Friday, June 30, 2006 | return to: celebrities


Celebrity Jews

by nate bloom

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Fashion wars

Lauren Weisberger's
best-selling novel "The Devil Wears Prada" has been turned into a movie of the same name and opens on Friday, June 30.

"Prada" is loosely based on Weisberger's life. Weisberger, 29, a practicing Jew, went to an Ivy League school and, right after finishing became an assistant to Anna Wintour, the powerful (non-Jewish) Vogue editor.

In the novel/film, the heroine is Andrea Sachs, a small-town Jewish girl and an Ivy League grad who works as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, a top fashion editor. Priestly makes Sachs run trivial personal errands for her. Along the way we learn that Sachs is determined to stick out a year with Priestly, because then she will be able to snare a great job with a top literary journal. We also learn that the haughty Priestly, who is played by Meryl Streep, was born Miriam Princhek, to a poor Orthodox Jewish family and, to quote Weisberger, transformed herself from a "Jewish peasant to secular socialite."

"Prada" is directed by David Frankel. David's father, Max Frankel, was a top New York Times editor/columnist until his retirement.

Super nerd

Director Bryan Singer ("X-Men") came in a few years ago to rescue the ailing "Superman" movie franchise. He's crafted a very human Superman who returns to Earth after five years away in space. Advance reports say that "Superman Returns," which was scheduled to open Wednesday, June 28, may be the best "Superman" film ever.

Singer, 45, grew up in the New Jersey suburbs, a self-described nerdy gay kid and terrible student.

But Singer found a super role model — a guy who was nerdier than Clark Kent, until he discovered his powers. Singer says: "Watching a TV profile of Steven Spielberg — suddenly I saw a Jewish kid from the suburbs who was a nerd and who had a drawer full of 8mm movies. I immediately drew a parallel. I saw the show at a friend's house, and literally on the walk back from their house to my house — I even know the exact moment of sidewalk on which it took place — I decided: Now I know what I want to do with the rest of my life. And from that moment, it was as though a huge weight had been lifted off me. I was ecstatic."


Zach Braff
, 31, the star of TV's "Scrubs" and the hit movie "Garden State," is reportedly going to tour Israel next month with his long-term girlfriend, actress-singer Mandy Moore, 22.

YnetNews says that Braff called the Israeli consul general in Los Angeles and asked for help with tour planning. Braff, who visited Israel when he was 19, has scheduled stops in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, at the Dead Sea and Masada.

Coming to Broadway

The hit songs of Carole King and Gerry Goffin will be the centerpiece of a new play entitled "Natural Woman." This contemporary New York love story will feature hits co-written by the pair or written on their own.

A staged reading was held in New York this month, but no date has yet been set for a Broadway opening.

King, 64, and Goffin, 67, were married from 1959 to 1968 and together produced such classics as "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Up on the Roof," and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" King, of course, went on to a great solo career as a singer-songwriter and is famous for such tunes as "I Feel the Earth Move" and "You've Got a Friend."

Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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