SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Jewish Cultural Festival, in collaboration with Temple Sinai, will present “Jews, God, and History (Not Necessarily in That Order),” a one-man “virtual” show on the Zoom platform, Sunday, June 27, at 7 p.m.
“Jews, God, and History” is written and performed by Michael Takiff and directed by Tony nominee Brian Lane Green
According to organizers, Takiff explores the big questions asked by all people: about God and humanity, faith and reason, tribe, and society. Venturing into rarely explored territory, “Jews, God, and History” challenges viewers to question their assumptions about issues like God, the Holocaust, and the tension between tribal loyalties and assimilation into a majority culture.
“Geared to mature audiences, “Jews, God and History” is introspective, and provides us the opportunity to laugh while stimulating our brains to re-examine core beliefs, not to change, but perhaps to reaffirm. You be the judge,” said Phyllis Wang, coordinator of the Saratoga Jewish Cultural Festival.
The show employs a variety of comedic forms: stand-up, sketch, character, impressions and just plain jokes.
Takiff is a great-great-great grandson of the Chasidic sage Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev (northwestern Ukraine), a beloved Chasidic rebbe to whom hundreds of stories, plays, and poems are attributed.
Takiff himself is a writer, actor, comedian, singer, dancer, and historian who came to New York to be an actor, studied classical singing, and then spent 10 years touring the country as a standup comic.
Takiff has written books, including A Complicated Man: The Life of Bill Clinton as Told by Those who Know Him (Yale University Press) and Brave Men, Gentle Heroes: American Fathers and Sons in World War II and Vietnam (Harper Collins/Wm. Morrow). His writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, Salon, The Nation, CNN.com and the Huffington Post.
Takiff is founder and executive director of Gravitas History, a company that enables individuals and families to preserve and pass down their legacies through professionally written biographies, autobiographies, and family histories. Takiff also teaches memoir-writing in New York City where he lives with his wife and son. He does not believe in reincarnation, but hopes that if he’s wrong, his next life included playing center field for the Mets.