“Forgotten Hollywood”- Oy Vey…

Posted on July 3, 2018 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`An updated off-Broadway production of  Fiddler on the Roofdirected by Oscar and Tony winner Joel Grey, will be performed in Yiddish for the first time in the United States. A preview starts this evening for the show, and using the language its characters would have spoken.

“`Based on short stories by Sholom Aleichem originally penned in Yiddish, Fiddler is set in 1905 in a Jewish village in czarist Russia. A Yiddish version of the production translated by actor and writer Shraga Friedman as  Fidler afn Dakh was performed in Israel in 1966, but was never staged in the United States until now.

“`Yiddish, which is based on German and dialects used in Hebrew and other languages and is written with the Hebrew alphabet, was once spoken by millions of Eastern European Jews but fell victim both to the Holocaust and a desire for assimilation. The new production exemplifies how decades of work to preserve Yiddish by organizations, including the FolksbieneYiddish for World Stage — have paid off.

“`Immigrants to the United States built a thriving Yiddish theater scene and it launched the career of famed acting teacher Stella Adler, and thespians such as Edward G. Robinson. The Folksbiene was founded in 1915 and was once one of a dozen Yiddish theater companies on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. They presents examples from the Yiddish theater canon, new productions, and adaptations of Yiddish literary works such as Yentl.

“`Joel Grey’s papa was Mickey Katz, a musician and actor who performed Yiddish comedy and songs. Grey actually doesn’t speak much Yiddish, but has been learning while rehearsing. The 86-year-old is best remembered for his award-winning role as the host in Cabaret, a musical that improbably turned the rise of Hitler into popular entertainment.

“`Fiddler on the Roof opened on Broadway in 1964, and it starred Zero Mostel as Tevye and ran for eight years. It has been a favorite of schools and community theater groups ever since and has been revived on Broadway four times. Its songs, including If I Were a Rich Man and Sunrise Sunset, are familiar even to people who have never seen the show.

“`This updated culturally accurate version should have critics shouting…  L’Chaim!

Until next time.                                “never forget”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018 at 4:00 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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