MEET THE CAST
The Laniado brothers (Jos, Claudio)
Main Lead Actor, Screenwriter, Producer
OBIE Award Winner
Jos Laniado is an Obie awarded, multi-lingual actor , whose world travelling has allowed him to learn 6 languages along with the plethora of cultures that have shaped his persona. As a young boy, he and his family became Jewish refugees from Egypt, wandering around the world, ending up in Argentina, and then immigrating to the USA to follow the American dream.
Jos was a Spanish and French teacher for eight years. One day, one of his colleagues, after seeing him teach foreign languages with role playing and playing the guitar and singing songs, told Jos about this acting school called HB studios. He studied acting there and was quickly cast in the New York Street Theatre Caravan for the play Sacco and Vanzetti(Obie winner), and performed in prisons, farms, and communities for three years. The play’s success continued all over Europe while he took a break from teaching. Then, he started getting parts in films, TV and a lot of commercials. He has TV and movie credits such as Milcho Manchevski’s” Bikini Moon”, “Romancing The Stone” , Jessica Jones, Blue Bloods, Pan Am, As The World Turns, Law and Order, and “Blanco”. He was getting bit parts as a butler, bartender, bodyguard and others. He decided to write a script where he can play the protagonist. He cowrote, produced and plays the main lead role of Rabbi Moshe Yehuda in the multi-awarded comedy/dance movie Tango Shalom.
Lead Actor, Screenwriter, Producer
Main Female Lead
Judi Beecher, a native New Yorker, is a multi-award winning international actress, singer-songwriter and filmmaker.
In her latest role in the feature Tango Shalom, Judi plays the role of Raquel Yehuda, the loving traditional Hasidic Mother of five, and husband of Rabbi Moshe Yehuda.
Judi’s interest in acting began as a child, starring in basement productions which she wrote, directed and produced. Her first professional acting job was with Woody Allen in “Coop Italia,” a string of TV commercials for the Italian market.
On television, she recurred on the “Bold and the Beautiful,” and “As the World Turns” as well as on “Law and Order,” “Jag,” “The Shield” and “Once and Again.” Judi is also well known for her voice-over and motion capture work in Sony’s “Heavy Rain,” where she performed the popular lead character Madison Paige, as well as on the popular children’s anime TV series, “Digimon.” In 2013, she was recognized by the magazine, The Complex, as one of the “25 Best Voice Over Performances of All Time.”
Judi also produced and starred in “Only in Paris“. She was nominated best supporting actor in the “The Warrior and The Savior.” And was in the Cannes Film Festival Best film- “Perfect Pitch,”.
Other various roles were in Taken 3, (Liam Neeson), Dany Boon’s “La Ch’tite Famille” (Family is Family) directed by Paolo Barzman, La Garçonne “Boyish”. On the other side of the camera, during The Cannes Film Festival where she directed and produced “The Can Cannes,” which played during the festival and “The Gourmet Dinner,” which screened at the No Dance Film Festival at Sundance.
Most recently Miss Beecher is directing a documentary, “Run Ronya“, a biographical documentary about the holocaust focused on tolerance. Judi is also a humanitarian and activist who hopes to use the influence of media as a catalyst to positive social change.
Lead Actor, Golden Globe, Emmy nominee
LAINIE KAZAN is a multi-award winner in film, television and on stage. The Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 2 and 3. Kazan began her career as Barbra Streisand’s understudy in the Broadway production of “Funny Girl.” She soon became the “chanteuse” of her native New York, appearing in nightclubs and as a guest on virtually every top variety and talk show on television. She appeared on “The Dean Martin Show” an unequalled 26 times, hosted her own variety special on NBC and partnered with Hugh Hefner to open the popular “Lainie’s Room” and “Lainie’s Room East” at the Los Angeles and New York Playboy Clubs.
Appearing at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, Lainie attracted the attention of Francis Ford Coppola who offered her a role in “One from the Heart.” The following year, Kazan was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as “Best Supporting Actress” in Richard Benjamin’s “My Favorite Year” with Peter O’Toole. Her other films include “Lust in the Dust” “Delta Force”, “Beaches,” “The Cemetery Club,” “29th St.,” “The Associate,” “Love Is All There Is,” “The Big Hit,” “The Crew,” “What’s Cooking?,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 2, and 3” and “Don’t Mess With The Zohan.”
In 2015, Lainie appeared in the Adam Sandler film “Pixels” and she reprised her character of Maria Portokalos in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” in March 2016. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3″ will be filming in September 2021.
She was nominated for an Emmy Award for “St. Elsewhere” and received a CableACE Award nomination for “The Paper Chase.” Kazan guest starred on “Will & Grace,” recurred on “The Nanny” and “Desperate Housewives” and she played Arthur’s main squeeze on “King of Queens.” She has appeared on “Modern Family” and on the Disney Channel series “Jessie.” Most recently she guest starred on “The Kominsky Method” and “Fuller House.”
Kazan received a Tony nomination for her role in the musical version of “My Favorite Year” at the Lincoln Center. She produced and starred on Broadway with Bette Midler, Madeline Kahn, Patti LuPone, Elaine Stritch and Andrea Martin in “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly,” an all star tribute to Ethel Merman. As for her music career, Kazan has sung with the Boston Pops, the Cleveland Pops and performed to sold-out houses throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States. She has performed in Las Vegas for over 25 years and at such venues as The Greek Theatre, Carnegie Hall and the hallowed stages of New York’s Rainbow and Stars. Recently she performed to sold out houses at Feinstein’s at Vitello’s in Los Angeles, Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York and The Purple Room in Palm Springs. A recording artist, her CDs include her jazz collections, “Lainie Kazan – In The Groove” and “Body and Soul.” She has recorded 5 albums under the MGM label and was awarded Best New Artist award in 1968.
Since 2012, she has been serving as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA, teaching “Acting for the Singer” using the Great American Songbook. Lainie plays Leah Zlotkin in Tango Shalom.
Lead Actor, Oscar nominee, Emmy winner
Renée Taylor, who played Eva Braun with a Yiddish accent in Mel Brooks’ “The Producers”, co-starred in Neil Simon’s “The Last of The Red Hot Lovers”, “Adam Sandler’s “The Do Over”, Ken Marino’s “How to be a Latin Lover” and acted opposite such illustrious actors as Sean Connery, Frank Sinatra, Walter Matthau, and Jerry Lewis — but perhaps Renée’s most iconic role was that of Fran Drescher’s loud and lovable mother, Sylvia Fine, in CBS ’s multi-season hit show, “The Nanny”, now on HBO Max. She also plays the hilarious role of Deborah Yehuda, an old-world Yiddisha mamela in “Tango Shalom” who has some of the funniest lines in the film.
Lead Actor, Main dancer
Karina Smirnoff is a 20 season alumna and longest reigning champion of Dancing with the Stars, and this is her first leading role as Viviana Nieves in Tango Shalom. She is known for her work on Shall We Dance (2004), 48 Hours to live (2016) and Swing State (2017).
Karina was born in Kharkiv ,Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, and is of half-Greek and half-Russian Jewish descent . In 1993, she immigrated to the USA.
Writer, Producer, Actor, Oscar nominee
Joseph Bologna, the Broadway, TV, and film legend, who starred in “Blame It On Rio”, opposite Michael Caine, Adam Sandler’s “Big Daddy”, Mel Brooks’ autobiographical “My Favorite Year”, Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two”, and co-wrote with his wife, actor and comedy great, Renée Taylor, a slew of Broadway plays, along with the Emmy-Award-winning, “Acts of Love and Other Comedies” and the Academy Award-nominated, “Lovers And Other Strangers”. In Tango Shalom, Joe plays Father Anthony.
Actor, Producer, Choreographer, Dancer
Jordi Caballero is a multi-awarded and nominated actor, dancer-choreographer, musician and producer with a knack for crossing boundaries in the entertainment industry. As Jordi explains, “To me it doesn’t matter what entertainment medium is used. My goal is to tell a story – be in through the eyes of a character, a movement, a beat or a show, to captivate the audience through the shared human experience. And figuring out the best route to get there is what fills me with inspiration”. Jordi started training in the classical music arts at the age of 8. By his early teens, he realized he wanted to pursue his passion and natural talents professionally, segueing from music to acting and dance. , Jordi headed to the New York City to pursue a career in acting and the performing arts earning a BFA degree from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. In the human rights thriller I Witness, he played the role of Captain Madrid. He was also cast in Rob Reiner’s Alex And Emma, in the feature film, Broken Horses. Jordi’s captivating presence and ability to truly embrace his characters have earned him a long list of key guest-starring television roles in hit television shows including Sex And The City, Grimm, CSI Miami, Justified, Disjointed, Rules Of Engagement, Entourage, Brothers And Sisters, The Unit and The Shield, among many others.
Jordi’s gift and passion for the performing arts, dance and choreography also led him to work with top musical celebrities such as Andrea Bocelli, Cher, Madonna, The Spice Girls, Tony Bennett, as well as through stage performances on widely broadcast television productions including The Annual Academy Awards and Dancing With The Stars. His talents have been enlisted by film director veterans such as Chris Columbus for Rent, by Gore Verginski’s for RANGO among many other film and television directors. He has received two Nominations as Best Choreographer from the prestigious American Choreography Awards.
Over the past several years Jordi has emerged as a filmmaker-producer of original entertainment content including Tango Shalom , THE LAST ANALOGUE HIT: Macarena: The last analog hit (In process), La Carga (2016), After the Rain (2016), Dancing For My Havana (2015) and The World Choreography Awards (2015, 2016 & 2017). Jordi plays Jose Hernandez in Tango Shalom. http://www.jordicaballero.com/
MEET THE OTHER ACTORS
Laura Fay Lewis
Laura Fay Lewis is the quintessential multi-dimensional Artist, a NYC Award winning Actress and Filmmaker, and a singer. She graduated from The Juilliard School (Drama Division) and performed , in the New York Off-Broadway Theatre scene, from Shakespeare to Fassbinder. As a founding member of Tribeca Lab, and Brazen Giant Ensemble, Laura Fay continues to contribute her talents in developing and producing various projects. She does the role of Mara in Tango Shalom.
MEET SOME OF THE OTHER WORLD RENOWNED TANGO DANCERS
Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo
Some TV credits: NBC’s “Superstars Of Dance” Champions 2009, and UNIVISION’s “Latin Grammy Awards” guest performers 2014 & 2017. In the Commercial category : they were principal stars for three years at a CHASE BANK’s TV Commercial from 2015-17. Leonardo plays Manuel Inglesias, and Miriam plays Guadalupe Inglesias in Tango Shalom.
Carlos Barrionuevo and Mayte Valdes
Carlos and Mayte became partners in 2007 and started working on some of the most prestigious tango shows in Buenos Aires. In 2008 the couple relocated to the USA to continue performing there for different shows. They are the stars of Forever Tango, Tangueros del Sur Company at City Center in New York City, Jacobs Pillow, Vail international Dance Festival, Israel Dance Festival and Evolution Tango in its world premiere on Broadway. Carlos’s role is Fecundo Garcia, and Mayte’s is Eliana Dominguez in Tango Shalom.
Born in Spain, Mayte is a versatile stage coach whose specialities include Flamenco, Ballet, Jazz, Ballroom, Latin, Tango, Spanish Folklore & Castanets. Her work as a dance teacher, performer, and choreographer can be seen in spots and programs on CNN, Univisión, Worldcom, Hispanavisión &CBS; films as Enchanted, Stepford Wives, Mona Lisa Smile, and commercials like Softbank, featuring Cameron Diaz, among others. Mayte is Ana Parda in Tango Shalom.
Zita was born in Argentina and she dedicates her life to her passion, the Argentine tango.Trained at the famous Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, she started performing and choreographing in the international scene at a very young age, touring Europe, Asia and America. She was part of many T.V. shows and tango productions including the Broadway Hit “Forever Tango”. Zita also performed with celebrities like Placido Domingo, Julio Iglesias, Mariano Mores, Gustavo Dudamel among others. The City of Los Angeles has recognized her for her support and contribution to spreading tango culture in Los Angeles, where she lives. Zita plays Isabella Sanchez in Tango Shalom.
MEET THE TANGO JUDGES
Makela Brizuela, the founder and director of Makela Tango School (since 2000) in West Los Angeles, graduated from the National School of Ballet of Argentina, is one of the most respected performers, teachers and choreographers in the Los Angeles tango community. She was also one of the judges for the US Official Argentine Tango Championship. She choreographed Urban Tango, Sueño Azul, Camila, the Musical for SMC, Dance in Fight at Pepperdine University, Tango Cabaret at the MOLA in Long Beach. Makela’s performance credits include Tango Nuevo Cabaret at the Ford Amphitheater and Cabaret Tango at the Downey Theatre.
Brizuela, the founder and director of Makela Tango School (since 2000) in West Los Angeles, and a graduate from the National School of Ballet of Argentina, is one of the most respected performers, teachers and choreographers in the Los Angeles tango community. She was also one of the judges for the US Official Argentine Tango Championship. Makela played a tango judge in Tango Shalom.
One of the most respect teachers, choreographers and performers in the U.S. today, Christy has been a judge (in real life) for some of the most prestigious Tango competitions including the USA Tango Championships! She is based in San Francisco and shares her knowledge with dancers worldwide. Christy played a tango judge in Tango Shalom. christycote.comchristycote.
Joel Zwick is an American film director, television director, and theater director. He worked on the television series Perfect Strangers, Full House, and Family Matters. He is known for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Second Sight, and Fat Albert.He was born in Brooklyn, to a Jewish family. His father was a cantor from an Orthodox background, and Zwick had his Bar Mitzvah at an Orthodox synagogue.
Robert Meyer Burnett
Producer, Editor, Special Effects Supervisor
MEET THE DIRECTOR
Before Gabriel Bologna’s career as a writer/director, he was an accomplished actor for fifteen years, working with such film directors as Francis Ford Coppola and Mark Rydel. He was discovered by James Burrows while attending New York University Tisch and was flown out to Universal Studios to star in the ABC series, “The Marshall Chronicles”, where he played loveable tough guy, Jonny Parmetko. The New York Times reviewed Gabriel’s role as “a brilliant Fonzi redux specimen”. Though it only ran a season, the show has been immortalized on Wikipedia as being the impetus for Larry David changing the name “The Seinfeld Chronicles” to “Seinfeld” as to not compete with Gabriel’s show which had been launched at the exact same time.
Gabriel co-wrote an autobiographical comedy called “Love Is All There Is” (Samuel Goldwyn) with his parents, screen legends Reneé Taylor and Joseph Bologna, starring Angelina Jolie.
Bologna wrote and co-directed the film “The Elevator” for an HBO Original Release, starring himself, Martin Landau, Martin Sheen, and Richard Lewis.
Gabriel directed a horror film called, “The Black Waters Of Echo’s Pond,” starring Robert Patrick, Jimmy Duval, and Danielle Harris, which was released by Anchor Bay.
In 2014, Gabriel directed a film adaptation of the play “African Gothic,” by Reza De Wet, South Africa’s most celebrated author. Written in 1985 at the height of censorship, this masterpiece was an instrumental weapon in the literary war that toppled Apartheid. The story, itself, centers around a weapon: the Sjombok, a long flesh-tearing whip, the ubiquitous symbol of Apartheid, and synonymous with the oppression by those who wielded it. The film won over a dozen film festival awards.
Gabriel directed a dance/comedy in Brooklyn, NY called “Tango Shalom”, about a Hasidic rabbi who struggles with his orthodox beliefs to realize his dream of dancing the tango. It is produced by Joel Zwick (”My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), starring Karina Smirnoff (longest running Alumna on “Dancing With The Stars”), and Lainie Kazan (”My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 2, and 3”). Gabriel is also developing a food show with Ross Babbit, who founded “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” at the Travel Channel, and TV personality Jack Maxwell.
Aside from studying at NYU Tisch, Gabriel was under the tutelage of auteur, John Frankenheimer, and opera impresario, Albert Innaurato. Gabriel was a professor of filmmaking for ten years at the UCLA Extension Entertainment Studies Department. Jon Levin, who ran CAA for thirty years, is Gabriel’s manager.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: CONVIVENCIA FOREVER FILMS