Jews In The News: Drake, Barbara Streisand and Daniel Radcliffe

Grammy Time

 The Grammy awards ceremony will be presented live on Feb. 10 at 8PM (CBS). The vast majority of the awards are not presented on TV.  Here’s my list of Jewish nominees in the “TV worthy” categories. This list’s superstar is rapper DRAKE, (AKA Aubrey Drake Graham).  As usual, Drake, 32, got multiple nominations (seven this year). Four are for “God’s Plan,” a song that Drake wrote and performed.  It was the most streamed song of 2018 on Apple and Spotify. “God’s Plan” is nominated for song-of-the-year, record-of-the-year, best rap song, and best rap performance. “God’s Plan”, released as a single, later appeared on the album “Scorpion,” which is up for album-of-the year honors.

The band Maroon 5, led by ADAM LEVINE, 39, is nominated for best duo/group performance for the song “Girls Like You.” The band recorded this tune with hot singer Cardi B. Those with more staid tasted will be cheered by BARBRA STREISAND’s 43rd Grammy nomination (for her album “The Music… The Mem’ries… The Magic). Streisand, 76, has won seven Grammys.

The ITZHAK PERLMAN documentary, “Itzhak”, directed by ALISON CHERNIK, 46, is up for a best music film Grammy. It competes with “Quincy,” a film about famous producer Quincy Jones that was made by his daughter, RASHIDA JONES, 42.

 The Grammys are not quite on the same schedule as the Oscars.  A song (“This is Me”) from “The Greatest Showman,” a 2017 film, was Oscar-nominated last year (best song). It is up in 2019 for a Grammy for “best song written for a visual media.” It was composed by the team of BENJ PASEK, 33, and Justin Paul. Also nominated is the song “Shallow,” written for the 2018 film “A Star is Born.” It was co-composed by MARK RONSON, 43.

LARRY KLEIN, 62, is nominated for producer of the year. He’s really a “cool” renaissance guy who has worked with a who’s who of jazz and rock stars for the last 45 years. He began in the ‘70s as a bass player for top acts like BOB DYLAN. Later, he wrote songs with the late WARREN ZEVON and Bonnie Raitt. His producing career took off in 1985 when he worked with his then-wife Joni Mitchell on her “Dog Eat Dog” album. Since 1995, he has been a full-time producer of albums featuring top-flight jazz musicians and jazz vocalists. He’s produced several albums for his wife, Brazilian-born singer LUCIANA SOUZA, 52.  They married in 2002 before MORDECAI FINLEY, 63, a Los Angeles rabbi who renewed Klein’s Jewish faith and supervised Souza’s conversion to Judaism.

Miracle Workers

 “Miracle Workers”, a comedy, starts on Feb. 12 (10:30 PM) on TBS. DANIEL RADCLIFFE, 29 (“Harry Potter”) stars as Craig, a low-level angel responsible for handling all of humanity’s prayers. His boss, God (Steve Buscemi), spends most of his time on his hobbies, rather than attending to mankind’s problems. As I’ve noted before, Radcliffe’s mother is Jewish and he identifies as Jewish, although he isn’t religious. 

The series is based on a novel by SIMON RICH, 34 and he’s the creator of the TV series. Rich is a former “SNL” writer and the creator of the FX cable series “Man Seeking Woman.” He’s the son of FRANK RICH, 69, the former NY Times theater critic and opinion columnist who now writes for NY Magazine.

Simon’s brother, NATHANIEL, 38, is a novelist and journalist. An article he wrote for the NY Times is the basis for “Dry Run,” a major movie now being filmed. It’s about a (real) lawyer who took on Dow Chemical for creating environmental damage.

 At the Movies

“Cold Pursuit” is an action thriller with a lot of irreverent comic lines. Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson) works for Kehoe, a small town. He keeps its roads plowed during its long winters. Coxman and his wife (Laura Dern) are devastated by the death of their son, who probably was involved with drug dealers. Coxman turns into a vigilante, killing one-by-one the associates of a drug lord he believes caused his son’s death. Sometimes he uses his snowplow.  (Opens Friday, Feb. 8)

EMMY ROSSUM, 32, plays Kim, a rookie Kehoe police officer who doesn’t have much to do until dead bodies start turning up everywhere. Rossum is best known as the co-star of the hit Showtime series “Shameless.” She announced last August that she would leave the show at the end of its 9th season. Her last new episodes began airing on Jan. 20.


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