Adios! Jewish Don of Latin American TV Calls It a Career After 53 Years

Don Francisco (Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld) hosts the wildly popular “Sabado Gigante” in this 1990 photo.

On Saturday, the Spanish language television network Univision hosted the final broadcast of “Sabado Gigante.” With 53 years on TV, the world’s longest-running variety show is an eclectic, strange mashup of a game show, a talk show and live entertainment. There are singing competitions — the poor-performing contestants are eliminated by a trumpet blast, a… Read More

A Little Re-Engineering Celebrating Sukkot in a time of drought

Andy Lipkis, founder of TreePeople, is building cisterns to collect rainwater in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — While preparing for Sukkot in drought-ridden California, I hoped that the holiday’s joy had not dried up alongside much of the state’s water supply. For a holiday also called “the season of our joy,” one that celebrates the harvest and is filled with greenery and fruit, I worried about how the lack… Read More

Rugelach Roundtable Does this beloved pastry need to be dairy to taste good?

The rugelach from Zabar’s come from an old family recipe. (Photo by Juan Lopez)

Rugelach (singular: rugala) are a beloved traditional Jewish pastry, with a quirky history to boot, but they often present a kosher conundrum. Though pareve, rugelach are often a preferred dessert after a meat meal for those observing kosher laws (which stipulate a waiting period between eating meat and dairy), some of today’s most popular rugelach… Read More

Rebel Without a Cause Fanatical Fischer goes haywire in ‘Pawn Sacrifice’

If there is any lingering goodwill in the world toward the late Bobby Fischer — the once-in-a-century chess whiz who achieved fame as an unlikely Cold Warrior — “Pawn Sacrifice” pretty much snuffs it out. Veteran director Edward Zwick’s fast-paced, bleakly entertaining film builds relentlessly from Fischer’s Brooklyn childhood to his internationally celebrated 1972 showdown… Read More

‘An Inspector Calls’ Director Noah Himmelstein opens Everyman’s 25th season


For Noah Himmelstein, who grew up attending Everyman Theatre matinees as part of his high school alma mater George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology’s curriculum, returning to Baltimore to direct “An Inspector Calls,” which opens the theater’s 25th season, is one of what Himmelstein refers to as life’s “full-circle moments” for which he… Read More

Lecture Tackles Mencken’s Possible Anti-Semitism David Thaler will reveal what he believes to be definitive answer

David S. Thaler will give a lecture on Sept. 12 called “H.L. Mencken: Anti-Semite?”

Was H.L. Mencken anti-Semitic? The “Sage of Baltimore,” a journalist, satirist and scholar of American English who famously wrote about the Scopes monkey trial for The Baltimore Sun, and his relationship with the Chosen People has been hotly debated for decades. David S. Thaler, president of civil engineering firm D.S. Thaler & Associates, believes he… Read More