The Bible Players, a New York-based comedy improv act that performs shows based on stories from the Torah, will do seven shows in Northeast Ohio from Thursday, March 6, through Sunday, March 9.
“It’s Midrash meets Monty Python,” said Andrew Davies, The Bible Players’ executive director and one-half of the comedy duo, in a telephone interview from New York.
Aaron Friedman, artistic director, is the other half of the act. Both are co-founders.
Davies said the duo has performed at more than 100 camps, schools and synagogues in 16 states since its formation in 2011.
“We visited Cleveland a year ago, working with the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland, so they’re bringing us back for a few programs,” he said.
Davies said The Bible Players’ shows and workshops teach Torah stories, Jewish values and how to be a mensch.
“Our goal is to make Bible fun and to tell stories in a fun way, and also to reinforce some Jewish values that we care about,” he said.
The Bible Players are coming to Cleveland primarily to take part in the annual iDay, an afternoon of Israeli experiences for Jewish teenagers of Greater Cleveland and their families, said Amnon Ophir, director of @Akiva in Beachwood. The iDay activities are set for 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 9, at the Siegal facility in Beachwood and will include performances by The Bible Players at 2 p.m., for adults and educators, and 4 p.m., for teenagers and their families.
The three West Side temples of Greater Cleveland – Temple B’nai Abraham in Elyria, Beth Israel-The West Temple in Cleveland and Agudath B’nai Israel Synagogue in Lorain – are co-sponsoring a dinner in conjunction with a Saturday, March 8, show at Temple B’nai Abraham. The show starts at 4:30 p.m., followed by a dairy potluck supper.
“We always look for events that can bring the three congregations together,” said Rabbi Lauren Werber of B’nai Abraham. “This one sort of fell into our laps because they were coming to Cleveland already.
“It’s mostly a social Shabbat experience where we can enjoy one another but also have a Jewish-themed performance. We’re excited to have them with us.”
The Bible Players will perform two shows for religious school students, at 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., March 8 at B’nai Jeshurun Congregation in Pepper Pike. Rabbi Josh Foster, B’nai Jeshurun’s education director, said The Bible Players did a show for students in grades three to six there last year.
“The students enjoyed the performance so much, we decided to bring them back for two performances this year,” Foster said.
The Bible Players will also perform at 7 p.m. March 6 at Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson and at 11 a.m. March 9 at Park Synagogue East in Pepper Pike. A community dinner at 6 p.m. will precede the show in Hudson.
WHO: The Bible Players, comedy improv act
WHAT: A series of seven shows
WHEN: Thursday, March 6, through Sunday, March 9
WHERE: Five locations
SCHEDULE: March 6, 7 p.m. at Temple Beth Shalom, 50 Division St., Hudson
• March 8, 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. at B’nai Jeshurun Congregation, 27501 Fairmount Blvd., Pepper Pike
• March 8, 4:30 p.m. at Temple B’nai Abraham, 530 Gulf Road, Elyria
• March 9, 11 a.m. at Park Synagogue East, 27500 Shaker Blvd., Pepper Pike
• March 9, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Siegel facility, 26500 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood
INFO: All shows are free and open to the public. A 6 p.m. community dinner will precede the show at Temple Beth Shalom. Tickets for the dinner are $5 per person and $18 per family. A dairy potluck supper will follow the show at Temple B’nai Abraham. There is no cost, but attendees are asked to bring a side dish, main dish or dessert. A Havdalah service and oneg will follow the dinner.
CONTACT: To RSVP for dinner at Temple Beth Shalom, email firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, March 4. To RSVP for show and supper at Temple B’nai Abraham, contact Marcia Demby at email@example.com or 440-458-4548. To RSVP for show at Park Synagogue East, call Jamie Feinstein at 216-371-2244, ext. 124, by 5 p.m. Thursday, March 6.