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February 21, 2012 > 'Glee! the spiel'

'Glee! the spiel'

By Miriam G. Mazliach
Photos By Laura Golden

If a mix of music, humor, and the Old Testament gets your feet tapping, then don't miss Temple Beth Torah's, "Glee! the spiel." The entertaining production has a limited run of only two performances: Saturday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 4 at 1 p.m.

This year's "spiel" (a humorous, tongue-in-cheek play), is a musical-comedy adaptation of the traditional story of the Jewish holiday of Purim, but based on the characters and music of the hit television show Glee! Music is the universal language that draws people together, as evidenced by the show's popularity, among all ages.

"Glee! the spiel" recounts, in a unique version, the story behind the festive holiday. It's the tale of Queen Esther, a young woman who marries a King (Ahasuerus) but must hide her Jewish faith. When Haman, the King's evil advisor, threatens her people with death, she finds the courage to acknowledge and reveal her true identity.

A cast of more than 50 performers span the generations, from four-year old Dara Turchin to members of Temple Beth Torah's "Shalom Aleynu" senior citizens group. All take on the personas of well-known Glee characters, but with a biblical twist such as: "Mordechai" Will Schuester, "Esther" Rachel Berry and "Haman" Sue Sylvester, to name a few.

To help set the mood, here is a sampling of the humorously renamed production numbers with the original song titles in parentheses:

"Don't Stop the Spielin" based on the classic pop song, (Don't Stop Believin' by Journey); "Bad Hair Day," (Bad Romance by Lady Gaga); "Teenage Queen," (Teenage Dream, by Katy Perry) and "Defying Authority," (Defying Gravity, from the Broadway musical "Wicked.")

The script, written by Norman Roth, with adaption and direction by Laura Golden, is sure to be a crowd-pleasing event. Greg Ravenscroft takes on the duties of producer.

A historical victory over oppression, Purim is traditionally celebrated by dressing up in costumes, waving "greggars" (noisemakers) and consumption of delectable baked goods, specifically hamantaschen (triangular-shaped poppy seed/fruit filled pastries), modeled after the three-cornered hat worn by Haman.

Now celebrating its 50th year anniversary in Fremont, Temple Beth Torah encourages the entire community to attend and experience the fun and flavor of a true Purim spiel. These productions always offer a wonderful time for the entire family, so get your tickets early!

Prices will be higher at the door (assuming it doesn't sell out beforehand), so it is advisable to buy in advance either online at or call the TBT office at (510) 656-7141.

Glee! The spiel
Saturday, March 3
7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 4
1 p.m.
Temple Beth Torah
42000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
(510) 656-7141

Tickets: $5/General admission (ages 14-64); $4/General (age 65+); Free General admission (ages 13 and under only); $15/Preferred (ages 13 and under and 65+); $20/Preferred (ages 14-64); $50 - VIP (front row seats for Saturday 3/3 show only)

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