~IN HONOR OF PHILIP LOEB/YOO-HOO, MRS GOLDBERG !!
AN EVENING – IN HONOR OF – ACTOR PHILIP LOEB !! – TO-NITE: SEPT 1, 2010 / 6:30 PM
SPONSORED BY THE ACTOR’S EQUITY ASSOCIATION
at: THE MUSEUM of JEWISH HERITAGE – A LIVING MEMORIAL TO THE HOLOCAUST – EDMOND J. SAFRA PLAZA
36 BATTERY PLACE – NEW YORK, NY
DIRECTIONS: SUBWAY 4/5 to BOWLING GREEN, walk west along Battery Place. SUBWAY R to WHITEHALL STREET, walk west along Battery Place to South Ferry, walk north along Battery Park/State Street, turn left & walk west on Battery Place.
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
IF YOU SAW THAT DELIGHTFUL & ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO BE HERALDED – DOCUMENTARY – ‘YOO-HOO, MRS. GOLDBERG’ – BY AVIVA KEMPNER – THEN YOU KNOW WHY – THIS EVENT HEADLINES ARTLOVERS TO-DAY !!
. . . forget what you usually see on T.V. shows about the earliest T.V. sitcoms – LUCILLE BALL – did not – initiate the genre. that’s just what they’d like you think. it was GERTRUDE BERG – who played Lower East Side matriarch – MRS. GOLDBERG – who actually kicked off the sitcom ball game !! though the show – didn’t time-travel – culturally – as well Lucille Ball’s – ‘I LOVE LUCY’ – maybe that was because – it was so topical – and therefore a little more prone to appear dated – as opposed to Lucy’s generalized and second generation slapstick comedy. in fact, if you even casually – follow Ms. Kempner’s documentary – which is very very lively, thoroughly entertaining and chockful of vintage clips – it’s not a step too far to conclude that the producer, writer, and star of the show – Gertrude Berg – a native-born New Yorker – was not only the true mother of them all – but – an early blogger as well. well before there was a blogshere !! she was on the air – with her take !!
A real multi-tasker, and thinker – not just a gifted comedian and entertainer – Gertrude Berg – stepped out of her home each morning – with the issues of the day on her mind – and a story to tell – fresh – for each day’s live broadcast. She absolutely generated her own whole show, and she did this day after day. Unlike Lucille – she had no outside writers – it was all Gertrude – 24/7 and on point. She wrote the scripts – that had the first T.V. audiences in stitches – as she brought ethnic immigrant life – the newcomers from the old country – who landed on New York’s Lower East Side – to life – for a vast new national T.V. audience – national as in country-wide – even in the heartland – who had previously no real inkling of what was afoot in America’s biggest city. and along with the hilarious family ups and downs – she served up – gentle but insightful takes on the politics of the day and the world – New York City style !!
probably – therefore – it comes – as no surprise – that her show got caught up in the national embarrassment – that we now so plainly see those sorry blacklisting days of the 40s and 50s to be. seeing the original clips – it’s hard to understand what antagonized these small-minded censors – so much. All of Gertrude Berg’s writing comes across as very gentle chiding – even when it touched on national issues. She wrote from such a heartfelt and truly concerned place. yet the co-star of the show – PHILIP BERG – who played JAKE GOLDBERG – Molly Goldberg’s husband on the show – and – therefore the first father knows best !! – took a heartbreaking fall for the gang – and was blacklisted. As Aviva Kempner details so poignantly in ‘Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg’ – it was for his union activities – and not for his role on the program per se – that got him into hot water. but he was forced from the show – signaling not only the beginning of the end of the show, but of his own life as well. Heartbroken and well – just plain broken – he took his own life on Sept 1, 1955. and the union activism that got him blacklisted ? – he was one of the first founder activists for an actor’s union – or – as it is called today – the Actors’ Equity Association – and so, no wonder they are the honoring sponsors of this event to-nite. the eve of Labor Day weekend and the 55th anniversary of his untimely death.
I believe he jumped from a hotel window – he had been at the height of his acting career. as for the show, ‘Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg’ never found a replacement – for the depth of heart and warmth of humor he brought to the role -and it went off the air, rather unceremoniously, as Ms. Kempner notes – to be replaced by the more stylized and innocuous – ‘I LOVE LUCY’.
excerpts of ‘Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg’ – along with other clips related to Philip Loeb and his career will be shown to-nite.
to-nite’slive panel guests – honoring the memory of Philip Loeb will include:
AVIVA KEMPNER, director, ‘Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg’
ANNA BERGER, actress on ‘The Goldbergs’
PETER FREIDMAN, an actor who is writing a play about Loeb
Dr. STEVE LOEB, Loeb’s grandnephew
Dr. GLENN SMITH, a Loeb biographer
and JIM BROCHU, an actor, and playwright of ‘ZERO HOUR’.
. . . and if you want to spend a really entertaining and thoughtful moment – on Labor Day weekend !! – check out – the official website for – Aviva Kempner’s – ‘Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg’ – and meet GERTRUDE BERG – the “most famous woman in America – you never heard of” – !!