Museum of the Yiddish Theatre


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Lyric Theatre
16-18 Seigel Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
This production opened on November 8, 1929.


(The Cabaret Dancer)

by Abraham Blum


The following review, written by L. Fogelman, was first published in the Yiddish Forward newspaper on November 8, 1929.

In the Lyric Theatre in Brooklyn there is now being performed Abraham Blum's operetta, "The Cabaret Dancer."

It is an operetta with a dramatic content, and if you wish, even with a serious question. The question is definitely this. Whether a woman can and should commit an immoral act to save her lover from a disaster.

The question is conducted in the following way:

A dancer in a cabaret leads a hot love with a blind singer. She is ready to do do everything in the world to heal him from his blindness. A doctor, a frequent guest of the cabaret, takes it upon himself to free him from his blindness. But he demands from the dancer an expensive price: he, like her, should surrender to him for it. She hesitates, but finally accepts the doctor's suggestion: her blind groom is healed with the help of the doctor and renowned specialists abroad, and the dancer surrenders to the doctor, according to their previous agreement.

However the singer finds out by accident that his beloved has not been faithful to him. The explanation of why this happened does not help her. She is abandoned by her groom with contempt.

After a while the singer becomes famous and chooses to marry a rich bride. The estranged dancer also becomes famous, and she is invited to the wedding of the singer's bride. There the previous pair meet together and finally unite permanently.

That is the main dramatic love tangle. To this, however, were added other dramatic and comic love stories in the play. The caretaker of the cabaret, who for love once left her mother and child, reunites with them. And her daughter becomes the singer's bride. There is also a comic love story between an elderly couple of people, so one does not rest on the stage for a single minute.

For an operetta, there is enough content. Maybe a little too much content. This, however, is not a defect. Instead, you follow the actions with interest. Some moments even touch you. Such dramatic content provides a good material for music and for acting.

The music is indeed well-adapted to the actions. Janet Fleischman did not rely on its own original creation, and she has utilized many popular lovely melodies taken from various sources. You can hear there echoes of the opera, "Pagliacci," from the popular song, "Laugh, Clown, Laugh," and from many Russian and Ukrainian songs; several songs were translated into Yiddish, and others remained in the operetta as it was, in their own language.

It is nice to hear all the well-known melodies that have been fitted well into the actions of "The Cabaret Dancer." The entire operetta makes a sympathetic impression. It is well staged, relative for a local theatre, one can say, it is staged and furnished very well. Also it plays with interest and with the needed attention.

photos: Herman Yablokoff and Sadie Schoengold.

An especially good impression was made by Sadie Schoengold and Herman Yablokoff in the main roles of the dancer and of the singer. Sadie Schoengold has an entirely beautiful appearance, a pleasant voice, and a restrained tone. She does not overdo her acting and shows temperament in the dramatic moments.

Her partner, Herman Yablokoff, also has a fine voice, plays with temperament and sings with feeling the moving songs of his role.

Misha Fiszon in the comic role of a Litwack, who speaks about "sin," did well in his stage performance. He does not overdo it, and is angular, an actor who adapts to true dramatic roles.

Entirely lively and with humor the comic role of the Galician pauper was performed by Helen Bernardi.

Solomon Kustin conveyed in a comic way the type of a beloved Chinese dishwasher.

With weirdness and ease Meyer Scheer portrayed the doctor, who has a weakness for women. A little too much weirdness for that role: he felt more like the doctor before the leb-yung.

Janet [Jeanette] Juvelier's role of the doctor's wife is not very big. She did not perform it badly.

Also Sam Auerbach did not have any great opportunity to show his craft: he had the role of the bride's father, played as one always plays such father roles in the operettas.

The roles of the young, lusty pair were played by Sylvia Fishman and Abraham Lax. Sylvia Fishman shows temperament in her acting. She looked quite lively dancing and singing. Her partner, Abraham Lax, does not have a bad voice, but unfortunately he did not bring his own tone with his playing.

Vera Zaslavsky, with feeling and warmth, sang the Ukrainian songs. Her role was also performed quite well.

Meyer Honigman played the role of a detective.

A special compliment comes to V. Krasnoff for the dances. Especially beautiful was the dance of the three young dancers, whose names are unfortunately not in the program. Two of them are still only children. They had a deserved success with the audience.

In general the play, "Cabaret Dancer," is a beautiful, amusing operetta that one can see with interest.





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