Mathematics professor Millie Johnson will play a new, multimedia-infused show with her band Millie and the Mentshn Nov. 7 at Whatcom Community College. Psychology emeritus professor Lou Lippman also plays in the band.
The show, "Ahoy Vey! Ahoy Vey! Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Schmaltz!," features stories, humor and music.
In this tangled web of tales from the time of the Spanish Inquisition, an unlikely group of swashbuckling Sephardi Jews took to the high-seas to escape persecution and ultimately allied with other European powers to attack Spanish fleets and protect Jews in-hiding. From a pirate Rabbi who kept kosher food aboard his privateer to ships bearing names such as Prophet Samuel and Queen Esther, these are stories that were left out of the history books until now.
Ahoy Vey! includes music in Ladino (ancient Spanish), Yiddish, Hebrew and English, with translations in the program notes. Even for those unacquainted with this musical genre, familiar songs from Irving Berlin, J. S. Bach, Paul Simon, and Leonard Bernstein are woven in along with other songs pirated from across the seas. And of course the program is loaded with typical Millie & the Mentshn lighthearted humor, parodies, costumes and lots of fun family entertainment in addition to history, stories, music and pictures.
The show takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at Whatcom Community College's Heiner Theatre, located at 237 W. Kellogg Road in Bellingham. Admission is $15 online or at the door. The event is sponsored by Congregation Beth Israel's Raise the Roof Campaign.
Millie & the Mentshn is a group of classically trained musicians who play world music that ranges from Prokofiev to Gershwin to Latin to dance-in-the-aisle Klezmer. Audiences of all cultural backgrounds enjoy the unusual combination of instruments, the intricate harmonies, and the variety of musical styles and traditions. The band has toured in the U.S. and internationally.