The following review was written by
L. Fogelman. It appeared on November 30, 1934 in the
Yiddish Forward newspaper.
After the success that Herman
Yablokoff had with his offering of the "Payatz
(Clown)," he now is now performing for the audience in a new
play, with "King of Song," by Leah Shilingov, that he is
staging now in the Amphion Theatre.
The play alone is a sentimental
melodrama, which in truth not very original, not
according to its content, and not according to its type;
but to the melodrama there has been added singing
numbers and several scenic effects, which transformed it
into a curious musical play for which it is not easy to
find an exact name. In the program the play evokes the
name of "musical romance," -- let it be so. "What does a
The interesting part in the play is
the music from Janet and Manny Fleischman, which has in
itself pleasant melodies and rhythms. Here Yablokoff and
Bella Mysell had many impressive musical numbers to
sing, and they are enhanced through effects and
The dramatic part revolves around a
love between a daughter of a rich drug magnet and a
poor radio singer and composer, and understand, the love
meets obstacles from the rich snobbish parents; but the
young pair fight every obstacle and marry against the
wishes of the girl's parents. This pair live in love
and peace, but in great need.
The young woman becomes ill and
must go back to her parents. Her husband, the composer,
feels a sense of despair, but everything ends well: his
music finally succeeded on Broadway. He becomes healthy
and rich. His wife returns to him, and
it is joyous again.
Here Yablokoff plays the main role,
the role of the poor singer and composer. He works a lot
in his role; he plays, he sings, he conducts, even with
the orchestra; everything he does with temperament and
However, I will say that he harvests a little
already, it needs to feel less strenuous, more light in
his playing and singing. He plays theatre honestly, but
with difficulty. In general he makes a good impression.
Bella Mysell is very successful in
her role of the young girl in love; she is especially
impressive in her singing numbers. Her voice sounds
fresh and easy, and I think she has improved a lot, both
in her singing, as well as in her acting.
photos: Bella Mysell and Herman Yablokoff.
There is another pair, the
gentleman's son with his bride, who is played by Sam
Josephson and Sally Gerson. They do not give any special color to their roles. However the blame falls
mainly on the author, who has not given any strong,
living breath to either type.
Here the humor of the play should
be provided by "kivele fel[d]sher," an old-time
barber-surgeon from the alte heym (old country),
who intends to heal everything in the world with his "petent."
The role is played by Leon Charas.
Of the elderly couple of people, Ethel Dorf makes an entirely good
impression in the role of the snobbish, rich dame. The
gentleman is played by Morris Zeidman.
Especially strongly received by the
audience was Gloria Goldstein.
There are still an entirely series
of other roles, which the author has not given
important, lively types. She has, it should be pointed
out, limited this to the two star roles. The rest she
treats like stepchildren. Here the side roles are played
by Abe Dorf, Kadie Kaplan, Sara Filler and Yasha