New York s Yiddish Theater

Author: Edna Nahshon
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231541074
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In the early decades of the twentieth century, a vibrant theatrical culture took shape on New York City’s Lower East Side. Original dramas, comedies, musicals, and vaudeville, along with sophisticated productions of Shakespeare, Ibsen, and Chekhov, were innovatively staged for crowds that rivaled the scene on Broadway. While these productions were in Yiddish and catered to Eastern European Jewish audiences (the largest immigrant group in the city at the time), their artistic and aesthetic creations and their play with politics and history came to influence all facets of the American stage. Vividly illustrated and with contributions from leading historians and critics, this history recounts in absorbing detail the heyday of “Yiddish Broadway” and its vital contribution to American Jewish life and its crossover to American culture. Performances grappled with Jewish nationalism, labor relations, women’s rights, religious observance, acculturation, and assimilation. They reflected a range of genres, from tear-jerkers to experimental theater, and introduced American audiences to avant-garde dramatic technique. The artists who came of age in this environment include Stella Adler, Eddie Cantor, Jerry Lewis, Sophie Tucker, Mel Brooks, and Joan Rivers. The story of the Yiddish theater is therefore a tale of creativity and legacy, immigrants who in the process of becoming Americans had an enormous impact on the country's cultural and artistic landscape. From the Bowery to Broadway is a companion to an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York scheduled for February 2016.

From the Bowery to Broadway

Author: Edna Nahson
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780231176705
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Vividly illustrated and with contributions from leading historians and critics, this history recounts in absorbing detail the heyday of "Yiddish Broadway" and its vital contribution to American Jewish life and its crossover to American culture. The story of the Yiddish theater is therefore a tale of creativity and legacy, immigrants who in the process of becoming Americans had an enormous impact on the country's cultural and artistic landscape.

Stardust Lost

Author: Stefan Kanfer
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307547477
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In Stardust Lost, Stefan Kanfer brings the colorful Yiddish stage roaring back to life. Born of ancient traditions stretching back to the drama of the Old Testament, the Yiddish theater was a vibrant part of the immigrant experience. Kanfer invokes the energy, belief, and pure chutzpah it took to establish and run the thriving, influential theaters. He reveals the nightly drama and comedy that played out behind the scenes as well as onstage, and introduces all the players—actors, divas, playwrights, directors, and producers—who made it possible. A richly evocative chronicle of its brief but dazzling existence in America, this is both an elegy for and a tribute to Yiddish theater—lost, but not forgotten. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Wonder of Wonders

Author: Alisa Solomon
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 0805095292
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A sparkling and eye-opening history of the Broadway musical that changed the world In the half-century since its premiere, Fiddler on the Roof has had an astonishing global impact. Beloved by audiences the world over, performed from rural high schools to grand state theaters, Fiddler is a supremely potent cultural landmark. In a history as captivating as its subject, award-winning drama critic Alisa Solomon traces how and why the story of Tevye the milkman, the creation of the great Yiddish writer Sholem-Aleichem, was reborn as blockbuster entertainment and a cultural touchstone, not only for Jews and not only in America. It is a story of the theater, following Tevye from his humble appearance on the New York Yiddish stage, through his adoption by leftist dramatists as a symbol of oppression, to his Broadway debut in one of the last big book musicals, and his ultimate destination—a major Hollywood picture. Solomon reveals how the show spoke to the deepest conflicts and desires of its time: the fraying of tradition, generational tension, the loss of roots. Audiences everywhere found in Fiddler immediate resonance and a usable past, whether in Warsaw, where it unlocked the taboo subject of Jewish history, or in Tokyo, where the producer asked how Americans could understand a story that is "so Japanese." Rich, entertaining, and original, Wonder of Wonders reveals the surprising and enduring legacy of a show about tradition that itself became a tradition. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles.

Vagabond Stars

Author: Nahma Sandrow
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 9780815603290
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book is the unusual blend of impeccable scholarship and hilarious backstage anecdote. The vividness of the book is enhanced by a collection of 125 rare illustrations- pictures of actors, scenes from plays and films, posters, newspaper cartoons, and other memorabilia.

The Jewish King Lear

Author: Jacob Gordin
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300108750
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Jewish King Lear, written by the Russian-Jewish writer Jacob Gordin, was first performed on the New York stage in 1892, during the height of a massive emigration of Jews from eastern Europe to America. This book presents the original play to the English-speaking reader for the first time in its history, along with substantive essays on the play’s literary and social context, Gordin’s life and influence on Yiddish theater, and the anomalous position of Yiddish culture vis-à-vis the treasures of the Western literary tradition. Gordin’s play was not a literal translation of Shakespeare’s play, but a modern evocation in which a Jewish merchant, rather than a king, plans to divide his fortune among his three daughters. Created to resonate with an audience of Jews making their way in America, Gordin’s King Lear reflects his confidence in rational secularism and ends on a note of joyful celebration.

The Immigrant Scene

Author: Sabine Haenni
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816649812
Format: PDF
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Yiddish melodramas about the tribulations of immigration. German plays about alpine tourism. Italian vaudeville performances. Rubbernecking tours of Chinatown. In the New York City of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, these seemingly disparate leisure activities played similar roles: mediating the vast cultural, demographic, and social changes that were sweeping the nation's largest city. In The Immigrant Scene, Sabine Haenni reveals how theaters in New York created ethnic entertainment that shaped the culture of the United States in the early twentieth century. Considering the relationship between leisure and mass culture, The Immigrant Scene develops a new picture of the metropolis in which the movement of people, objects, and images on-screen and in the street helped residents negotiate the complexities of modern times. In analyzing how communities engaged with immigrant theaters and the nascent film culture in New York City, Haenni traces the ways in which performance and cinema provided virtual mobility--ways of navigating the socially complex metropolis--and influenced national ideas of immigration, culture, and diversity in surprising and lasting ways.

Master of Ceremonies

Author: Joel Grey
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN: 1250057248
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Joel Grey, the Tony and Academy Award-winning Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret finally tells his remarkable life story. Born Joel David Katz to a wild and wooly Jewish American family in Cleveland, Ohio in 1932, Joel began his life in the theater at the age of 9, starting in children’s theater and then moving to the main stage. He was hooked, and his seven decades long career charts the evolution of American entertainment - from Vaudeville performances with his father, Mickey Katz to the seedy gangster filled nightclubs of the forties, the bright lights of Broadway and dizzying glamour of Hollywood, to juggernaut musicals like Cabaret, Chicago, and Wicked. Master of Ceremonies is a memoir of a life lived in and out of the limelight, but it is also the story of the man behind the stage makeup. Coming of age in a time when being yourself tended to be not only difficult but also dangerous, Joel has to act both on and off the stage. He spends his high school years sleeping with the girls-next-door while carrying on a scandalous affair with an older man. Romances with to-die-for Vegas Showgirls are balanced with late night liaisons with like-minded guys, until finally Joel falls in love and marries a talented and beautiful woman, starts a family, and has a pretty much picture perfect life. But 24 years later when the marriage dissolves, Joel has to once again find his place in a world that has radically changed. Drawing back the curtain on a career filled with show-stopping numbers, larger-than-life stars and even singing in the shower with Bjork, Master of Ceremonies is also a portrait of an artist coming to terms with his evolving identity. When an actor plays a character, he has to find out what makes them who they are; their needs, dreams, and fears. It’s a difficult thing to do, but sometimes the hardest role in an actor’s life is that of himself. Deftly capturing the joy of performing as well as the pain and secrets of an era we have only just started to leave behind, Joel’s story is one of love, loss, hard-won honesty, redemption, and success.

Jacob Adler

Author: Jacob P. Adler
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
ISBN: 9781557834584
Format: PDF, Kindle
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(Applause Books). Jacob Adler, with his performances in the Yiddish King Lear , Uriel Acosta and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice , became first a megastar of the exploding Yiddish theatre, and then all of Broadway. His memoirs, originally written and published in Yiddish and now translated (by his granddaughter) into English provides not only a compelling portrait of one of America's greatest actors but a fascinating social history of his time.

Broadway A History of New York City in Thirteen Miles

Author: Fran Leadon
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393285456
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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An eye-opening history of Manhattan told through its most celebrated street. In the early seventeenth century, in a backwater Dutch colony, there was a wide, muddy cow path that the settlers called the Brede Wegh. As the street grew longer, houses and taverns began to spring up alongside it. What was once New Amsterdam became New York, and farmlands gradually gave way to department stores, theaters, hotels, and, finally, the perpetual traffic of the twentieth century’s Great White Way. From Bowling Green all the way up to Marble Hill, Broadway takes us on a mile-by-mile journey up America’s most vibrant and complex thoroughfare, through the history at the heart of Manhattan. Today, Broadway almost feels inevitable, but over the past four hundred years there have been thousands who have tried to draw and erase its path. Following their footsteps, we learn why one side of the street was once considered more fashionable than the other; witness the construction of Trinity Church, the Flatiron Building, and the Ansonia Hotel; the burning of P. T. Barnum’s American Museum; and discover that Columbia University was built on the site of an insane asylum. Along the way we meet Alexander Hamilton, Emma Goldman, Edgar Allan Poe, John James Audubon, "Bill the Butcher" Poole, and the assorted real-estate speculators, impresarios, and politicians who helped turn Broadway into New York’s commercial and cultural spine. Broadway traces the physical and social transformation of an avenue that has been both the "Path of Progress" and a "street of broken dreams," home to both parades and riots, startling wealth and appalling destitution. Glamorous, complex, and sometimes troubling, the evolution of an oft-flooded dead end to a canyon of steel and glass is the story of American progress.