Rodgers and Hammerstein in their day—and ours

Posted on June 24th, 2018
PETER TONGUETTE, The Weekly Standard


Can Rodgers and Hammerstein be untethered from their own era?

For about 15 years in the 1940s and ’50s, composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II partnered to produce a succession of popular, pathbreaking musicals, including Carousel, South Pacific, and The Sound of Music. In the nearly six decades since the 1960 death of Hammerstein, the music the duo made together has survived—often heard outside of the shows that first housed it or in new productions of those shows that take liberties with their makers’ intentions.

Continue reading.

To understand Israel, listen to its pop music

Posted on June 17th, 2018

An article about Israel on the occasion of the country’s 70th birthday seems to demand some or all of the following words: Trump, war, Iran, Gaza, Netanyahu, Palestinians, Syria, Jerusalem. But Israel isn’t a geopolitical problem – it’s a country, and the tendency to limit discussion of this country to those terms renders invisible much of what makes it interesting. What I find most remarkable, having lived here for the past 23 years, is Israel’s bewildering and fast-moving society, the complexities of which are usually overlooked by observers. The question of what “Israeli” means in 2018, and how that’s changing and why, are particularly important ones at this anniversary. One good way to answer is to listen to pop music.

Continue reading.

3-D Printing Gets Fashion Makeover in Tel Aviv

Posted on June 10th, 2018
By Dina Kraft for Hadassah Magazine

Eden Saadon was a design student in Tel Aviv studying textiles when she came across a television ad for a pen that could be used to create material to build small 3-D printed structures. Intrigued, she ordered it and spent the next year working to perfect what began as a hunch: The pen could be used to print clothing.

Continue reading.

3 Lessons from Roseanne's Offensive Tweet

Posted on June 3rd, 2018
by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller for
What we can take from ABC’s abrupt cancellation of Roseanne Barr’s hit show.

ABC has cancelled Roseanne Barr’s popular hit comedy series after she tweeted an offensive racist message about former President Barack Obama’s aide Valerie Jarrett.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, May 28, Roseanne issued the tweet, then tweeted several other offensive and incorrect messages concerning Ms. Jarrett. ABC’s response was swift: it cancelled the show despite its success, earning the network an estimated $45 million this past year.

Continue reading.

Iraqi musicians fight to revive ancient art of maqam

Posted on May 27th, 2018
By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor

Rooted in classical and colloquial Arab poetry and embracing a wide repertoire of melodies, the Iraqi maqam is considered a symbol of the musical history of Iraq and the Middle East. Inscribed in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008, the Iraqi maqam is still alive, whereas many Arab musical styles in the region have either disappeared or become Westernized over time.

A link between the people in Iraq and those who have been displaced or left the country long ago, maqam is also symbolic for the Iraqi Jews who still play maqam concerts, even in Israel.

Continue reading.