Folksbiene- National Yiddish Theater

‘Gem’ Of A Yiddish Operetta Gets New Look

07/28/2015 - 20:00

After 92 years, many of them spent in manuscript form piled on a shelf of the Loeb Music Library at Harvard, Joseph Rumshinsky’s operetta, “Di Goldene Kale” (The Golden Bride), will be brought back to the stage at Rutgers University. As ever, the plot hinges on who gets the girl.

“Di Goldene Kale” by Joseph Rumshinsky will be revived with English and Russian subtitles and a full 20-piece orchestra.

A Pop-up World’s Fair Of Jewish Culture

Taking in a sampling of shows at KulturfestNYC, which drew some 50,000 people.

06/22/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

Watching a concert of Yiddish music in Central Park last week was a bit like playing an old-fashioned game of Telephone. My Yiddish-speaking husband would translate a refrain, whisper it to me, and then I’d lean over to try to explain the meaning to the opera singer from Ukraine who happened to be sitting next to me, along with another Ukrainian who understood some of the lyrics, as he spoke German. He’d then pass the sentence along to an American friend.

The “Yiddish Soul” concert at Central Park’s Summer Stage featured cantorial and chasidic music. Courtesy of Kulturfest

A Century Of Jewish Culture

06/09/2015 - 20:00

Yiddish, they tell us, is the ever-dying language.

Don’t tell that to the organizers of the bold weeklong tribute to Yiddish and Jewish arts known as KulturfestNYC, the first international Jewish performing arts festival, taking place across Manhattan from June 14-21.

A World Of Yiddish Converges On N.Y.

Weeklong Kulturfest features theater companies from Poland, Romania, Israel and more.

06/09/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

On the Lower East Side at the turn of the 20th century, the Yiddish stage was such a staple of Jewish life that audiences were said to consume “broyt mit teater” — bread slathered with theater. Next week, the only Yiddish theater company that still survives from that era, the Folksbiene (now called the National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene) serves up Kulturfest, a multi-course offering of Yiddish music, theater, film and dance, including Yiddish stage companies from around the world.

“Bonjour Monsieur Chagall,” from Poland. Courtesy of Ester Rokhl and Ida Kaminska Jewish Theatre

Folksbiene, MJH Get Hitched, At Least For Now

03/31/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

Engaged at 100.

The National Yiddish Theater-Folksbiene marked its 100th birthday this week with a gala concert at Carnegie Hall featuring Itzhak Perlman and a major announcement: The NYTF and the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust are joining in a strategic partnership. On Tuesday, officials of both organizations signed a memorandum of understanding that will give the groups two years to explore a potential merger.

Folksbiene and Museum of Jewish Heritage officials.Courtesy of MJH

KulturfestNYC Is Folksbiene’s ‘Gift To The City’

Yiddish theater marks 100th anniversary with international Jewish performing arts festival, set for June.

03/09/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

It’s like the Summer Olympics of Yiddish, without the competition.

In a week of back-to-back performances, Yiddish will be heard in multi-accented songs, shouts and whispers on stages throughout the city, when the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene presents KulturfestNYC, an ambitious celebration of its 100th anniversary being billed as a major international Jewish performing arts festival.

The Folksbiene’s Bryna Wasserman, left, and Zalmen Mlotek, right, with lyricist Sheldon Harnick. Michael Priest

Strings Attached To ‘Fiddler’

06/10/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

While its central motif is a precariously perched violinist, “Fiddler on the Roof” has about as tight a grip on the Jewish — and non-Jewish — imagination as any work of popular culture. This was abundantly in evidence on Monday night, at the jubilant celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic musical, orchestrated by the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre.

“Fiddler” lyricist Sheldon Harnick, whose 90th birthday was marked at gala. Michael Priest Photography

Folksbiene Tackles Big ‘Lies’

Largest cast ever for Yiddish theater’s musical adaptation of ‘Lies My Father Told Me.’
11/11/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It was a kind of Canadian spin-off of “Fiddler on the Roof.” When Jan Kadar’s cinematic classic, “Lies My Father Told Me,” premiered in 1975, it was hailed as a stunning evocation of Jewish life in Montreal in the 1920s, as the older immigrant generation and its ways began to fade into obsolescence. The tale of a 6-year- old boy caught between his Tevye-like grandfather and his ambitious, money-hungry father, the film rode the wave of multiculturalism that had engulfed North America, and focused new attention on Jewish ethnicity.

Alex Dreier as David, left, and Chuck Karel as Zayda in “Lies My Father Told Me.” Crystal Arnette

The Jewish Immigrant Experience, In Song

The tunes in the musical ‘The Golden Land’ are ‘living documents of Jewish life in America.’
10/15/2012 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Of all the enticing myths about America that drove Eastern European Jews to uproot themselves and immigrate to these shores, perhaps the most seductive was that the streets were paved with gold. Nor was it just the streets — America itself was known as the “goldene medina.”

The original 1982 cast of “The Golden Land,” starring Molly Picon, center.
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