“Lechayim” in LA Land

By David Caspi

FOLLOWING ITS IMMIDIATE RATING SUCCESS and water-cooler talk, the reality mocumentary show ‘Living in La-La Land’ (‘Chai Be’La La Land’) has begun early production for a sophomore season, with a new group of Israeli artists, vying to make it outside of Israel. “Kuperman Productions” (‘Big Brother Israel,’ ‘Traffic Lights’) has started scouting for new talent to take part in the upcoming season.

The show, which started airing on Israeli satellite provider “Yes” two weeks ago, has garnered major buzz, ever since its initial filming earlier this year. The show features six oriental “Mizrachi” music artists Dudu Aharon (reigning male singer of the year), Avihu Shabat (son of singer Shlomi Shabat, and a recent breakthrough success in Israel), Julietta, rapper Alon-De-Loco, longtime veteran Zehava Ben, and her infamous twin sister Etti Levi. The show follows them living in a posh villa in Los Angeles, attending musical workshops in hopes of making it in the US market.

The prize for the winner is a contract with “Geffen Records”. The finale has been taped at the end of primary shooting back in February, but no announcement has been made about the winner, probably awaiting a live show finale to air at the end of the season.

A significant role of the professional mentor of the show has been Israeli-American producer and engineer Tal Herzberg R.I.P who joins the artists during sessions with high level music producers, coaching the Israeli artists, throughout the run of the show. He was the production partner of Geffen Records chairman Ron Fair, with whom he worked for 10 years, working with such artists as Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and the Counting Crows. The 2003 Grammy nominated Herzberg died April 7 of liver cancer and “Living in La La Land” has been entirely dedicated in his memory.

“Living in La La Land” became an instant cult phenomenon in Israel and has already delivered some spoofs and online sketched. For international viewers the show can be watched online via the “Yes” channel on new website “Walla.” Darbuka is not included.

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