New Yiddish Rep will present Lea Kalisch in a new solo show, "In Love with a Dream," as its May 11 "Kabaret!" Kalisch is a dynamic, sexy, multidisciplinary performer originally from Zurich, Switzerland. Her piece is an autobiography in song, rap and comedy: a high-energy reflection on her clash of expectations and real-life experiences.
Lea, a high-energy brunette twenty-something, recounts, from the perspective of "a new artist with an old soul," her ripening in the five years since she left Switzerland in 2014, assuring her mother she would soon be a Broadway star. There is a memorable comedic sung reflection on love and orthodoxy, in which she appears clad in a velvety doublet and shtreimal (a fur hat worn by many married Haredi Jewish men) and explores the creative repercussions of romance with the religious.
The piece is performed in English, but it is sprinkled with Spanish, Yiddish and German (Kalisch speaks seven languages). She sings, dances and raps and even takes a turn at the piano, where she croons a comedic song over a Bach piece. Her musical compositions are dramatic, theatrical and story-driven. She characterizes their musical genre as "blues-pop with a touch of Jewish." She views herself as a collage artist who is "Jewish with all my heart and Latin with my hips." In New Yiddish Rep's "Motzei Shabbes Kabaret" last Saturday, she workshopped a comedic piece with hand puppets about the marriage of a young orthodox couple.
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