News in Brief

Six original plays to premiere at Haifa int'l theater festival for kids

"Yesh Drakon Bayarkon" ("There's a Dragon in the Yarkon" ), an operetta for children about a boy named Alon who faces his fears when he meets a dragon at the bottom of the Yarkon River, is one of six original plays that will be performed at the 23rd Haifa International Children's Theater Festival, which will take place March 27-29. The play, which was written by Michal Porat and directed by Noa Lev, was chosen among 80 submissions. The other winners include "Tofer Hahalomot" ("Stitcher of Dreams" ), based on a book by the late German author Michael Ende and directed by Galya Fradkin; "Hatishma Koli" ("Will You Hear My Voice" ), written and directed by Gadi Tsdaka; and "Nona Koret Mahshavot" ("Nona Reads Minds" ), based on a book by Orit Gidali and directed by Roni Brodetzky. (Shir Hacham )

Rishon Letzion symphony hires pianist Ariel Cohen as director general

Pianist Ariel Cohen has been selected as the new director general of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Letzion, becoming the first professional musician appointed to the post. Cohen, 55, will be replacing Sara Levin, who had previously announced her retirement from the post she held for five years. The search committee that chose Cohen, who has previously been a soloist with various orchestras, was headed by Rishon Letzion Mayor Dov Zur. Cohen has also performed as part of Tel Aviv Duo, with Irit Rub. The duo has played with baritone Dan Ettinger, who currently serves as the orchestra's musical director and is its principal conductor. (Haggai Hitron )

Yes to air new reality cooking show

A new reality show featuring six chefs for Israeli ethnic home-style restaurants facing off against each other in a culinary competition in London will air on Yes later this year, according to the satellite television company. "Royal Chef," the product of collaboration between Kuperman Productions and Yes, follows on the heels of two similar reality-show successes: "Hai Belala Land," which followed Israeli singers trying to make it big in Los Angeles, and the cooking show "Master Chef." The participants in "Royal Chef" will be sharing a house in London for a month and have to cope with a series of culinary and cultural challenges. The winner will be chosen by chef Albert Roux. (Gili Izikovich )