New York's Yiddish theater : from the Bowery to Broadway /

Publication Type:



New York : Columbia University Press in association with the Museum of the City of New York, United States, p.327 pages : (2016)



Call Number:


Other Number:

OCLC: 920541465


20th century, Art museums., Exhibitions., History, Jewish theater, New York (State), Theater, Yiddish


Published on the occasion of the exhibition held at the Museum of the City of New York, March 9-July 31, 2016."Featuring images from the collections of the Museum of the City of New York and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research."Includes bibliographical references (pages 316-321) and index."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 the broader American culture. These 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. The artists who came of age in this world include Stella Adler, Eddie Cantor, Jerry Lewis, Sophie Tucker, Mel Brooks, and Joan Rivers. The story of New York's Yiddish theater is a tale of creativity and legacy and of immigrants who, in the process of becoming Americans, had an enormous impact on the country's cultural and artistic development."--Back cover.Overture: From the Bowery to Broadway / Edna Nahshon -- Yiddish New York / Hasia Diner -- Popular Yiddish theater : music, melodrama, and operetta / Nahmha Sandrow -- Jacob Gordin : the great reformer / Barbara Henry -- Pathbreakers and superstars. Jacob B. Adler and the formation of a theatrical dynasty / Edna Nahshon ; Boris Thomashefsky : matinee idol of the Yiddish stage / Stefanie Halpern ; Molly Picon : darling of Second Avenue / Joshua S. Walden -- Maurice Schwartz and the Yiddish art theater movement / Edna Nahshon -- Yiddish political theater : the Artef / Edna Nahshon -- Yiddish theater and the transformation of American design / Arnold Aronson -- Modicut : the Yiddish puppet theater of Yosl Cutler and Zuni Maud / Eddy Portnoy -- Yiddish Vaudeville. Entertaining the crowd / Edna Nahshon ; Early Yiddish Vaudeville in New York City / Judith Thissen -- Borscht Belt entertainment / Edna Nahshon -- Tevye's travels : from Yiddish everyman to American icon / Alisa Solomon -- Finale: A gallery of stars from the American Yiddish stage / Stefanie Halpern and Edna Nahshon.