Jews on horseback
Orthodox rapper Nissim Black has released a new video, “Win,” starring Amar’e Stoudemire, a former NBA star who now plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. In the video, Stoudemire and Black, in cloaks, battle spirits on their way to claim a castle. They win with Black’s mystical wielding of the power of the Hebrew alphabet … and Stoudemire looks pretty great as a knight.
Book club to TV screen
Writer James McBride is having a banner year. After his latest book, “Deacon King Kong,” made Oprah’s Book Club (a sure path to sales), it’s been picked up as a TV series. McBride will write the script, a complicated heist story set in a housing project in the 1960s. McBride grew up in a similar place himself as a young black man raised by a white Jewish mother, a story he described in his 1995 book “The Color of Water.”
Behind the scenes
A new documentary takes a look at the life and craft of Jerusalem-born Moni Yakim, a legendary teacher at Juilliard’s drama school who has shaped generations of actors since he began working there in 1968. With a roster of graduates and stars from Viola Davis to Kevin Kline, “Creating a Character: The Moni Yakim Legacy” shows the discipline and passion behind the scenes of the famed acting school. For now, the film is for rent on First Run Features.
More tense Israeli TV
TV keeps coming out of Israel — now Apple TV+ has picked up “Tehran,” co-created by “Fauda” writer Moshe Zonder. The show follows Tamar, a young woman in the Israel Defense Forces’ hacking unit who is sent to Iran to take down a nuclear reactor. But when things go wrong, Tamar goes on the run in the titular city, finding refuge and hope with young Iranians she meets.
Hit or miss?
Bette Midler, Dan Levy and others will star in “Coastal Elites,” an HBO show that will be produced during — and is about — the global coronavirus pandemic. What that means remains to be seen, but it’s described as a “satirical comedy special” about politics and Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Debra Messing, it was announced, will star in a new TV comedy on Starz. She’ll play a White House social secretary in “The East Wing,” set in the 1980s. But with the TV industry slowly reopening and pandemic social distancing requirements in place, new shows will have a hard time getting into production.
Making a gesture
Barbra Streisand has joined other celebs in sending something to Gianna Floyd, the youngest daughter of George Floyd, killed last month while in police custody in Minneapolis. Streisand mailed the 6-year-old girl a gift of Disney stock, as well as copies of her children’s specials from the 1960s. The singer’s reps wouldn’t disclose, though, how much the stock was worth.