Myq Kaplan '00
Mike Lovett
Myq Kaplan '00

Along with a steady stream of stand-up appearances, comedian Myq Kaplan ’00 has been busy making albums. In February, he released the comedy album “No Kidding,” which revolves around his reluctance to have children. Two months before that, Kaplan released “Many Mini Musics,” in which jokester Myq morphs into singer/songwriter Myq, performing 42 short pieces he’s composed, most under two minutes in length.

Yu-Hui Chang, PhD’01, associate professor of composition, received a $10,000 Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for outstanding artistic achievement. The award also gives her $10,000 toward the recording of one work. Chang, who writes a wide range of music — her website notes her compositions are characterized by “diverse harmonic color, inventive timbre and ingenious effects” — has earned many prestigious commissions and fellowships over her career.

Mira Kessler ’16 received excellent reviews, including in The New York Times, for her performance in a Yiddish play revived off-Broadway. The new production of “God of Vengeance,” written in 1907 by Sholem Asch, was performed in Yiddish with English subtitles. In its review, the Times singled out Kessler, noting she inhabited her role “with marvelous grace.” The newspaper also highlighted the play as one of its Critics’ Picks. (The play “Indecent,” which opened on Broadway in April, is about the real-life controversy ignited by a 1923 production of “God of Vengeance.”)

News worthy of a double take: Rabbi Zev Eleff, PhD’15, was a 2016 National Jewish Book Award finalist in two different categories, for two different books he wrote. “Modern Orthodox Judaism: A Documentary History” was recognized in the Modern Jewish Thought and Experience category. And “Who Rules the Synagogue: Religious Authority and the Formation of American Judaism” got a finalist nod in the American Jewish Studies category. The awards are presented by the Jewish Book Council. Eleff is chief academic officer at Hebrew Theological College, in Skokie, Illinois.

Susan S. Lanser, professor emerita of English; women’s, gender and sexuality studies; and comparative literature, was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2017 Perkins Prize awards, which recognizes the book making the most significant contribution to the study of narrative. Lanser earned her honor as co-editor of “Narrative Theory Unbound: Queer and Feminist Interventions,” published by the Ohio State University Press.

They’ll be back. NBC is reprising the sitcom “Will & Grace,” featuring the original cast members, including Debra Messing ’90 as Grace. Ten episodes will run during the 2017-18 season. The series’ first run lasted from 1998 to 2006. Each of the four lead cast members received at least one Emmy for their performances, and the show won the Emmy for Best Comedy in 2000.