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January 25, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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January 25, 1980

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Page 12, HERITAGE, Florida Jewish News, January 25. 1980 A New Look in Yiddish Theater by DAVID FRIEDMAN (Copyright 1979, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.) There was a time a few years ago when it appeared that the Yiddish theater was made up of aging actors performing for equally elderly audiences. But not only are more young people going to Yiddish plays but this season a Yiddish mus- ical has been presented at a Manhattan theatre near Times Square by a group of young producers and performers. The musical is "Rebecca-- the Rabbi's Daughter," pro- duced by Raymond Ariel, a 36- year-old Belgium-born Israeli, who has produced about 28 Yiddish plays in Israel, and David Carey, 33, a Boston- born actor-producer, who also has a featured role in the play. The stars are two Rumanian-born Israelis, Mary Soreanu, who is also Ariel's wife, and Yankele A]perin. Last year, Soreanu starred in "The Girl From Tel Aviv," which marked Ariel's debut as a producer in the United States. Carey appeared in that play while at the same time he was co-producer of another Yiddish show, "Laugh a Lifetime." "Rebecca--the Rabbi's Daughter" is one of several Yiddish plays being presented in New York this fall. This has been a development of the last few years after seasons in which it was hard to find even one good Yiddish production. In an interview in Sardi's, in New York's theater district, Carey and iM'iel said that the Yiddish theater, like the Yiddish language, has too frequently been labeled as dying. Carey stressed that many times after a few years in which it was moribund, Yiddish theater has sprung back to life as it is doing today. He noted that Ida Kaminska, the famed Yiddish actress who now lives in New York, tells the story that when she wanted to go into the Yiddish theater in Poland, her mother, Esther Rachel Kaminski, the great lady of the Yiddish theater, sought to dissuade her by saying it would be gone in 20 years. ":And that was before World War II," he noted. Carey said the increased interest in Yiddish by young people, as marked by the many colleges and universi- ties now offering courses are searching for their "roots." In the Yiddish theater they can "live vicariously what their parents and grandparents lived through," he said. While the Yiddish theater is attracting young people in the U.S. this is not true in Israel, Ariel pointed out. He said the reason is that they can see many of the same plays in He brew. To help attract young people, the two producers " hope to set aside their Wed- nesday night performances for college students. But they have not forgotten the largest part of their audience, older people. Matinees attract the elderly, many of whom do not like going out at night. :Another reason for the shot in the arm the Yiddish theater has received in recent years is the large number of immigrants from the Soviet Union. Thirty percent of the audience at Yiddish shows in Israel are recently-arrived Russian immigrants, Ariel said. Carey noted that frequently, after a show some of these Soviet immigrants come Review of Bus Stop In 1955, when Bus Stop opened at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway, the implication of a bus driver and the lady who owned the diner bus stop engaging in sex was a novel revelation on stage. In the 25 years since, audiences have been treated to scenes of naked bodies on stage, screen and TV. Now, they may even resent a mere implication of a get-together between man and woman. In any case, open- ing night at the Central P1orida Civic Theatre was poorly attended. This does not detract from the fine performances of Susie Findell as the young waitress, Pamela Ellis as the restaurant owner (a part which made Elaine Stritch on Broadway as the wise, sexy gaD; William L, Whitacre as the Sheriff, done with proper authority, Caroline Kaiser as Cherie, the chantootsie who is chased by a cowboy, Ken McCabe, who is youthfully forceful and loud; Jack Swanson, as the most outstandingly acted former college professor; Frank A. Robinson as the philandering bus driver and Fred Papia as the cowboy's ranch hand. Bryant Simms, director and impresario at the CMc The- atre, always evokes the best in his cast but it must be remem- bered that the choice of plays to produce is quite limited. The royalties for more recent plays are exorbitant. Though it's a universal cry, more attendance and more money will make Orlando a theatrical center. It's all up to you, lovers of live theatre! What should be lots of fun is the annual "Squeeze-Off" at 1:30 p.m. on Tues., January 29, at Circus World. Florida Citrus Queen conts[ants, get- ling ready for the Pageant On February 1 at Lakeland Civic Center, will compete for e coveted award of "best orange juice squeezer," said Barbara 3 Generations of Food Experience . American & Greek Food Gyros Seafood Steaks Draft Beer Chilled Wines OPEN DAILY MON.-SAT. 6 a.m.-11 p.m. SUNDAY 7 a.m-3 p.m. 2924 E. Colonial Dr. (one block W. of Fashion Square) 894-0611 L STUDIO 1792 is now available for Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, Weddings, Parties 555 NORTH 17-92 CASSELBERRY, FLA. Complete facilities for DISCO & DJ or LIVE MUSIC and DANCING. Catering Services, Soft Drinks or Alcohol Available. Call 331-5000 for more information. 1 backstage to meet the actors and begin crying because it has been so long since they saw a Yiddish play. There has been no Yiddish theater in the Soviet Union since 1949. The two producers have been in the Yiddish theater for most of their working lives. C.arey's mother, Leyke (Leah) Post, is a Yiddish singer who has a radio show in Boston and put him on at the age of five. But after studying theater at the Boston School of Fine and Applied Arts and at Ohio University, he taught music in New York before deciding to make the theater his career. The first job he was offered was in the Yiddish theater and he fell in love with it. He appears in many productions. For the last two years he co- produced shows with Ben Bonus and this year teamed up with Ariel. Ariel knew no Yiddish when he made aliya in 1961. His first wife's family was in the Yiddish theater and he moved into the field, learning the language and gradually going on his own. He plans to spend part of the year in the U.S. and the rest JACOB ADLER'S Grand Yiddish theatre on New York's 1900's. Adler was an actor who 1905 Broadway production of "The of the time in Israel. was "Rebecca--the Rabbi's added Daughter," was a play written in Israel some 40 years ago for Molly has been Picon and Aaron Lebedeff. It American "THE KINGFISHER, "brought to Orlando's Bob Carr Auditorium b stars the illustrious George Rose (l to r), Claudette Colbert, and, c Adams, the theme park's pub- licity coordinator. They will squeeze halved oranges into glass containers for the preliminaries, vying for the finals by filling quartjars amid flying oranges, rainshowers of juice from an elephant lend: ing a helpful stomp or two on a bushel of citrus, while a cadoad of clowns add to the cheering section. The 25 girls will each receive juicers and the winner of the event is to be presented with special awards, both by Proctor-Silex and Circus World's official "Squeeze-OfF' trophy. Programs at the John Young Museum are designed to give mothers of very young children, four and up, some time off from their chores while entertaining their young- sters. Beginning Tues., Jan. 22 and every Tuesday through March 11, special programs for pre-school children have been arranged. They say, "leave the children from 9:30 a.m. until noon."" Cost of "Morning Out" is $3 for members and $4 for non- the time members. Call 896-7151 for now, say a details. The movie, "Sinbad first a The Sailor," is scheduled for January 29 and 30, when stu- Betty dents do not have to attend famous school. For $4 for members course and $6 for non-members, 1940's "drop off the students at 10 ation of a a.m., with a picnic lunch and New know they'll be entertained turing a 1( until 4 p.m." authentic cials, The enterprising Zev skits, the Bufman has managed to songs obtain rights to a new musical Choo which opened on Broadway and "rll only last October 7 at the St. the James Theatre. Rescheduling Cantone, of his productions at the Carr with the Auditorium naturally followed. "The 1940's Radio Hour" will open at the Carr on Mon., Mar. day, a 3rd, playing through Sun., Izzy Bai Mar. 9th. female Earlier, Bufman had Liza Club, but MJnelli in Concert tentatively .know. pencilled but (as you all must The rest know) she lost her baby last schedule month and on doctor's orders, "The her entire tour was cancelled, Harrison, to be resumed later in the year. Claudette Set in December, 1942, the. Sunday, new musical revolves around " OOeeOoeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee The CELEBRITY New York & Kosher Style Restaura Kosher Style Deli Party Platter S Homemade Knishes Choice Meats prepared on Breakfast served 7 days a week CELEBRITY EVENING Hot Prime Brisket of Beef w/ potato knish & cole law .... HOURS: M0n.-Thur.: 8-8 Fri & Sat.: E THf ' CELEBRITY DELLY