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SJ Super 7

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2005-07-28

The Producers musical film

The Producers musical film

The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: Rachel Weisz nabs herself a Jewish husband, David Schwimmer looks for a Jewish wife, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn crash a Jewish wedding, and The Producers heads for a big screen near you.

1. Weisz Jewish boy: kosher actress Rachel Weisz is set to tie the knot with Jewish film director Darren Aronofsky. (he made the black-and-white cult hit Pi and the drug-themed drama Requiem For A Dream). Although the pair have yet to set a date, they’re apparently keen on having a traditional Jewish wedding in New York. But if you don’t get an invite to the wedding, you’ll have plenty of chances to see Rachel on screen over the next few months – as well as starring in The Constant Gardener with Ralph Fiennes, she’ll also be seen in her fiance’s next film The Fountain.

2. Jewish weddings on film: if you haven’t had a chance to check out the new comedy The Wedding Crashers, then get yourself down to the local multiplex. The film, which has been a big hit at the box office, stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as best friends who have the unusual hobby of gatecrashing other people’s weddings – including a set of Jewish nuptials. Look out, too, for an appearance by the LA-based group The Klezmer Juice Band, who perform Hava Nagila in the film, accompanied by Owen and Vince.

3. Yet more Jewish wedding news: Former Friends star David Schwimmer has revealed that he’s on the lookout for a Jewish wife. Schwimmer, currently starring in Some Girls in London’s West End, said in a recent interview: “My parents would be thrilled (if I married a Jew). It makes things a lot easier, sharing a cultural and religious background, but I was raised completely without prejudice or bias in terms of meeting people of other races or cultures or religions - and I am pretty open." He’s currently dating the Hawaiian actress Rochelle Ovitt, although he also had a long-term relationship with the Israeli star Mili Avital.

4. Rockin’ Jews: SJ’s favourite new website is Jewsrock (http://www.jewsrock.org/) a guide to who’s kosher in the world of rock n’roll. Highlight of the site is the Challah Fame, which offers an A to Z guide of Jewish singers, songwriters and performers – but there’s plenty more to enjoy here, including photos of Jewish rockers in concert, and a chance to test your Jewish rock knowledge.

5. Polanski does Dickens: Having won an Oscar for his Holocaust-themed drama The Pianist, filmmaker Roman Polanski is keeping the Jewish theme for his latest project – a new version of the Dickens classic Oliver Twist. It’s not the musical version – so don’t go expecting song and dance numbers – but you will get to see semi-Semite Ben Kingsley as the wily pickpocket Fagin. The film opens in the UK on October 7.

6. The Brothers are back: Having made their mark on UK audiences last year, New Zealand klezmer combo The Jews Brothers Band are returning to play some dates next month. They’ll be kicking off the tour with a date at the Spitz in East London on 3 August, then they’ll be playing as part of the Chelwest Hospital Arts Programme (for the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital), on 4 August. Other dates include a charity function in Chelmsford on 6 August and an appearance at the Broadstairs Folk Festival the following night, before they round off the tour at Momos in London on 9 August. For more info check out their website: www.jewsbrothers.com

7. Producers gets date: If you haven’t had a chance to catch the West End production of The Producers, then you’ll soon be able to see what all the fuss is about at a cinema near you. The film version of the hit show, starring original Broadway cast members Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, is set to arrive on UK screens on Boxing Day this year. Co-stars include Uma Thurman and funnyman Will Ferrell – while the film itself is already attracting Oscar talk, even though nobody’s actually seen it yet.