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Adult puppet-theater documents life of legendary Jew

Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009, 8 p.m. Matthews Acting Studio, 185 Nassau St.

"Fabrik: The Legend of M. Rabinowitz," a puppet-theater production chronicling the life of the real Moritz Rabinowitz, will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, in the Matthews Acting Studio, 185 Nassau St.

Wakka Wakka Productions uses original puppets, masks and music to tell the tale of a Polish Jew who immigrated to Norway at the turn of the last century to escape the pogroms and persecution and to build a future.

Rabinowitz became a businessman who used his position to raise awareness about anti-Semitism. He built one of the largest clothing empires in the country, and he wrote columns for local and national newspapers expressing his socioeconomic ideas about commerce in Europe and Norway's natural resources. In time, the primary focus of his columns became warnings about the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, who considered him "the leader of the Jewish resistance in Norway" when they invaded in 1940.

Inspired by Nordic and Yiddish folktales, "Fabrik" has been written, directed and designed by the Wakka Wakka ensemble and informed by research of the time period and the writings and life of Rabinowitz, his family, workers and the people of Norway.

Wakka Wakka Productions was founded in 2001 by a group of theater artists who share a common language in creation and ensemble work. Provoked by styles such as grotesque, absurd and clown, Wakka Wakka Productions is devoted to pushing the boundaries of the imagination by creating works that are bold, unique and unpredictable and to the promotion of arts awareness and education.

The event, sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts, is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, and tickets are required. They may be obtained through University Ticketing at (609) 258-9220.

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