Let the experts talk, please
Celebs have been holding court on social media throughout the pandemic, but now some of them are turning their Instagram and Twitter accounts over to experts. Sarah Jessica Parker is joined by other stars, including Hugh Jackman and Julia Roberts, in the #PasstheMic campaign, in which health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci and policymakers like former Sen. Bill Frist are taking over celebrities’ social media for a day.
What’s up at the North Pole?
Santa Claus, a Jew? Well, in this new animated series, yes. Sarah Silverman stars as a high-achieving elf who wants to be the first female Claus in history. Co-starring as another Santa Claus will be Seth Rogen. The show, pitched to adults, will run on HBO Max, the new streaming service that premiered on May 27.
The next Jewish prince
The newest handsome young Brit actor is also Jewish (and American, on one side). Jonah Hauer-King is one of the leads of “World on Fire,” the World War II series by the BBC, now being shown on PBS in the U.S. He’s poised to become an even bigger star now with a role as the love interest Prince Eric in the live-action remake of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” His mother’s parents fled Poland in the 1930s to the U.S.
Holocaust on social media
A new social media storytelling experiment, “Eva.Stories,” reimagines the Holocaust diary of a young girl named Eva Heyman for the Instagram age. The Israeli project just won a Webby Award, which goes to the best and most innovative internet work, for how it created a visual version of the story of Heyman, a Hungarian Jew who was killed at Auschwitz.
Ben and Beanie, BFFs
Actors Ben Platt and Beanie Feldstein are high school classmates from L.A. who bonded at school over their love of musical theater. It’s good that they’re besties, since they’ve committed to a film that will take them 20 years. They are starring in director Richard Linklater’s “real time” version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along,” a musical that follows its characters through their lives. Filming has begun, but don’t expect to watch it until around 2040.
A new “Smash” hit?
While Broadway is still shuttered, Steven Spielberg is thinking ahead. He’s planning to co-produce a staged musical of the TV show “Smash,” itself a story of a Broadway show. The score will be by the award-winning team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the duo behind “Hairspray,” among others, who also wrote for the TV show.
Jerry Stiller, loved and appreciated
Tributes have been pouring in for comedian Jerry Stiller, who died on May 11. Not only from his son, Ben Stiller, but also co-workers and fans like Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander and Billy Eichner have been posting loving and affectionate memories on social media.