Bookworm Olympics

The English-literacy nonprofit AHAVA is scheduled to launch its seventh annual read-a-thon in Ma'aleh Adumim next month. For five weeks, from January 12 to February 16, hundreds of Ma'aleh Adumim youngsters will compete for prizes by reading as many English-language books as possible, while also raising money to provide scholarships to their peers who need extra help in English. "I know that very often some kids can't make it on their own, the formal educational system is not enough, and they need something more," said ex-Montrealer Galia Cohen Morrison, who founded AHAVA 11 years ago. "English is not just another subject, it's a stepping stone out of poverty and into education." To learn how to become a tax-free co-sponsor of the read-a-thon, contact AHAVA at ahava.org@gmail.com or 02-5356532.

Truly Scrumptious

A new mini-musical for children of all ages, co-produced by JEST and Israel Musicals, samples show tune favorites to tell a poignant story of life and liberty. "Truly Scrumptious" takes place in a town called Sameness, where life has been sapped of joy and heartache for the sake of security and stability. The show's young protagonists learn that there is much more to life, says Yisrael Lutnick, one of the show's stars, who also co-wrote the script. "It's about all the things that make life beautiful," he says. Lutnick will be joined onstage by Sharon Litwinoff, Moshe Mintz, Shani Wahrman, Zvi Goldfeld, Avital Kagan, Asher Selig and Atara Rose. The show opened last night at Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem and will be performed there twice more on December 14 and 22. It will also be performed at the Yad LaBanim Auditorium in Ra'anana tomorrow night. Call 02-6420908 or 077-4506012 for more information. Visit http://israel-theatre.com/tickets to order tickets.

Broadway Babes

Following successful runs of "All My Sons," "Eli Eli" and "Smoke and Mirrors," Ra'anana's English-language Guild Theater group is scheduled to perform a new musical production of its own creation, "Broadway Babes," in two weeks. "It's a tribute to women and theater," says Grant Crankshaw, the only male cast member. The show weaves through a playlist of classic Broadway hits by exploring the circumstances of six actresses vying for a part in a play. "Our narrative is the women are all brought together for an audition scenario," says Crankshaw. Those women are Guild veterans Ilana Gindis, Limor Badin and Daniella Roman and newcomers Debbie Gold Hadar, Gali Harel and Naomi Winkler. Performances are December 24 and January 4 at the 350-seat HaMishkan Leomanuyot in Ra'anana. For more information or to order tickets, call 09-7464036.

(Rank and File was compiled by David Sheen.)

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