Published On: Tue, Jun 22nd, 2021

Players Circle Performing Arts Center Announces Jewish Themed Programming Partnership with Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties and YI❤️Jewish at PLAYERS CIRCLE

Players Circle Performing Arts Center at the Shell Factory is proud to announce its partnership with the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties and YI❤️Jewish (a Division of Yiddishkayt Initiative) to begin a series of Jewish themed programming at PLAYERS CIRCLE.

The first production of this exciting partnership will be JOE PAPP AT THE BALLROOM, performing for three performances on Friday, June 25 at 8pm EST and Saturday, June 26 at 2pm and 7pm EST. Tickets $25-$35. The concert version of the play with all dialogue by Joe Papp has been adapted by Avi Hoffman and Susan Papp-Lippman. With Original Musical Arrangements by Stanley Silverman, Musical Direction by Phil Hinton, and stars Mr. Hoffman.

Legendary Theatre producer, Joe Papp was born Yosl Papirofsky in Brooklyn NYC to Jewish immigrant parents. He would go on to be the visionary founder of Shakespeare in the Park and the Public Theatre in NYC. Producing among thousands of shows the original Broadway production of HAIR and A CHORUS LINE. He gave only one public concert in his entire illustrious career, where he recounted his Brookyln Yiddish upbringing, his controversial political struggles, and his revolutionary creative process. This concert encapsulates the brilliant life of the greatest American Theatre icon of the 20th Century.

In this musical performance, world-renown actor, and CEO of the Yiddishhayt Intiative, Avi Hoffman adapts and recreates this singular concert given by Joe Papp at the Ballroom in 1978. Hoffman, who has worked at theatres around the country and world, including working with PLAYERS CIRCLE producers Carrie Lund and Robert Cacioppo during their tenure of founding and running FLORIDA REP for 20 years. Mr. Hoffman first gained National attention over 25 years ago with his award-winning show “Avi Hoffman. Too Jewish?”, which ran Off-Broadway and aired nationally on public TV reaching millions of viewers. Avi was recently awarded Congressional recognition, was invited to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis, and was inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame for his lifetime work of advancing Jewish culture, Yiddish language and Holocaust awareness through the Yiddishkayt Initiative, Inc. (I❤️LoveJewish.org.) Avi recently was nominated for a NY Drama Desk Best Actor Award for his Yiddish language portrayal of Willy Loman in DEATH OF A SALESMAN.

“We are thrilled about this partnership with Avi and YI❤️JEWISH! At Players Circle we enjoy presenting a wide variety from plays to classical music, to burlesque, to Broadway revues, to Country music to comedy. So, when Avi told us about his specifically Jewish theme programs he plans on presenting on East Coast of Florida we invited him to bring his work to Players Circle, with JOE PAPP AT THE BALLROOM being our first show!” Says Carrie Lund, Players Circle founder and Producer. “What’s additionally exciting is the additional partnership formed with the JEWISH FEDERATION of Lee and Charlotte Counties! They are helping us promote the event and have great enthusiasm for the possibilities of entertainment for the SW Florida’s Jewish community in the future”

“The Jewish Federation is always excited about opportunities to collaborate with our local arts and cultural community. This partnership with Players Circle fits the bill perfectly and we urge our community to join us for JOE PAPP AT THE BALLROOM”, say Jewish Federation Executive Director Alan Isaacs. “I have always enjoyed working with Bob and Carrie, and this opportunity to partner with the Players Circle and the Jewish Federation will help us spread our important message of the beauty and depth of Jewish culture to a brand-new audience” says Avi Hoffman.

For tickets call the box office at 239-800-3292. Or order online at Playerscircletheater.com. Players Circle Performing Arts Center at the Shell Factory is located at 16554 North Cleveland Avenue, Ft Myers, Florida 33903. For directions google Shell Factory. Free parking. VIP tickets ($35) are seated at tables. Food and beverage waitress service is available 45 minutes before each show in theatre. General admission ($25) tickets can order drinks in our lobby bar and bring them into theatre.

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