THE ODD POTATO
The Hanukkah Story for Everyone
A HOLIDAY TRADITION SINCE 1984
From a picture book read around the world, to an Emmy-Award winning children’s special to an all-star New York holiday concert, to dozens of regional productions, followed by a musical album starring 20 of Broadway’s most illustrious Tony Award winners (played annually on the radio around the globe), THE ODD POTATO, the Hanukkah Story for Everyone, written by award-winning author, playwright, and producer, Eileen Bluestone Sherman, has found its way onto 6 continents. Indeed, through the years, this heartwarming story has entertained audiences of all faiths, ages, races, and nationalities. (Image at right: Cover of the original picture book with The Odd Potato’s “official Emmy)
This year, THE ODD POTATO Animated Video, with all-new illustrations, by Noelle Smith, debuts on Youtube for the next generation of families to enjoy over and over again, for the next generation of families to enjoy over and over again. Based on the author’s own father’s childhood experience during the Great Depression, THE ODD POTATO proves once again that a child’s imagination and determination can still create miracles!
Find it on Youtube at https://youtu.be/PsZLuiVxf8A.
When she was growing up, Eileen’s dad told her a story that happened to him one Hanukkah when he was just six years old during the Great Depression, after his own father's death. Eileen’s grandmother was a very poor immigrant from Austria. She owned almost nothing but had a great imagination that allowed her six-year-old son to have a very special Hanukkah.
FROM PAGE TO STAGE: Broadway Sings the Odd Potato
Book and Lyrics by Eileen Bluestone Sherman
Music by Gail C. Bluestone
In 2003, Eileen, along with her musical theater collaborator (and her big sister) Gail, The Bluestone Sisters created a New York holiday event starring television icons, Frank Gorshin and Charlotte Rae, Grammy Award Winner, B.J. Crosby, Tony Award Winner, Debbie Gravitte, Tony Award Nominee, Mark Jacoby, and featuring Molly Ephraim and Sky Jarrett as Rachel and Sammy Levy.
MUSICAL SYNOPSIS: Rachel Levy wants to celebrate Hanukkah the way she remembers it before the death of her mother a year earlier. She looks everywhere for the family Hanukkah menorah her grandmother brought with her from the “Old Country.” Rachel’s younger brother, Sammy, wants to compete in the Hebrew School Hanukkah talent show but needs his father in the act. Mr. Levy, still grieving, seems to be no help to either child. But Rachel has a “miraculous idea” when she goes to Mr. Weintraub’s Grocery to buy potatoes for the first night of Hanukkah and remembers her mother’s childhood story. Proving that “a little imagination goes a long, long way,” THE ODD POTATO celebrates family tradition, peppered with a little boy’s zany antics.
The entire production is lively and good-natured … some perky dancing!
Anita Gates, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Whether performed as a holiday concert, a full production (with all the bells and whistles), or simply excerpts in a Carnegie Hall OR Lincoln Center holiday program, year after year, the story and music continue to speak to the heart as it tickles the funny-bone.
(Pictures of Broadway’s Cary Tedder and Sara Esty performing musical highlights from The Odd Potato at Carnegie Hall.)
"Winner After Winner"
20 Tony Award Winners retell the story on CD, narrated by Judd Hirsch
Starring: Jim Dale, Dan Fogler, Sutton Foster, Boyd Gaines, Debbie Gravitte, Judd Hirsch, Ron Holgate, Cady Huffman, Judy Kaye, Dick Latessa, Hal Linden, Priscilla Lopez, John Mahoney, Donna Mckechnie, Michele Pawk, Maryann Plunkett, Hal Prince, Elaine Stritch, Lillias White, Scott Wise, and featuring Molly Ephraim and Sky Jarrett with tap highlights by Randy Skinner.
ABOUT THE BLUESTONE SISTERS
From the stages of the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center to the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Bluestone Sisters’ award-winning songs from their Emmy Award-Winning Hanukkah favorite, The Odd Potato.
Eileen Bluestone Sherman (book and lyrics) and Gail C. Bluestone (music) began their musical theater collaboration at Hallmark Cards' Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, which soon led to the Sisters contributing more than a dozen scripts to Chicago’s popular children’s television series, The Magic Door. This ultimately brought the Sisters’ music to the New York stage and Broadway recording studios with a host of TONY AWARD Winners!
Individually, Gail distinguished herself as an award-winning music educator, twice honored by the City of Los Angeles as well as the Los Angeles Fulfillment Fund for her extraordinary work in the classroom. Eileen, a young adult novelist, received The National Jewish Book Award (Monday in Odessa) and the International Reading Association’s “Teachers' Choice Award” (Independence Avenue). Her third Young Adult Novel (The Violin Players) is now available as an audiobook (read by the author) streaming on all major platforms.
Eileen is a proud member of the Authors Guild, the Dramatists Guild, The Drama League, and the Co-Founder (with the award- winning singer/songwriter Grant Maloy Smith) of the Indie Collaborative, an international group of over 2000 professional independent artists in the music industry. The Sisters are also proud members of ASCAP and The Recording Academy.