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The Irving Place
"IN A SHABES NOKHMITOG"
The folllowing review, written by L. Fogelman, first appeared in the Yiddish Forward newspaper of January 20, 1939.
Here in the first act we see here an idyll, a quiet, naive, popular way of life. The second act is more dramatic and has in itself even certain moments; but the second act already loses the former humorous and grotesque character, which makes the play quite unique and entertaining.
The drama revolves around a middle-aged dentist from Poughkeepsie with the name of Max Silver, who still longs for his once beloved girl Dora, from Soroke in the old country. His Dora, who was just indifferent to him, who married a second man, Siome, a rich young student from Soroke, who incidentally was a friend.
So sits the married dentist in Poughkeepsie, and he longs for former Dora from Soroke. First suddenly his former friend Siome, Dora's husband, comes to him in his office to heal a sick tooth; the dentist grits his teeth at his friend, and his eyes run through images and scenes of his past and of his unhappy love for Dora. Suddenly Dor also shows up in his office by herself, and he sees for himself instead of his former beloved, beautiful, slim Dora, a plump, swampy Jewess, with the abusive language of a yente [gossiper], from whom the former charming young girl has completely disappeared. Disappointed, the dentist burst out laughing. He laughs for his longing and dreams, and he loves and cherishes his own quiet and loyal wife Feigel.
As we see from the content, in the play
there is a bit of substance to realistic idyllic scenes, and
also for sentimental or romantic reflection. It's a very
grateful material for some actors, although there is no strong
drama here. Here the main interest of the production lies in the
The main role of the dentist is played by Joseph Buloff, one of the most talented actors that the Yiddish stage possesses. He became interested in acting from the very beginning and kept the public interest until the end. He succeeded better than ever the type of the young tailor in the first act. Motl's voluptuous youth and infatuation are fully felt in him. Blaser brings out the figure of the dentist, because there is a lack of color in the role itself.
Here Michael Rosenberg plays a side role of a barber with his unique Rosenberg appeal, but, unfortunately not with any especially new, interesting features. Here the role is guilty, which is not filled with character. Rosenberg fills in the empty spaces of his role with comical gestures and words that, incidentally, do not always stand up to the appropriate artistic height ...
Kurt Katch plays the role of the rich Siome, Motl's competitor in love. He plays in a very restrained and reserved manner. It is felt in his acting; not only a talented and experienced actor, but also a performer who takes seriously his role and his acting in general.
Fannie Lubritsky plays very well in the role of the hopelessly in love Feigele, Motl's faithful and sacrficial wife. Here she shows her ability to portray with noble and touching features the image of a romantic woman.
Mirele Gruber is impressive as the small-town young and beautiful Dora, who has had success as a young person. Here she performs entirely homey. In the last scene, however, where she must portray a type of yente [gossiper], it feels that she had a little of the necessary comedy that is characteristic of that type.
Sylvia Fishman and Sara Krohner, who in the scene at the theatre, are extremely successful in their roles, but, unfortunately, they pass through their conversation in a too-loud, screaming tone.
Celia Boodkin is good in the role of Feigele's mother.
Leib Kadison is a characteristic Jewish theatre director from the former times, from the home country.
Here Jacob Mestel has only a small role of a lamplighter and fireman who has little to show.
Israel Mandel is exceptionally convincing as a type of ?eynish msin [?]. There is no opportunity to create a type, not by him, nor for the role.
The young, enticing Libby Charney is off stage, but there is no opportunity for her to act or to speak; this was unfortunate and not given.
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