If one of your Jewish friends calls you a kuni-leml in Yiddish, it's not a compliment. Kuni-Leml is the main character in The Fanatic, a popular 1880 play by the father of Yiddish theater, Avrom Goldfadn. The musical comedy takes place in Russia during the reign of Czar Alexander II (1855-1881), whose enlightened attitude opened avenues of opportunity for Russian Jews. Even so, the play's main character, a Hasidic scholar named Kuni-Leml, remains in a fairy-tale world, fervently pursuing religious study without applying it to any real-world context. Over the years the character's name has become synonymous with the word "fool" in Yiddish. Perhaps for emphasis the modern adaptation of the play is titled Kuni-Leml, and the Jewish Repertory Theatre of New York previews the show beginning tonight at the Adolph and Rose Levis Jewish Community Center (9801 Donna Klein Blvd., Boca Raton). Previews continue through January 7; the show runs January 9 through 24. Tickets cost $25 or $30. Call 561-852-3241. See "Stage" listings for a complete performance schedule.
When saxophonist Kenny Millions jams at Sushi Blues Cafe, the Hollywood club he owns with his wife, he plays traditional blues. But on many recordings and during concerts outside his club, Millions, a.k.a. Keshaven Maslak, leans toward the edges of conventional music. The sax man also plays guitar and adds strange electronic samples to his tunes, plus he's recorded albums with the late Russian pianist and avant-garde pioneer Sergey Kuryokhin and with free-drum legend Charles Moffett. This kind of background makes "Mr. Florida's Avant-Blues Show" an apt title for Millions' performance today during The Sounds of Music -- Noontime Concert Series at the Boca Raton Museum of Art (801 W. Palmetto Park Rd., Boca Raton). Upcoming concerts will take place one Wednesday every month through May in the museum's outdoor sculpture garden. Call 561-392-2500 for details.