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Debbie and Jerry Maslowsky (with Kensey Posen seated next to Jerry)






Is this Jerry on the Horsey?

 
FIFTY WAYS TO SAY MASLOWKSY: THE JEWISH DONNY AND MARIE ROCK THE SHAAREY ZEDEK AT JEWISH FOUNDATION BOOK OF LIFE EVENT

by Rhonda Spivak, October 26, 2011


I was going to write about Debbie and Jerry Maslowsky's performance at the Jewish Foundation's Endowment Book of Life evening at the Shaarey Zedek on September 21 as part of one article about the event but have decided that the concert--a nostalgic tour de force- deserves a separate stand-alone review [The more serious part of the event is written about in a separate article now posted on this website as a feature story. To learn more about the  Jewish Foundation of  Manitoba and how you can become a signer of the Jeiwsh Foundation's Endowment Book of Life, go to  www.jewishfoundation.org ]

Long- time stars in the Jewish community, Debbie Maslowsky has been acclaimed for her roles in musical theatre in Winnipeg, and Jerry Maslowsky is a Blue Bombers marketing executive.

The concert began with the Maslowsky siblings--Debbie and Jerry [without Kenny who was in San Francisco with pneumonia] complaining about the fact that people have always gotten their last name wrong.

Is it Maslowsky? Maslovsky? Maslofsky? Maslovesky? (other possibilities include: MyerLansky? MissingLinksky? Maslunesky? Masliversky? Misfiledsky? Masloosky?Miss-Lovsky? Misinformationsky ? Maslinsky?  Misspelledsky? Misunderstoodsky? Mispronouncsky? Mad-Cowsky?Miscongenialsky? Mass-producedsky ? Miscellaneouski? Maccarroni-ski? In fact,the possibilities are endless].


Of course, Debbie generated much laughter when she said, "In case you never knew, my married name is Cohen."
 

Kenny Maslowsky in fact shortened his last name to Mazlow and is currently living in San Francisco directing the longest running musical in America, a parody of pop-culture, Beach Blanket Babylon. Kenny graduated from Garden City Collegiate High School, worked at Rainbow Stage and the Hollow Mug Theatre, and directed his first show at 18 at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre.

At the outset of the evening Debbie read a note from Kenny who explained he was unable to make the event due to his contracting pneumonia. "However, if you need to know my symptoms, ask my sister [Debbie] who knows everything. After all, we are Jews and we love to know about symptoms," he wrote.

 Debbie then introduced her mother, who was "kvelling with pride,"[as an aside I'm not sure whether Debbie would define her mother tongue as English or Yiddish] and said that she and Jerry, "the Jewish Donnie and Marie were about to rock the Shaarey Zedek."

The dynamic duo then sang a few classics, such as "Ayye Romania Romania Romania," Tumbalalaika," and "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav"(Jerusalem of Gold), a Yiddish Medley [dedicated to the memory of Nenad Lotka], and Hallelujah. Jerry performed an all- time favourite--"the Kretchma"--and the two did one of their favourite old time Folklorama songs “Israeli Cowboy-" ["You can get it on eight track', Debbie announced].

For the '"Israeli Cowboy", Jerry put on his cowboy hat, and one half of the audience was asked to sing "Yippie Oye Veigh" at the appropriate times, while the other half was asked to sing "Who Ha." The Horsey song definitely rocked the Shaarey Zedek--to the point where the building's foundation was almost shaking I think [Strangely enough, I don't ever remember the Horsey song being sung at Folklorama--could it be that I am not old enough to remember?].

In between the songs, Debbie and Jerry made a few jokes [including some about how long winded Kenny would have been had he been there]. The two seemed to have no problem enjoying the limelight without Kenny there.

At one point in the concert, Jerry walked up to a female member of the audience and said "Hey, nice boots!...I said BOOTS." He then went up to a gentleman and said, "Hey didn't I play at your son's Bar Mitzvah. You still owe me $150.00."

 
My own absolute favourite line of the evening was when Debbie reminisced about singing at the Hollow Mug Theatre in what was the International Inn (a place where I spent many fond hours as a child and teen).
 
“Nothing like singing to the background of a blender and a vacuum cleaner starting to close up,” Debbie said.
 

That one line hit me with nostalgia, longing to see Debbie and Jerry perform at a Hollow Mug show.

P.S. Debbie-My father burst out laughing at the blender line when I relayed it to him after your show!

 

Note : Debbie Maslowsky is currently in the world premiere of GRUMPY OLD MEN, The Musical at MTC (runs until Nov 5)

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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