Jews in the News: Billy Crystal, Dave Brubeck, Adam Lambert

Rogen and Streisand were recently interviewed by Time magazine’s JOEL STEIN. Rogen immediately revealed that the whole “road trip” took place in a studio not far from Streisand’s Malibu home. (She made it clear that she wouldn’t star in any film that was filmed more than 45 minutes from her home).  Rogen added that he and Streisand never sang together during breaks in filming. But she did regale him with “war” stories: like smoking pot with the late PETER SELLERS and turning down a proposition from Marlon Brando.

“Guilt Trip” is Streisand’s first co-starring role since “The Mirror Has Two Faces” in 1996. Streisand told Stein she was going to pass on the movie because she had long limited herself to supporting parts (like “Meet the Fockers”) in which her role was filmed in a week. Then, she said, a friend told her, "'You’re an actress so you should act.” Not long after, Streisand said, she read the “Guilt” script out loud with her son, and he thought she should do it. Her “yes” decision was also influenced by the prospect of working with Rogen. She said about Rogen, “I’d seen a few of [his movies]. I was a little shocked because I’m sort of a prude. He just said that? He showed that? Oh my God! But I thought he’s really cool. So I thought, ‘Yeah, good. Two different generations put together.”

Streisand added that the film’s director Anne Fletcher really pursued her, “which was nice.” Fletcher recently helmed the commercially successful, but pretty vapid romantic comedies “27 Dresses” and “The Proposition.” However, DAN FOGELMAN, 40, the writer of “Guilt Trip,” is a much better writer than the writers of those films. He wrote the very charming animated film “Cars” (2006) and the intelligent romantic comedy-drama hit “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” (2011)

Diva Alert
On Sunday, Dec.16, at 9PM, pop singer ADAM LAMBERT, 30, will host a live tribute concert on the cable series, “VH-1 Divas.” The show will honor the late singers Whitney Houston and Donna Summers. Performers include Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. Lambert, who became a star via “American Idol,” is the son of a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish father. He identifies as Jewish.

On Dave Brubeck: a Mensch
Famous jazz musician and composer Dave Brubeck died on Dec. 5, age 91. Many wrongly assumed he was Jewish. His last name came from some remote German, non-Jewish, ancestry. Born a Protestant, he converted to Catholicism in 1990. His great mentor and teacher was DARIUS MILHAUD (1884-1974), a famous French Jewish composer who fled France after the Nazi invasion and taught in California until France was liberated. Brubeck named his first son, Darius, after Milhaud.

Brubeck was the composer of "Gates of Justice," (1968) a cantata based on Jewish texts and the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King that was commissioned by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. The work is still performed on occasion by orchestras. In 2005, Brubeck composed “The Commandments,” a work whose genesis he attributed to his World War II army experiences – the conflict between the carnage of war and the commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill." The work emphasizes what Brubeck once said is man's "God-given potential for redemption.”

Brubeck was a great friend of the Milken Archive of American Music and LOWELL MILKEN, the founder of the Archive, said this right after Brubeck’s death: “His work will continue to speak an eternal message of hope for the brotherhood of man."  A tribute to Brubeck, and recordings of the two works described above, can be found (and listened to) at the Milken archive.

Nate Bloom writes a weekly column on Jewish celebrities, broadly defined, that appears in Cleveland Jewish News, the American Israelite of Cincinnati, the Detroit Jewish News, and the New Jersey Jewish Standard. It also appears bi-weekly in j., the Jewish news weekly of northern California. He also writes a similar bi-weekly column for the website   Starting April, 2012, a monthly version of his column (featuring relevant “oldies but goodies”) will appear in the following Florida newspapers: The Jewish News (Sarasota and Manatee County); The Federation Star (Collier County); and L’Chayim (Lee and Charlotte counties).  The author welcomes questions and celebrity “tips,” especially about people you personally know. Write him at  



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