Like anything else, there are up- and down-sides to solo performing, which has been the bulk of my work to date. When flying solo, you dig deep within yourself to find the very best you are capable of, and then bring it out on stage, truly expressing yourself.
On the other hand, working alone, you miss the challenge of incorporating your talents with others’, the sense of community, the give-and-take of a joint effort.
Luckily, in addition to my one-woman shows, I’ve had the pleasure and the honor of collaborating with some of the most talented artists – singers, musicians, actors, directors, choreographers, orchestras and big bands – in Israel and abroad. Their influence on my work has been immeasurable, even though the time spent together may have been short.
Here are some of the highlights:
– In my early career, I worked with Sandra Johnson, Dudu Elharar, Dudu Zakai, (musical director: Mati Caspi), Araleh Sikes, Dudu Zar, and Sherry, among others. My very first television appearance was on Saraleh Sharon’s series, “Lashir Mi-Kol HaLev”. Eliooz Rabin was my premier lyricist, collaborator, and partner for over twenty years.
– “My Fair Lady” (1986) was Moshe Josef’s revival of the hit show, this time starring Rita in the leading role. In addition to various roles (maid, flower girl, lady at the races), I was the “unofficial” understudy, helping the production by taking over the role of Eliza Doolittle when Rita was unable to do so.
– Leading up to my first one-woman show (“George & Jeanne”), I got lots of stage mileage performing for WIZO, the ZOA House, events given by the then American Ambassadors Lewis and Pickering and their wives, and as guest artist in innumerable “sing-along” evenings. I owe much to Nissan Cohen Havron, Shlomo Shavit, and Effie Netzer for generously sharing their audiences with me.
– Guest artist at the modeling competition, “The Face of the Eighties” sponsored by “Image” and “Olam HaEesha”.
– Performance (televised live) at the “Israeli Song Festival, 1987” singing my own song, “Bo Elai Le’at”.
– U.S. Tour with “Life Begins At Forty” – A celebration of Israel’s 40 years of independence, (Written by Dan Almagor, Mike Downs: director, Rafi Kadishzon: musical director). 21 performances in 27 days flying all over the USA – including Puerto Rico and Vancouver – with co-actors/singers Sasi Keshet, Gil Alon, Elkie Jacobs and, of course, Dan Almagor himself.
– “A Tribute to “Yankaleh Kalusky” (who was also my tap dance teacher), singing and dancing with the troupe and with Dubi Gal, in a humorous rendition of “I’ll Never Leave You”, live, then filmed and televised for IBA. – Two episodes of the T.V. soap opera, “Ramat Aviv Gimmel”
– Musical Director and performer, “Beatles Festival”, Ra’anana Municipality (1995) including the gala, joint performance with Danny Robas and the “True Colors Quartet”, (Lauren Rosenman, Dorit Sapir, Naftaly Lerner, Eran Stoller) which consequently worked and toured with me for over three years.
– Soloist, “Salute to the U.S.A. Concert” with the Ra’anana Symphonette Orchestra (1997), Shuang Guo, conductor, Tel Aviv Museum.
– “George & Jeanne” (1997) tour of Brazil (see “George & Jeanne”).
– “Broadway Musical Workshop”: Perhaps the most exciting and defining project in which I’ve ever participated. Supported by the “Friends of the Tel Aviv University” and in coordination with the Ministry of Culture, three Broadway personalities (Wally Harper, Jane Summerhays, and Jack Lee) organized a three-year program in which 20 Israeli performers from the fields of theatre, dance and music were chosen (by Broadway-style auditions) and given the opportunity to study and work with the best! Group, semi-private and private lessons in dance (tap, modern, jazz, Fosse-style, among others), song interpretation, voice training and acting were provided for a six-week period (morning till night) for two consecutive summers (1996, 1997). The following fall, the whole group was brought to New York to continue their studies with the best teachers that city had to offer: personalities such as Barbara Cook (at Julliard), Luigi (who himself danced with Gene Kelly in numerous films and taught some of the all-time greats such as Liza Minelli and John Travolta), and Bill Esper (one of the most esteemed acting “gurus” today), in addition to continuing our work with Jane, Jack and Wally. As a result of this experience, my work has never been the same! Everything I have done since, from acting, to singing, dancing, conducting choirs, teaching, always falls back on something I learned in that period of time from those amazing teachers and from my fellow “Broadway Musical Project” colleagues, many of whom have gone on to pursuing amazing careers (including Natan Datner, Yehuda Levi, Sarit Vino-Elad, Nati Ravitz, Alon Ofir, Miki Pelleg, among others).
– Performance at the Israel Festival, 1999, Jerusalem Theatre with “New Bossa” (Giba Perlman, Avinoam Marton, Rami Shuler, Adi Goldstein and Joca Perpignan) singing and playing Brazilian Jazz.
– “George & Jeanne” – Teatru Manoel (National Theatre), Malta (2001) (see “George & Jeanne”).
– Red Sea Jazz Festival, 2002. Two performances of “In My Life” along with the quartet specially formed for the event: Eli Magen: bass, Ruslan Sirota: piano, Gil Ladin: drums, Jess Koren: flute and sax.
– Soloist for the “Hed” College Big Band conducted by Yehuda Cohen (2004-5).
– Soloist for the “Big Zbang” conducted by Sasha Kanzberg (2005- )
– “Broadway Baby” (Zavta Tel Aviv, 2005, 2007) Actor, singer, writer, director Tzviki Levin’s showcase of Stephen Sondheim’s hits, most performed in his Hebrew translation. Brynie Furstenberg and myself co-starring. Oran Eldor: musical director and arranger, Gilad Kimchi: choreography.
– Guest singer at the U.S. Ambassador Jones’ Fourth of July celebration.
In addition, I’ve had the pleasure to collaborate with
(and learn so much from)
Iris Portugaly, Israel Gurion, Sharon Lavie, Dudi Sebba, Giba Perlman, Rami Shuler, Gabi Argov,
Uzi Fox, and above all, my sons Lee Rabin and Eden Rabin, who have often accompanied me on stage and for whose bands (“Right On Time”, “Orphaned Land”, “Key of the Moment”) I’ve enjoyed lending my voice.