ANYONE WHO spends a lot of time in music stores will have come across a DVD featuring Mike Burstyn in one of his most famous Israeli productions The Two Kuni Leml. The more contemporary Burstyn appears on local television screens in Elvis starring Shaike Levi. A child actor who made his stage debut at age 3, and stole the show from his famous father Pesach Burstyn, who was known far and wide as the king of Yiddish Theater, the versatile Burstyn who can sing and dance as well as act, has performed around the world in nightclubs, on stage, and in cinema and television productions in Yiddish, Hebrew, English and Dutch.
On a recent Yiddish tour in Israel, he celebrated fifty years on the Yiddish stage. Last week, he participated in the US in the annual Chabad Telethon singing two Jolson songs. Burstyn, who starred as Al Jolson, the black-faced son of a cantor who became one of the great American entertainment celebrities, received rave reviews during a year-long national tour of the musical "Jolson". He also wowed the critics in the Folksbiene Theater revival of "On Second Avenue" which will play another season this winter. Burstyn also won acclaim for the prize-winning documentary about his family "The Komediant" that he made with his actress mother the late Lillian Lux who died in June this year at age 86, and continued to perform almost to the end of her life.
EVEN THOUGH he wrote "Diva," the song with which Dana International won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998, relations between Zvika Pik and the tempestuous diva have never been great not even cordial. That would explain why Dana International will not appear with a host of other stars at the gala concert in the Caesarea Amphitheater on October 15 to celebrate Pik's 30th anniversary of activity. Anyone who's old enough and has a good memory, knows that Pik has been composing and performing for more than thirty years but what the hell, any excuse for a celebration is a good one. Pik will be joined on stage by many of the people who have performed his songs. There's a possibility that Pik may be sent abroad by the Foreign Ministry as a musical emissary for Israel. The subject has been broached in recent months.
THE VICISSITUDES of her husband Ofer Glazer, who stood trial for sex offences, did not cause his philanthropic wife Shari Arison to go into hiding. Arison who is an extremely generous supporter of numerous educational, medical and social welfare causes, was named Woman of the Year at a gala dinner hosted by the Jaffa Institute for the Advancement of Education. Arison who had already given a sizeable donation to the Institute, gilded the lily and announced that she would contribute an additional $100,000 to be used for scholarships for students living in Jaffa. Glazer was recently sentenced and will serve jail time.