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Jewish Repertory Theatre focuses on love - and strudel - in new season

For its 2018-19 season, the Jewish Repertory Theatre is focusing on love. Each of the three productions delve into different relationship woes and successes: arranged marriage, abandonment and (non-family-approved) true companionship.

The season is full of firsts, with two world premieres, the theater’s first musical and even strudel baking classes.

“The Strudel Lady,” Oct. 4 to 28. A world premiere and JRT's first musical, “The Strudel Lady” follows the life of Chava, an American-born, Orthodox woman, who must learn to care for herself emotionally and financially (with the guided help of an older couple) after being deserted by her husband and children. Her comfort? Baking.

In preparation for all the talk of dessert making audience members hungry, strudel will be offered during intermission. Directed by founding Artistic Director Saul Elkin. Starring Lisa Ludwig, Tom Makar, David Marciniak and Mary Kate O’Connell.

In advance of "The Strudel Lady," JRT is offering strudel baking classes at 6 p.m. Sept. 20 and 27 at the Polish Cadets Hall (927 Grant St.). Cost is $45. There will be demonstration, presentation of the cultural history and traditions surround the strudel and participants will make their own strudel (to take home).

While the strudel is baking, there will be a homemade meal with pizza and antipasti plus live music. Space is limited. Reserve by calling Jordana Halpern at 716-204-2255

“Talley’s Folly,” Feb. 7 to March 3. In the Pulitzer-winning play, lead characters Sally Talley and Matt Friedman fall in love, except, as always, it’s more complicated than that.

While Talley denies Friedman’s initial advances, it becomes evident as the story progresses that the two have a rare, valued connection, though she worries about her family’s approval. Directed by Steve Vaughan. Starring Chris J. Handley and Anne Roaldi Boucher.

“Looking Through Glass,” May 9 to June 2. World premiere of "Dybbuk" by Ken Kaisser. The modern rendition of classic S. Anksy’s “The Dybbuk,” is set in our current society and explores true love and arranged marriage, as Leah’s soul becomes possessed by her soulmate after she marries the man her parents wanted her to marry. Directed by Elkin. Starring Arin Lee Dandes, Angelo J. Heimowitz, Thomas Loughlin, Tina Rausa and Nick Stevens.

The productions take place at The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst. Tickets can be purchased at jewishrepertorytheatre.com, by calling 650-7626, or at either Jewish Community Center member services desk.

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