Museum of the Yiddish Theatre



          Visit          Site Map           Exhibitions           About the Museum                 Contact Us          Support 


The Hopkinson Theatre
482 Hopkinson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
This production opened on February 6, 1934.

(A Son-in-Law on Room and Board [?])

by Louis Freiman, music by Benjamin Blank.
review by Lazar Fogelman, published on February 23, 1924.


 The drama-writer, who works for the Hopkinson Theatre, has obviously developed a certain recipe, according to which he prepares the dramatic dishes for the theatre.  

There must always be a fool here, or a semi-idiotic bridegroom-to-be who they want to marry off to a rich bride, and here there must always be a second frivolous pair, who lead to a feast-like matchmaking.

And every time the role of a foolish bridegroom-to-be is in the hands of Menasha Skulnik, the main laugh-master of the Hopkinson Theatre.

This time, in L. Freiman's new comedy, "An eydem oyf kest," which is now playing in the Hopkinson Theatre. We see such a shlimazl bridegroom, when then becomes a son-in-law, and also this time the role is played by the son-in-law Menasha Skulnik.

This time he is a small shtetl student, Pinie, who was thrown out of the old country before coming to Mexico and then to America. A swindler from America, along with his accomplices, lure the mysterious Pinie to Mexico in a scam. They heard that a young couple from America had died in a train accident, and that the parents of the young woman in America had to pay an inheritance to her husband. They turned Pinie into the young husband of the American wife who has apparently survived the train misfortune and brought him in America, to her parents to claim the inheritance.

After a lot of confusion, it turns out that the young woman did not die in the train accident, and that she has not yet married. It continues narrowly with Pinie. They arrest him and they want to send him out of the country; but it turns out that the man who handed him over is just Pinie's father, who left his wife and child in the old country.

In the end, he marries the apparently deceased rich girl.

I have also given the content here, [but] you should see [this] for yourself. This is a stupid entanglement, and you should convince yourself what kind of an artist's concocted "family" this is.

It's actually a dramatic phenomenon that you can call whatever you decide to call it: comedy, burlesque, farce, vaudeville, etc.

But no matter what you call it, the audience keeps laughing and they don't laugh at the humor in the play, but at Skulnik.

Skulnik has a special ability to evoke laughter, even with a wink alone. The audience fills the theatre with laughter, even with a wink alone. The audience fills the theatre with laughter, even then, when Skulnik simply goes around to announce what will be played tomorrow in the theatre. His figure, his engaging smile, his dress and the way he holds himself -- all of this evokes laughter.

He manages to make fun of many of the often awkward plays in which he acts.

At the same time, Yetta Zwerling, the funny comic actress, who is a real winner for the Hopkinson Theatre, helps him out.

The rest of the roles have absolutely no meaning and no life.

Seymour Rechtzeit in the role of the sinister lawyer, shows that he is young and mobile. Bennie Zeidman and Sara Skulnik here are a couple of middle-aged parents whose characters you don't begin to know.

Isidore Friedman and Ella Wallerstein are a middle-aged couple without any character in their roles.

Isidore Lipinsky plays the role of an idiotid student with exaggerated burlesque features.

Bessie Budanov plays the role of the flowering rich girl, the supposed accident victim. She dresses beautifully, has a good figure -- and this is all that she shows in her character role.

A good impression is made by the young, lively group of choristers who try to bring out [the songs] the best they can.

As to the singing numbers, they save L. Markowitz's song "Kabalero."

The music is by Benjamin Blank.





Copyright Museum of the Yiddish Theatre. All rights reserved.