New West End & Central’s ‘Purim Jewsical’
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Thursday 12th March 2020

The communities of Central and New West End Synagogues recently came together at St Petersburgh Place to perform their ‘Purim Jewsical’. Community member Peter Featherman reviewed the evening:

After a rousing reading of the Megillah by Rabbi Captain Moshe Hook (Freedman), the crowd moved into the Herbert Samuel Hall for the artistic highlight of the year, the much-anticipated Purim 5780 Jewsical.

Singing from a script crafted with brilliance by Marc Joseph, with assistance from Felicity Miller, and accompanied by the flawless piano playing of Frank Miller, a choir made up of members of both shuls ran through a series of mostly Broadway tunes adapted to the occasion. The programme was compèred by Alex and Ben Miller, who deftly threaded the tunes together with wit and charm.

Following the Disneyesque overture “Be our Guest” inviting the gathering to “Come on and drink and schmooze”, the programme continued with – what else – an ode to a good fress: “Jews are busting out all over” after Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, reminding everyone of the delicious food-to-come.

The choir ended on the memorable parody of the great Mary Poppins classic, now called “Soup-and-challa-onion-bagels-herring-and-charosis”.

The ravenous crowd then moved into the Golda Cohen Room for delicious falafel, pitas, salads, hamantaschen and more: a brilliant feast as always from Stephanie Featherman and her team.  As the choir rightly put it, “there’s no better Purim party than when United Shuls get arty”. It’s fair to say that, full to bursting and whistling their favourite tunes of the night, every member of the audience heartily agreed.

By Peter Featherman