Reviews

The Theater or Rolling Dung Balls

There was a time when high culture was high, low culture was low, and never the ‘twain should meet.  The middle-class intellectuals who attended plays by Shakespeare and Chekhov likely returned home to listen to Beethoven and Bach, later retiring to bed with a good, fat novel by George Eliot or Leo Tolstoy.  The popular […]

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Reviews

The Power to Remember, the Power to Forget

Around the corner from where it debuted in 1907, Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance is being revived by the New Yiddish Rep.  When the play transferred to Broadway in 1923, the cast and crew were arrested and convicted on charges of obscenity.  But the drama, about the Russian brothel proprietor Yankl (Shane Baker) who wants to buy his […]

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Reviews

Who’s on Forty-Second?

My grandparents spoke Yiddish, especially when they didn’t want their children to understand what they were saying.  My dad speaks some, though his German is better, and I know the same handful of words that a gentile might learn after five years of living in New York City.  There’s no question the language has been […]

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Reviews

Now It Came to Pass

“I’m speaking English?” asks Loyfer (Shane Baker) at the opening of The Megile of Itzik Manger.  Then, looking at an elderly member of the audience, he says, I’m guessing, “From now on—in Yiddish,” for the supertitles had not yet started.  Wearing a purple pinstripe suit and a top hat, and with the ease and charisma […]

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