Museum of the Yiddish Theatre


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The Amphion Theatre

437 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
This production opened on November 23, 1934.


by Simon Wolf, music by Janet and Manny Fleischman


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 name mean!"

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 temperament.

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 feeling.

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 Rosenthal.






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