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1.Give an assessment of the social issues covered in this musical.
~ Do you think it has any resonance for contemporary audiences?
~ What feelings did you share with any of the characters in the movie?
2.The story is set in 1905. Can you relate the events of this story to our study of American immigration and the Jewish legacy in musical theater.
3.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a playwright, director, poet and philosopher said that art has an essential function in human life – it provides entertainment, edification (education) and exaltation (lifting the human spirit). Does this piece satisfy any of those functions in your opinion? Why?
4.Answer the following questions:
~ Can you see why this musical was successful with cultures well outside of the Jewish faith and culture? Give your reasons for understanding or not understanding this phenomenon.
~ Can you see parallels in the way some of the characters reacted to change and the challenging of tradition to things that may be happening currently in our own society. How are these current situations similar and how are they different to those in the film?
– We have looked at many musicals in terms of their being a reflection of the time and place that produced them. Taking what you have learned about the 1960’s in America, what do you feel was being reflected by the writing of this musical?
– What do you feel was the dramatic peak/climax point of the show? Why?
– What did you think of the music overall?
– Choose a song from the show and describe what you can remember about it. What makes it memorable and or impressive?
– Would you recommend this show to a friend who liked musical theater? Why or why not?
– Would you recommend this show to a friend who did not like musical theater? Why or why not?