WHEN HE collaborated with Songweavers last year to spread his message of international world peace through the lyrics of his song "Ray of Hope," President Shimon Peres received an incredible amount of publicity in countries around the globe. The project, which has captured the hearts of music makers even in countries that are not friendly to Israel, is still going strong. The lyrics have been translated into many languages and many melodies have been set to them. The overall aim is to convey a positive message of peace, love and unity via the Internet. In addition, a Ray of Hope CD featuring artists singing in different languages has already been made, and it's possible that others will follow, depending on the quality of the music. Proceeds from sales will be directed toward peace organizations.
IT SEEMS to be the season for eligible males in the 40-plus age group to decide to get married. Hot on the heels of musician and singer Pablo Rosenberg is comedian Eyal Kitzis, who is the straight man in the highly popular satirical spoof It's A Wonderful Country (Eretz Nehederet). Kitzis proposed to Channel 10 news presenter Tali Moreno while the two were on a Pessah vacation in Rome. Kitzis popped the question as they were strolling along the Spanish Steps, and Moreno's reply was affirmative. Kitsis, 40, and Moreno, 28, were an item five years ago, and then split up. Some 15 months ago, they decided to give Cupid a second chance, and this time the arrow struck where it should. The wedding will take place sometime toward the end of this year.
STAGE AND screen actor and singer Mike Burstyn, who is currently playing Meyer Lansky off-Broadway, is now looking into the possibility of staging a drama based on the life of Raoul Wallenberg. The one-man Lansky show is due to close in New York on April 30, after which Burstyn will take it on the road to other parts of the US - first and foremost to Florida, where mafia member Lansky was a well-known figure. Burstyn previously starred in the play in Los Angeles. The stage production is based on the book But He Was Good to His Mother by Robert Rockaway, a former associate professor in the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University. Burstyn first came to Israel in 1954 with his parents Pessah Burstyn and Lillian Lux and his twin sister Susan. The family toured world, but came back to Israel for long spells. Burstyn is coming back to Israel for Succot, during which time he will give several performances in Yiddish, which he hasn't done in quite a while.
AT THE launch last week of the Israel Postal Company's first retail store within a post office, items for sale included a newly released CD and stamp set featuring deceased artists whose popularity remains undiminished. Each stamp has a portrait of a different singer, composer or musician, and the CD features them singing or playing one of their more popular recordings. The set, which is being sold for NIS 69, includes Arik Lavi, Zohar Argov, Meir Ariel, Yossi Banai, Shoshana Damari, Moshe Vilenski, Ofra Haza, Uzi Hitman, Ehud Manor, Yair Rosenblum and Naomi Shemer. The launch was held in the central Jerusalem post office, which was built in the 1930s during the period of the British Mandate and completed 71 years ago. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said that it was appropriate for all new ventures in Israel to emanate from the capital.
ON THE subject of deceased artists, some are not discovered until after they die. Case in point is Eldad Regev, one of the two soldiers whose bodies were returned to Israel in a prisoner swap arrangement with the Hizbullah. It transpires that Regev was a sensitive poet. A notebook of his poems was discovered after his death, and one which relates to a person trying to find himself while caught in a romantic relationship will be sung by Eyal Golan on Army Radio on Remembrance Day.
PEOPLE WITH sensitivities or allergies to certain foods must be careful about what they eat and drink. Television personality Einat Erlich has a lactose problem that she does not keep secret, and she was sure that production staff had made certain that the spoonful of chocolate that she was supposed to pop into her mouth during her show Something to Eat on Channel 2 would not contain any milk. Unfortunately, someone goofed, and the unsuspecting Erlich instantly developed an itchy rash and began to scratch like crazy. The alarmed crew wanted to take her to the hospital, but she said it would pass. Shooting was suspended for an hour or so until her reaction subsided.