Thank you to everyone for supporting J. EDGAR KLEZMER in its first full-production theatrical run at Centenary Stage Company [NJ], which also led to our bringing the show to a sold-out run Off-Off Broadway (The New York Times gave us a glowing review opening night at HERE Arts Center!) With additional support, we were also able to take this performance on to the larger stage of The Emelin Theatre [Westchester]. Our original Indiegogo campaign was entirely successful — we surpassed our target on February 24, and contributions have now brought us to over 130% of our initial goal!
Now we’re continuing to accept donations & offer donor perks via On Demand Indiegogo. We also accept contributions by PayPal, credit card or check.
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Contributions for J. Edgar Klezmer also can be sent directly to the artists.
Please make checks payable to Metropolitan Klezmer, with “J. Edgar Klezmer” on the memo line.
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J. EDGAR KLEZMER: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files had a fantastic run at Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown, NJ February 12 through 15. This expanded production of J. EDGAR KLEZMER features full staging with a complement of props, additional multi-media elements with recently unearthed Hoover / FBI surveillance imagery, and great costumes! We are raising funds to pay for this version of the show — acclaimed in its earlier versions at Dixon Place, Puffin Forum and JCC Manhattan. The stellar lineup features bandmates from Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos in both musician and speaking roles plus actress Yelena Shmulenson (A Serious Man; Boardwalk Empire), and veteran director Gwenyth Reitz. Funds raised will support performance and rehearsal fees, multi-media tech expertise, travel costs, production materials, documentation and more.
“THANKS FOR WATCHING, MR. HOOVER: A musical ode to Grandma, with help from the feds”
The New York Time‘s review of the opening night performance at HERE
“Turning Grandma’s FBI File Into Theater”
Ted Merwin’s preview of J. EDGAR KLEZMER in The Jewish Week
“Klezmer Meets Politics in Unique Theater Piece”
NJ Jersey Arts Maven’s Sheila Abrams reviews the show
J. EDGAR KLEZMER: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files is a musical documentary theater adventure, researched and written by grandchild and bandleader Eve Sicular. From klezmer to Kodaly to jazz, baroque to boogie woogie to gospel, and a New York Times clipping on Hazel Scott’s cancelled TV show to derelict theories of homosexuality, J. Edgar Klezmer’s exploration of surveillance files leads in even more directions than the Department of Justice could have foreseen.
J. Edgar Klezmer premiered to a sold-out house at Dixon Place in November 2008 and immediately became a Time Out NY Critics Pick.
The show is based on the true story of the late Dr. Adele Sicular, grandmother of Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos drummer & bandleader Eve Sicular. Using documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act filing, plus myriad other archival findings, and combined with family gossip, this piece investigates the dealings of the FBI and Eve’s pianist / psychiatrist / activist grandma through live theater, multi-media projections, and live music.
The show was again presented in June, 2009 by The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan under the direction of Isabel Milenski and in February the same year at the Puffin Cultural Forum in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Melissa Fogarty lead vocals
Eve Sicular drums, grandchild
Debra Kreisberg clarinet, saxophone
Reut Regev trombone, slide trumpet
Shoko Nagai piano, accordion
DIRECTED BY Gwenyth Reitz
In June, 2009 Eve Sicular spoke to Vox Tablet’s Sara Ivry about her grandmother Adele Sicular and J. Edgar Klezmer. Listen to Prying Eyes: A klezmer musician turns her grandmother’s FBI files into musical theater. Vox Tablet is Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast, hosted by Sara Ivry and produced by Julie Subrin.
Thanks to Third Street Music School Settlement, Caravan of Dreams, A Repeat Performance Antiques, and The Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation for support of our 2015 productions. Development and previous performances of J. EDGAR KLEZMER: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files also received support from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund (NYC Department of Cultural Affairs), Third Street Music School Settlement, New York Theatre Workshop, and the Sparkplug Foundation. We are also grateful to numerous generous private donors, and to our 157 crowd-funding contributors to date – from seven countries around the world thus far.
“The concept is brilliant, the material, superb, the execution, flawless and poetic, athletic and thoughtful in every move. Please congratulate your fellow performers, one more talented than the next. Everyone I spoke to agreed it was absolutely wonderful. Thank you for the really hard work and reminding us of those harrowing McCarthy era years.
That was some grandma you had.” – Mary Silk (Emelin Theatre, 12/5/2015)
“The ‘musical documentary theater adventure’ was all that we anticipated…the story, the music, the talented musicians/actresses… everything was really terrific, and we will remember it for a long time to come! Great turnout (terrific for the Emelin, too!!)” – Yvonne Tropp (Emelin Theatre, 12/5/2015)
Video excerpts are now available for presenters requesting previews of J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files. Email Eve Sicular.