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Thursday, April 14, 2011 | return to: columns, celebrities


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The light side of Passover, Paul Reiser returns ...

by nate bloom

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The light side of Passover

For two years running, Pulitzer Prize–winning humorist Dave Barry has come up with quite funny Passover-related remarks. Barry, who describes himself as an atheist, is the son of a Presbyterian minister. Since 1996, he has been married to Miami Herald sportswriter Michelle Kaufman. They had a daughter, Sophie, in 2000. Sophie is being raised Jewish and Barry sometimes attends synagogue.

On April 2, Barry did a radio interview in front of a live audience. Asked if he would ever leave Miami, he replied: “No, because my wife won’t let me … My wife is really rooted here. She’s Cuban Jewish. Juban, they call them. Yes, there are Jubans in the audience. They didn’t come over on rafts. They parted the Caribbean.”

In 2010, Barry told the New York Times: “My wife is Jewish, and when it’s Passover, we’ll have a house full of people eating roofing materials for a week. I keep telling them: ‘Come over to the lapsed-Presbyterian side. We can eat anything.’ ”

 

Paul Reiser returns

Comedian and actor Paul Reiser (“Mad About You”) returns to TV in the new NBC sitcom “The Paul Reiser Show” (started Thursday, April 14 at 8:30 p.m.). He plays a version of himself — his character is called Paul Reiser and he is the former star of “Mad About You.” He has a nice wife (played by Amy Landecker), two young kids and a bunch of buddies he hangs with (including Ben Shenkman, 42).

The question Reiser asks in the series preview is: “I have everything I want. What do I do now?”

In real life, Reiser, 54, does seem to be doing very well. Besides the new TV show, he’s been married to Paula Ravets, a psychologist, since 1988, and they have two sons, ages 15 and 10. In 2009 Reiser and his whole family visited Israel during Passover. He also was in Israel in 1984, while Ravets, his then-girlfriend, was studying at Tel Aviv University.

 

‘White Irish’ Jewish drinkers

Opening April 22 in San Francisco and the East Bay is the indie film “White Irish Drinkers.” It’s a coming-of-age story set in 1975 working-class Brooklyn, in which two teen brothers living with their abusive father (Stephen Lang, 59) and their well-meaning but ineffective mother (Karen Allen) are caught up in a life of petty crime.

Older brother Danny (Geoff Wigdor, 27) concocts a daring scheme to steal enough money for the two to escape. The sensitive younger brother, Brian (Nick Thurston), ultimately has a choice: remain loyal to his brother or use his hidden talent as an artist as his own ticket out.

“Drinkers,” which got a great advance review in Vanity Fair, also features Peter Riegert, 63, in a big supporting role. Riegert and Allen, by the way, played college sweethearts Boone and Katie in 1979’s “Animal House.”

Yes, by chance, “Drinkers” has a lot of Jewish actors playing Irish Catholic characters. One more is Regan Mizrahi, 10. He plays Little Brian. Mizrahi does the voice of Boots the Monkey on “Dora the Explorer,” the popular animated children’s TV show.

 

Moses on Blu-Ray

The annual ABC showing of “The Ten Commandments” will be on April 23 at 7 p.m. If you just can’t wait, a special new Blu-Ray edition of the film was released at the end of March.

Fraser Heston, the son of the late Charlton Heston (who starred, of course, as Moses in the film), was actively involved in putting together the Blu-Ray edition. He says that it was a painstaking job, “a complete shot-by-shot restoration.” Fraser, by the way, was 3 months old when he appeared as baby Moses in the 1956 classic.


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