Culture Vulture and Mrs. Goldberg

Actress Gertrude Berg

Actress and author Gertrude Berg

by Helen Epstein
Go here for information about a live-chat, scheduled for August 23rd, with Helen Epstein on “The Art of Narrative Writing.”

If you’re at all interested in popular culture, don’t miss Aviva Kempner’s new documentary “Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg.”

Kempner is the D.C.-based director of the award-winning documentary “Life and Times of Hank Greenberg” This “Yoo-Hoo” tells the story of the television pioneer and, before that, long-time radio sitcom star Gertrude Berg. She was the creator, principal writer, and star of “The Goldbergs,” a popular radio show for 17 years, that long before Philip Roth or Woody Allen introduced America to the dynamics of an American-Jewish family.

In 1949, “Yoo-Hoo” moved to the new medium of television, becoming the nation’s first sitcom built around one character, a prototype for many others to follow. Berg paved the way for women in the entertainment industry while maintaining a long marriage and household with kids. The film includes interesting footage from newsreels, documentary and features films as well as surprising interviews with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actor Ed Asner, producers Norman Lear (All in the Family) and Gary David Goldberg (Family Ties), and NPR correspondent Susan Stamberg.

“Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg” opens in Boston on August 14, 2009 at the Coolidge Corner Theater, located at 290 Harvard St. Brookline, MA 02446. For the national schedule of film showings go here.

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