The Jewish Advocate: “You can’t blame the soldiers for fighting in a war”; Exactly three decades since the end of the Vietnam war, veterans reflect on the views of Boston’s Jewish community towards the conflict and its 30-year legacy

Originally published in The Jewish Advocate.

At the 30th anniversary of the end of one of the most painful periods in American military history, one veteran is working hard to ensure that today’s soldiers won’t have to endure what he went through. Attorney Harvey Weiner served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970, and the memories or returning home to a hostile public are still fresh. “Coming back was an extremely negative experience for myself and for almost all other Vietnam veterans. The reaction of most of us was to just hunker down and forget about it, put it behind us, and not talk about it at all.”

The events of September 11, 2001 changed that attitude for Weiner, who feared that an unpopular war might follow. Weiner worried that soldiers today would once again face demonstrators who made no distinction between the war they opposed and the soldiers who fought in it. His solution was to get involved with the Jewish War Veterans.  Continue reading

Talkin’ Broadway: Into The Woods

Originally published on Talkin’ Broadway.

Aimee Doherty (Cinderella), Miguel Cervantes (Jack), Evan Harrington (Baker) and Veronica J. Kuehn (Little Red Ridinghood)

The production is the final show of the 20th anniversary season. It’s also the company’s last hurrah in its current theatre space before moving to a brand-new, larger, state-of-the-art theatre. And the cast is a Who’s Who of Boston theatre. So to say expectations were high for the New Repertory Theatre’s production of Into The Woods might be something of an understatement. Happily, director Rick Lombardo has crafted a crowd-pleaser that’s both delightful and provocative.

Originally intended to open the company’s new theatre, Into The Woodsis a sprawling show – with seventeen cast members and an eight-piece band. Squeezing it all into the company’s tiny space is a feat all in itself. Lombardo and choreographer Kelli Edwards have compensated by utilizing every inch of space in the theatre, bringing characters into the aisles and even above the stage. The result is a more intimate Woods, where the characters’ realism trumps their fantastical elements, making the story of communal responsibility and parental obligations resonate even stronger.

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