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"DI EYNTSIGE NAKHT"
This production was reviewed by L. Fogelman for the October 25, 1929 edition of the Yiddish Forward newspaper. Here is the English translation:
In truth the dramatic content of the new play was not adapted only for an operetta, but for an opera: In it there is the seriousness, the solemnity, and the power of an opera. Olshanetsky understood it, and he added to his music side-by-side with light, playful melodies, as well as very serious and solemn melodies.
The content of the new operetta is built on that sad historical time when they used to seize in small Jewish children in Russia, take them away from their parents and give them away to become soldiers. This was sixty or seventy years ago, when Tsar Nicholas I reigned.
Here they took the only son of the pious Jew, R' Mendeli Tomashover, Chaim'l. But instead the barracks fell into the hands of a general whom the young boy greatly admired. Under the general he excelled like his own son, and in time he became a famous general, Vitalin, a military hero, who was successful all over Russia.
In the time of the war, Chaim'l's parents and their adopted orphan, Ester'l, together with other Jews, fell into the hands of the Cossacks. They were accused of espionage. But they were saved from torture and death by their unknown son, the young general Vitalin, who has a warm heart and a human, friendly relationship with the Jews, who also doesn't understand why he is so attracted to the Yiddish melodies and to the Jews in general.
He sees Esther and they fall in love with each other. But he is the groom of a colonel's daughter, who also loves him very much. And so a dramatic clash of love and jealousy ensues. There occur some moving scenes.
Thus Jacob Jacobs, Yetta Zwerling and Irving
Jacobson play more burlesque, giving comic types. As always Jacobs
has broken jokes on how the world stands. Zwerling has
inserted into her acting her entire hot temperament, and exaggerates
quite a bit; and Irving Jacobson also plays in a genuine burlesque
The role of the colonel was played not badly by Bennie Zeidman; the role of his wife was played by Sara Filler.
A good impression was made by Ella Ziebel in the role of the colonel's daughter. She has quite a pleasing voice and appearance. In a greater role she would be more capable to show her abilities. Here she doesn't have the opportunity for this.
Max Badin plays well in the role of the general who expelled the young Jewish boy. One feels an importance and warmth in his acting.
Also having roles were Beril Schechtman, Abe Gross, L. Himmelstein and Izidor Schuchat. The dances arranged by V. Krasnoff were successful. The settings for the play also were beautiful. Especially impressive was the hall in Moscow with the colonel in a house.
But a special compliment is due Olshanetsky for his heartfelt music. Several nigunim [religious melodies] were exceptional. The song, "When God is With Us," or the popular song, "Shpilt-zhe mir, Bli-zmrim'lakh" can be heard over and over.
Generally "The Only Night" is an operetta with
a pure, interesting content, with pleasing music and good
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