Dizzy the dazzling dreidel spins through Houston next week aiming to boost the hurricane-stricken city’s morale.
The character is part of “Twirl & Zip,” a Hanukkah musical produced by Temima, the Richard and Jean Katz High School for Girls. The show is an Atlanta favorite; Temima has produced “Twirl & Zip” for Atlanta Jewish schools biennially since 2004 and fields requests to perform the show during off years. The website cycles through praise from “Twirl & Zip” fans who say the musical “enthralled” and “mesmerized” viewers.
“In Atlanta, it’s already become that people grow up on Dizzy,” says Gitty Golding, Temima activities coordinator.
“Twirl & Zip,” written by Miriam Feldman and directed by Rachelle Freedman, opens with two kids reflecting on how they don’t know much about Hanukkah. Then Dizzy arrives and takes the kids on a whirlwind trip through time, teaching them about the historical and cultural significance of the holiday. Shabbat candlesticks, the siddur, the Torah and many other costumed characters meet the adventurers on their journey. The message, in Golding’s words, is simple: “You children are the ones to keep the Torah alive.”
Temima students will perform “Twirl & Zip” at eight different Jewish schools and institutions in Houston — it’s the first time the show will be produced outside Atlanta. The cast of 50, along with all of the show’s props, scenery and costumes, is flying to Houston on Sunday, Dec. 3, and will return on Thursday, Dec. 7.
“As the girls give over the message, they live the message,” says Golding. “They’re living for something bigger than themselves. They’re living with the purpose of showing this to 1,000 of the children in Houston who would not otherwise get to experience the message of Hanukkah like this.”
“Twirl & Zip”’s final production is on home turf. The girls will perform for women, girls and boys under 9 at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta on Sunday, Dec. 10. Tickets can be purchased at temimatwirlandzip.com; proceeds benefit Temima’s Houston trip.
“It’s the best live Hanukkah experience children can have,” says Golding. “You can talk and sing about Hanukkah, but when kids see it live like this with colorful, exciting characters, they really live it. It becomes something that they don’t forget.”
“Twirl & Zip”
4:30-5:30 p.m. Dec. 10. $6, performance limited to women, girls and boys under age 9. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-315-0507, temimatwirlandzip.com.