviegoers get a double dose of Rachel Stevens and The Producers' opening date draws even closer.

1 Rowetta's dream coming true: X-Factor contestant Rowetta has made it to the last 15 of the show – and stands to win a place in the final. The former Happy Mondays backing vocalist, who revealed in an earlier show that she has a Jewish mother and Nigerian father told SJ
exclusively that being in the last 15 was "a fantastic feeling. I'm still pinching myself," she said. And what does her mum think? "My mum is thrilled. She's wanted me to do well for so long, and this could be my big break, even at my ripe old age. Definitely worth the wait
though." Although many people are tipping her to win the ITV1 talent show, she remains modest about her chances. "To me winning would be to get into the final nine, and take part in the live finals. That would be amazing, it's lovely that so many people are being supportive. The respone I've had from people has been unbelievable. If Rowetta does make the finals, she's most looking forward to the chance to sing live. "It's a dream for most singers, I'm sure. I also love the fact that this show is open to all ages, and that I'm representing the older group. It's new in talent competitions, which makes it al the more exciting for me."

2. Jews do cartoons: a whole bunch of Jewish stars have been lending their voices to upcoming animated films. For starters, there's Jack Black who can be heard in the computer animated Shark Tale, which opens in the UK on October 15. Hot on his heels comes Mel Brooks,
who's voicing one of the characters in another forthcoming computer animated film Robots, due in the UK in spring 2005. And finally, even Sacha Baron Cohen is getting in on the act – SJ spotted his name in the credits of a trailer for Madagascar, which is due here next summer – the film is about the animals in Central Park Zoo, although it's yet to be confirmed which character he's voicing, but his co-stars include David Schwimmer and Ben Stiller.

3. Countdown to The Producers: London's theatregoers will soon have the chance to see Broadway hit The Producers for themselves, with less than two weeks to before it begins previews. Richard Dreyfuss stars as Max Bialystock in the London production, while Lee Evans plays Leo Bloom. It's previewing from October 22, before opening officially on November 10, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

4. More Jews on film: The next big Jewish film could well be When Do We Eat?, a Pesach-themed comedy about a family whose Seder becomes seriously weird after their father accidentally swallows some Ecstasy. Former Quincy star Jack Klugman heads the cast. No word yet on when we're likely to see it in the UK but SJ has caught a glimpse of the trailer and it looks as though it'll be worth the wait. See for yourself at:

5. Rachel's royal appointment: Rachel Stevens is returning to the big screen, following her appearance in Suzie Gold earlier this year. Later this month she'll be heard performing the song Fools on the soundtrack of Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement – but she's also been busy filming a small role in the comedy sequel Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. It'll be in cinemas next year.

6. Special Simchat Torah: New York Jews had the chance this week to attend Simchat Torah Under The Stars, a special event marking the joyous festival. The celebration kicked off at dusk on October 7 and ran through until dawn the next morning, complete with song, dance and
18 Sefer Torahs.

7. Jaron's film debut: Jaron Lowenstein, one half of tuneful twin duo Evan and Jaron, is set to make his film debut in Lucky 13. Lowenstein will star as a cantor in the movie, which sounds like the US answer to the Barmitzvah boy; it focuses on a father and son who are attempting to patch up their strained relationship ahead of his big day on the