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Friday, May 21, 2010

Pacino Shuckles

Wall Street Journal via YWN:
Al Pacino, preparing for the role of Shylock in the Public Theater's upcoming production of "The Merchant of Venice," took his research into Brooklyn this week, visiting a Hasidic synagogue in Borough Park.

The actor made the trip with Barry Edelstein, director of the Public's Shakespeare Initiative, to observe religious Jews in prayer and learn about the community.

Mr. Pacino, dressed in a dark suit and hat, stood at the back of the synagogue and went unrecognized as he observed the morning prayer, said Mr. Edelstein, who wouldn't name the synagogue at the request of the friend who took them there.

As worshipers swayed in prayer, known as shuckling, Mr. Edelstein said he saw Mr. Pacino slowly rock back and forth with them, observing their movements.

"It was done with complete respect and a true sense of empathy," said Mr. Edelstein.

What the article doesn't say is how Mr. Edelstein introduced Mr. Pacino to the daveners:

"Say Shulem Aleichem to my little friend."



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