Staying Connected Through Community

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In this week’s column, more ways to stay connected to each other through community.

Staying Connected Through Community
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynn Mason
Photo credit: Kat West

For quality entertainment, check out the New York Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s online offering Folksbiene! LIVE –  a celebration of Yiddish culture featuring live streamed theater, American Jewish performers, workshops, and other events. As an example, coming up on April 1, actor Adam B. Shapiro will perform in concert, “From Fool to Fiddler.”

This past week, Fiddler on The Roof in Yiddish’s Stephanie Lynn Mason and Drew Seigla presented “Love Duets Lunchtime Concert”, followed by a Q&A with online audience members on Facebook. You can see that performance and enjoy live events at www.

The Reelabilities Film Festival, which highlights stories about people with disabilities, was slated to have screenings of their many films at the end of the month.

Of course, their screenings had to be canceled, but the organizers pivoted, re-grouped and are moving forward with a virtual film festival instead.  The festival will run as planned from March 31 to April 6.

To view the line-up of films and purchase tickets go to: 

And from the restaurant front, are you aware of a quickly assembled mission to help keep restaurants afloat AND feed healthcare workers at the same time?

This is the brilliant idea of restaurateur Luca Di Pietro, who owns Tarallucci e Vino eateries around the city.

The organization, Feed the Frontlines NYC, is fueling with food the extraordinary efforts of our city’s healthcare workers, while also supporting our local restaurants and their employees.

When you donate an amount, you are purchasing a meal for a healthcare worker that is prepared and delivered by the restaurant’s staff.

A great way to thank the incredible heroes at the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle who are tending to the sick, and to help restaurants weather this stunningly challenging time.  

Join me on “Bagels and Broadway” Saturday morning from 9-10 on WNYM (AM970) or listen to the podcast following airing of the show. Bagels and Broadway podcast


  • Valerie Smaldone

    Five-time Billboard Award-winning media personality Valerie Smaldone is a theatre, food, lifestyle and entertainment enthusiast. She is a celebrity interviewer, accomplished voice-over artist and actress. Recent appearances on episodic tv include Law and Order, Criminal Intent, The Other Two (on HBO Max), Tommy, Manifest and Blue Bloods. She is an audiobook narrator and producer. A live event emcee, moderator, and "Voice of God" at events and award ceremonies, Valerie has joined The Story Plant Entertainment Company and is currently working on a film and Broadway play. Visit her website at

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