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SJ Super 7

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2004-10-19

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar

The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: Rowetta reaches the final of The X-Factor, Nathan Lane replaces Richard Dreyfuss in The Producers, Sarah Michelle Gellar talks horror movies and Krispy Kreme donuts are spotted in Tesco.

1 Rowetta makes the final: X-Factor contestant Rowetta has made it to the final nine in the TV talent show and now has the chance to perform in front of a live audience. The 38-year-old, a former backing vocalist for the Happy Mondays, is being hotly tipped to win the show, with bookies William Hill offering odds for 4-1 on the Manchester-born singer and Coral bookmakers making her 7-2 favourite. However, it's all down to the public from now on – if Rowetta receives the least number of votes from the public in one of the forthcoming live shows she faces elimination from the contest.

2. Lane comes to London: Actor Nathan Lane has stepped in to save the London production of Broadway hit The Producers, after its star Richard Dreyfuss quit unexpectedly. Dreyfuss, who was due to star as Max Bialystock in the London production of the Mel Brooks musical, dropped out just days before previews were due to begin, blaming a recurring shoulder injury and back problems related to recent surgery.

A spokesperson said it had been difficuly for the 56-year-old actor "to fulfil the rigours of the role". Lane, who won a Tony theatre award for his performance in the Broadway production, will appear in the London version until January, when he is due to begin work on a film version of the stage show. The Producers previews at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane from October 22, before opening officially on November 10.

3. Gellar's Grudge: Semitic star Sarah Michelle Gellar has been talking about her role in forthcoming film The Grudge, a remake of a Japanese shocker about some weird goings on in a haunted house. One of the reasons that I signed on for it is because I wouldn't sort of categorize it as your typical horror film," said Gellar, who filmed the movie in Tokyo. "I think Japanese films leave a lot more to the imagination. It's a lot more about setting it up and letting you take it to that place where it makes it scariest for you." The film opens in the US on October 22 and in the UK the following week.

4. Tesco gets Krispy: the popular Krispy Kreme donuts, which went on sale in the UK for the first time last year (at Harrods in London) are now also available to buy at Tesco's in Watford. A full range of the donuts – which are made using kosher ingredients – is available, with flavours including original glazed, chocolate iced, crème filled and cinnamon.

5. Matt's back: one of the UK's funniest Jewish comedians Matt Lucas returns to the small screen this week in the second series of Little Britain. New characters are promised in the sketch show, as well as the return of old favourites including sullen teenager Vicky Pollard, stage hypnotist Kenny Craig and Welshman Daffyd Thomas, aka 'the only gay in the village'. It starts on BBC3 on October 19 from 9pm.

6. Kosher Keynes: the UK's next big Jewish community could be in Milton Keynes, if plans for a new housing development are anything to go by. The Agudas Israel Housing Association, an orthodox organisation, is currently in talks with landowners English Partnerships to buy a piece of land in the town and build 300 homes as well as Jewish schools and kosher shops. A spokesman for the organisation said they already had a waiting list of 500 people eager to move to the planned development

7. Seven years late: a Jewish comedy which was made in 1997 and has played at film festivals all around the world (including the UK) is finally set to get a cinema release in this country. Would I Lie To You is a French comedy about a non-Jewish man who pretends to be Jewish in order to keep his job and his girlfriend. It's released in the UK on November 5.