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Zalmen Mlotek

The Sorceress (Di Kishefmakherin)

December 9, 2019

Goldfaden’s escapist musical fantasy combines bits and pieces from many sources: the Cinderella fairy tale; Gilbert-and-Sullivan-esque rapid-fire, tongue twister songs; old-fashioned (even in 1878!) melodrama; Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio; and—believe it or not—the Seventies’  TV sitcom, “Laverne and Shirley”! (The L & S reference, to be absolutely honest, might be an interjection improvised by the actor—yes actor—playing the title role.) [more]

Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish

February 23, 2019

The property is now more than a half-century old. But this production makes it seem as though the 1964 iteration were merely an English-language version of a classic from even longer ago. There’s a greater feeling of immediacy than perhaps ever before. Hearing the characters speak and sing in the tongue that their real-life 1905 contemporaries would have used is deeply moving. What a shame that so many speakers of Yiddish from decades past never got the chance to experience the musical in this guise. [more]

Fiddler on the Roof (The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene)

July 28, 2018

Steven Skybell’s Tevye warms up from a salt-of-the-earth, everyday philosopher to the much put-upon tragic existential hero upon whom God—to whom he speaks frequently—has heaped much tsouris.  By the time he has lost a third daughter Khavele, this time to a Russian Christian, his interpretations of the songs and his line readings are heart-breaking. [more]

ON THE TOWN… With CHIP DEFFAA

August 4, 2017

I’ve seen “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” many times, many places.  I didn’t see the original Broadway production, alas–although I loved the cast album–but I’ve enjoyed the Broadway revivals, and other productions.  Just this year, for example, I got a kick out of seeing the kids at New York’s Professional Performing Arts School do a production. [more]

The Golden Bride

December 13, 2015

It has taken years and many people, to restore the book and score of the 1923 "The Golden Bride" which was last performed in 1948. A concert performance by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene in May 2014 laid the groundwork for the current full-blown staging with its large cast, orchestra, sets and costumes, zestfully co-directed by Bryna Wasserman and Motl Didner with not so great, but energetic, choreography by Merete Muenter. [more]