Matzo Ball

Maltz Museum has fun in tribute to Jewish women.

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Stephen Malkmus indie-rock Pavement
It's Ladies' Night at the Maltz Museum with Rent-a-Yenta's sassy sopranos, Beverly Simmons and Cheryl Eitman, in Mamas, Maydeles, and Mavens. Accessorized in sequined hats and toe shoes, the actresses pay tribute to Jewish goddesses of the 20th century. "We talked about doing a portrait of the Jewish American woman and all the roles she plays: in the family, in the workplace, in romance, in the world," says Simmons, who teamed with Eitman to found the Rent-a-Yenta production company after they met as castmates in Cain Park's production of Fiddler on the Roof in 2003. Tonight's performance coincides with the kickoff of Women's History Month, with Simmons and Eitman, accompanied by Jennifer Heemstra on the piano, honoring female Jewish leaders like poet Emma Lazarus, politician Bella Abzug, and entertainers Fanny Brice and Bette Midler. Then they mix in a spicy dash of "everywoman experience" from their own lives. "It's dedicated to all the Jewish mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters we know. Audience members will recognize people they know — both historical and fictional — and hear songs that bring back memories and evoke new images," says Eitman, whose own juggling act includes raising four daughters, teaching music and dance at Cleveland's Kindermusik school for kids, and singing solo in the choir at Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights. "We've been astounded at the courage, vision, energy, and talent of so many Jewish women. They have been groundbreakers." Showtime is at 7 tonight at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Road in Beachwood. Tickets are $15 ($12 for museum members). Call 216-593-0575 or call
Wed., March 5, 7 p.m., 2008
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