New York Yiddish Stage Prepares for New Season
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New York Yiddish Stage Prepares for New Season

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The New York Yiddish stage, which last season made a weak and somewhat premature exit from Second Avenue, is this year assembling its forces in a final effort to revive the dying embers of what was once an exuberant and profiitable art. All the theatres (with the exception of the 2nd Avenue Theatre) are dusting off and refurbishing old sets in an effort to give the Metropolitan city an opportunity to prove once and for all whether the Yiddish stage will receive sufficient sustenance in the way of patronage in dollars and cents to permit it to live, or whether it is kinder to allow it to die a peaceful and painless death. Not only is New York scheduled for performances, but Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Newark, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Cleveland will come in for a goodly share.

An almost complete shake-up, howeve has changed the map of Second Avenue, so much so that the theatre that once housed the popular Molly Picon has now turned talkie with the result that it is catering to the Yiddish as well as Italian, Polish and Greek elements of the neighborhood. Molly Picon, on the other hand, can be found nightly disporting herself on the stage that was expressly built for Maurice Schwartz some years ago. Maurice Schwartz himself has just returned from a South American tour and is now at the Gibson Theatre in Philadelphia where he is organizing a new troupe. The Max Gabel-Jennie Goldstein enterprise, however, will take no active part this year, since the last season has had its fatal monetary effect. Instead, Ludwig Satz will be found in their place at the Publix Theatre, and Jennie Goldstein will play at the Hopkinson Theatre in Brooklyn.


In the meantime, Mark Schweid, who will be remembered for his emotional roles in the Maurice Schwartz presentations, has organized his own troupe and is planning an ambitious program in the Bronx Art Theatre. But it is to the Adler family — that ubiquitous and exuberant troupe — that the Yiddish world is looking forward to for a revival of spirit and life. Their collective performance of “The Wild Man” was a promising forerunner for “Millions” which they will present at the New Yorker Theatre on October 2nd. This will be remembered as “The Five Frank-forters” presented in English a few years ago.

Thus, the Yiddish stage is taking a doubtful and hesitant curtain-call, with the Hebrew Actors’ Union well organized for material and spiritual support for those ambitious troupers who are hopeful that this year at least they will fulfil the usual thirty-six weeks engagement, which fell somewhat short the season before.

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