Catching up with Members of the Tribe in the public eye. Names of Jews in the news are in boldface.
It’s Grammy time
The Grammy awards for excellence in music air Sun., Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. on CBS. There are about 100 Grammy award categories, but only about 20 awards are actually presented on TV. Barbra Streisand, 68, will appear briefly at the awards (on tape) as the winner of the Grammy “special merit” award for her charitable work. Streisand is also nominated for best traditional pop vocal album (“Love Is the Answer”). She vies for this award with Barry Manilow, 67, (“Greatest Love Songs of All Time”).
Nominated for best new artist is rapper Drake, 24. Born Aubrey Graham Drake, he’s the son of a Canadian Jewish mother and an African American (non-Jewish) father. He was raised Jewish and became a bar mitzvah. Drake is also up for three Grammys in rap music categories and will perform at the ceremony with Rihanna. Another live musical number will be sung by the unlikely trio of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, 38, hip-hop singer Cee Lo Green, and the Muppets.
Also up for four Grammys is Ari Levine, 26, a hip-hop music producer and songwriter. He co-wrote and produced (different) songs by Cee Lo Green and Bruno Mars that are nominated for record/song of the year.
Worthy of note: actress Selma Blair, 38, is nominated for best spoken word album for children for “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition.”
Israeli ‘Traffic Light’
The TV comedy “Traffic Light” premièred Feb. 8 on Fox. It is based on an award-winning Israeli comedy.
The show centers around three 30-something buddies, each of whom is at a very different stage of life when it comes to relationships with women. One has just moved in with his girlfriend, another is married with a toddler, and the third is a swinging bachelor. The Israeli version has enjoyed two successful seasons, and its creator and star Adir Miller, 36, recently won an International Emmy award for best comedy.
The only Israeli TV show to successfully cross to the U.S. is the HBO drama “In Treatment.” A previous attempt to bring over a light Israeli comedy-drama in 2008, “The Ex List,” crashed and burned after one season.