Kevin Pollak, an actor and comedian who has appeared in more than 80 films, will headline Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s 11th Annual Night of the Stars via Zoom on May 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Ahead of the event, the JT did a Q&A with Pollak about his work, his cats and the recent loss of his mother.
We also got questions from community members. Here’s what you wanted to know about Pollak.
From Esther Weiner, who worked for 23 years at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, and for whom the museum named their store after her when she retired:
After watching you in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and seeing how great you performed in that role, are you ready for another shot in a TV series?
We are shooting season four right now, and I am not ready to move on, I am still very much in the present. I find it more enjoyable now that as I get older to stay in the present, and loving it. Talk about feeling grateful. This particular experience is a lottery winning ticket, in every regard.
From David Dopkin, managing member of Miss Shirley’s Café and a partner with The Classic Catering People:
Are you a waffle man or a pancake person?
It really depends on who is making the batter. My better half makes Micky McWaffles, with batter from Kodiak Cakes, a Shark Tank product. They boast of having protein in the batter, which I guess is a good thing. When she makes that batter, the waffles are spectacular. But when we go out, to like the Black Bear Diner, and have their sweet cream batter for pancakes, they make it impossible to remove dairy from your life.
From writer Sid Gold:
Can you tell us anything about the making of “Avalon”?
When you are away from home for four months, spending 14 hours a day, five days a week with a group of people, you become a family, in a way. And although Barry [Levinson] and I have not made an effort to stay in touch, we get very excited when we see each other.
What kind of acting jobs do you turn down?
The things I am most interested in are who’s the writer and what have they done, who’s the director, who are the other players. Does my part impact the story and is it less consequential? I feel the need to feel consequential in everything I take on. In the beginning, I was initially saying yes because it’s work and that’s the way I was brought up, but I have gotten pickier in the last 10 years.
From Rebekah Sobel, director of interpretation at the Capital Jewish Museum in D.C.:
How does your Jewish upbringing impact your work?
I would say it’s the tradition of Jewish storytellers that I was entertained by as a kid that inform my work. There is a connection there.
Have you ever experienced anti-Semitism?
Oh, sure. I have had no earth-shattering or life-threatening experiences, more of a subtle nature. And I think I’ve been fortunate that I have not personally suffered of physical contact or in person threat.
From Saul Sosnowski, a professor of Latin American literature and culture at the University of Maryland, College Park:
Can Jewish humor be told by non-Jews?
There is a language that is familiar to any race or ethnic group or religious organization, and Jews are probably very well represented in comedy. But I think the comparison might be good with African American comedians and their experiences. There is a similarity in how strong their voices and culture are, and so because of that, it would be difficult for someone outside of that culture to be as funny using the rhythm and jargon of that culture.