Jews in the News: Sarah Jessica Parker, Theo Epstein and Judd Hirsch

A Bit More on SARAH JESSICA PARKER and Her New Show

In my last column, I didn’t note that Parker’s new HBO series,”Divorce,” starts on Sunday, Oct. 9. Last week, Parker was profiled by the New York Times and so I have a chance, in advance of the premiere, to relate what Parker so emphasized in this profile: that neither her character, Carrie, on “Sex and the City,” or her new character are really representative of her real life---or as she put it, “its acting.”

Parker, now 51, began as a child actor and never stopped working throughout adolescence and adulthood. She was never the free-spirited, girl/woman about town depicted in “City.” She says: “I never lived any of those [Carrie] experiences in my own life.”

And she insists she isn’t like Frances, her “Divorce” character. The Times explains that Frances is: “a kind of anti-Carrie, someone long married, living (brace yourself) in the suburbs, and working as a corporate recruiter, her arty dreams subsumed by financial necessity. Her husband — though not for much longer — is Robert (Thomas Haden Church), a real estate entrepreneur down on his luck. Frances is far from a starry-eyed romantic: She has cheated on her husband; she is a narcissistic oversharer, a foul-mouthed accuser, a weak-kneed manipulator.”

Of course, both Parker and her husband, actor MATTHEW BRODERICK, 54, know that some fans will project on to them what the “Divorce” characters are going through—even though they have been happily married for 19 years and have three children. The media interest in their marriage, the Times writes, mystifies the couple. Parker says, “I guess it’s because we just keep staying married.” Broderick then interjected: “Maybe that annoys them?” And Parker replied: [Matthew is ] “still the person I want to experience things with, I want to do new things with.”

They Should Erect Two Statues (and More)

The baseball playoffs begin on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Playoff teams include the Chicago Cubs, the winner of the National League Central division. Respected pundits give them the best chance of any team to win it all. The Cubs have not won a league championship since 1945, and a World Series since 1908. The suffering of Cubs’ fans was long shared by Red Sox fans. The Sox won the Series in 1918 and didn’t win again until 2004. One could say that Sox fans had it better than the Cubs’ fans, because Boston did win the American League championship in 1967 and 1986. On the other hand, getting so close and losing (before 2004) may have inflicted more agony than Cubs’ fans suffered.

If the Cubs do win, they will have one thing very much in common with the 2004 Red Sox. The same guy built these teams through deft draft picks, trades, and choice of coaches. In 2004, the General Manager and builder of the Red Sox team that finally won the Series was THEO EPSTEIN, now 42. Epstein’s title is different with the Cubs (President of Baseball Operations), but he’s really doing the same job as he did with the Sox.

Epstein’s father is well-known author LESLIE EPSTEIN, 78. His grandfather (PHILIP EPSTEIN) and great-uncle (JULIUS EPSTEIN) were identical twins and screenwriters. In 1943, they won the Oscar for their script for “Casablanca.” If the Cubs win, they should erect identical statues of Theo Epstein in front of Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field. A larger-than-life statue of Epstein should stand on a pedestal with a crowd of (carved) fans looking up at him. A bronze plaque attached to the bottom of the “tableau” should quote that famous “Casablanca” line: “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

As I write this, the only Jewish player on a ‘clinched’ playoff team is JOC PEDERSON, 24, a Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder. By the time you read this, you’ll probably know whether Detroit or rival Toronto won the American League wild card spot. Both have a Jewish player: Toronto centerfielder KEVIN PILLAR, 28, and Detroit second baseman IAN KINSLER, 34.

Hirsch and Sagal, 2x

JUDD HIRSCH, 81, has been cast as the co-star of a new CBS series, “Superior Donuts,” which will premiere mid-season. He’ll play a former ‘60s radical who runs a doughnut shop in a Chicago neighborhood that is rapidly gentrifying. A co-star is actress KATEY SAGAL, 62. Both just guest-starred on “Big Bang Theory” as “mechuten”. Hirsch played the father of star character Leonard Hofstader and Sagal appeared as the mother of Leonard’s wife, Penny.


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