Not since Melanie Griffith donned a sheitel to play an undercover cop in the 1992 film “A Stranger Among Us,” has an A-list celebrity (not counting Matisyahu) brought an entourage a film crew into chasidic Brooklyn.
But in a two-part series beginning Feb. 12, talk show diva Oprah Winfrey’s new TV program brings viewers to Crown Heights and Borough Park, where chasidic families she interviews, according to the “Oprah’s Next Chapter” website, “lift the veil, revealing the secrets to their usually private and mysterious way of life.”
“For the first time, cameras are allowed inside this hidden culture,” says the breathless voiceover in a “sneak peek” video.
In the show, a modestly attired Oprah has a meal with a Chabad family of 12, interviews a black chasidic family, has a roundtable discussion with a group of chasidic women (not all of them Chabad) and checks out a Chabad mikveh in Brooklyn Heights.
Among the questions she poses (according to the “sneak peek”): “Why did you all agree to talk to me?” “What does chasidic mean?” and “Are women valued in this relationship?”
And, perhaps most to the point for the queen of daytime TV: “Nobody at this table has ever watched television?!”