December 18: Arts in Brief

Hallyday sets Tel Aviv date; Shai Gabso’s Spanish accent; New shows at Habimah; Fallon performs for Jewish Union Fund.

Johnny Hallyday 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Johnny Hallyday 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Hallyday sets Tel Aviv date
Called the French Elvis Presley, legendary singer Johnny Hallyday will be performing in Tel Aviv on October 30 of next year at the Nokia Arena.
The 68-year-old Hallyday began his career in the 1960s singing rock and roll in French, but has varied his styles into all-around entertainment on his way to becoming France’s most popular artist in the 1970s and 80s.
Although virtually unknown in the US, Hallyday has sold more than 110 million records and remains a legend in Europe and one of France’s biggest stars.
Bouts with colon cancer and a botched operation for a herniated disc that temporarily left him in a coma curtailed his career in recent years, and Hallyday announced his retirement from touring in 2009. However, after releasing his 47th album, Jamais Seul, earlier this year, he decided to reconsider and launched a tour with Tel Aviv on the schedule.
David Brinn
Shai Gabso’s Spanish accent
Popular singer Shai Gabso is currently in Spain recording his next album with the help of some special guests.
Joining him in the studio in a project put together by jazz fusion producer Dan Ben-Lior are American-born Latino jazz trumpeter Jerry Gonzales and flamenco percussionist Rubem Dantas.
Another element to the international salad is the lyrics, provided by noted poet Shahar-Mario Mordechai, the 2010 winner of the nationwide “Poetry on the Way” competition.
Whatever the results, the new Gabso project points to another interesting twist in the surprising career of the A Star is Born finalist.
David Brinn
New shows at Habimah
Happily back in its completely renovated home, the Habimah National Theater presents two new shows.
Not by Day and Not by Night, a new Israeli play by Avraham Raz, is at Messkin Hall, and on the Rovina main stage, Habimah artistic director Ilan Ronen presents his production of the modern classic by Friedrich Durrenmatt, The Visit of the Old Lady.
The Raz play is about the relationship that develops between an old woman (Leah Kenig) and a young soldier who’s been blinded. In The Visit, starring Gila Almagor, a woman, now unbelievably wealthy, returns to her native town for vengeance. Both productions open this week.
Helen Kaye
Fallon performs for Jewish Union Fund
More than 2,600 young Chicago Jews enjoyed an exciting early Chanukah gift over the weekend with a visit by Late Night host Jimmy Fallon as part of Chicago’s Jewish United Fund’s 2012 annual campaign kickoff.
Fallon, an Irish-Catholic New Yorker, began with his famous “thank you” and said, “I want to say thank you to all the Jewish moms I met backstage. I got offered 10 to 15 dishes of food – I’m not kidding – in the span of five minutes.
It was so awesome and cute.”
And of course, like many others before him, Fallon suggested his very own solution to the Middle East conflict: a “Kumbaya” song called “Carwash for Peace.”
“Well, I’m so sick of all the news on TV,” the song began. “All this fighting got me going crazy … let’s have a carwash for peace. There’s trouble in the Middle East.
Put down those guns and pick up a sponge – carwash for peace.”