Museum of the Yiddish Theatre

   
 Brooklyn 
 

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The Hopkinson Theatre
482 Hopkinson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
This production opened in October 1930.

 

"DI SHTROYENER ALMONE"
(The Straw Widow)

by Israel Rosenberg


 

 


The Cast of Characters:
 

no
photo
Morris
Dorf
 
Izzie
Goldstein
Jennie
Goldstein
Anna
Grushkoff
Louis
Hyman
Abe
Karp
Max
Rosenthal
Sabina
Rosenthal
Muni
Serebrov
Goldie
Shapiro
Frances
Sincoff

 

In the Brownsville Hopkinson Theatre there is already a new thing, "The Straw Widow," a comedy with song and dance, with the happy, lively Jennie Goldstein in the main role, who fills her scenes with so much cheerful joy, jokes, laughter, and also touching moments that evokes light grief, that the audience rejoices with a portion of pleasure.

The thing is not anything new; we have already not once time seen this on the Yiddish stage. But this of the type that the typical theatre visitor loves to see, even when it is not new. An image is presented, such as a green, young wife climbing into her clothes, or, better said, into the skin of an American flapper to win back her husband, whom she has forgotten only because she is a greenhorn and has become hungry for the idle radiance of a rich American girl. Such subjects are not excellent opportunities for effective stage situations, funny and good as serious dramatic scenes. In such productions, Jennie Goldstein feels like a fish in water. Fun and seriousness are mixed up in it very successfully. Here she presents you with a tickle that makes you laugh, and there she touches your heart, and there is already a tear in your eye.

The straw widow is Sonitchke, whose husband Boris soon after their wedding went off to America. For the five years that he was there, everything was mixed and sparkles were colorful and pleasant in the bubbling lust and joy of the warm play of her emotional nature.

Very fine, playing with a lot of artistic taste and idealism, was Max Rosenthal as the cantor, R' Shayele, Sonitchke's grandfather. Muni Serebrov, as Boris, Sonitchke's husband, acts quite well, with proper tact, although sometimes not prominent enough, and he sings quite tastefully.

Satisfactory acting was done by Louie Hyman, as Isaac, Boris' father; Sabina Rosenthal, as Mister Hyman's second wife, and Anna Grushkoff, as her daughter from her first husband.

Abe Karp plays Nishksha, the ideal dread-head, Zalman Fledervish. Moshe Dorf, as Mendel, the former soldier, shows his talent, but the role is of a soldier who had lost his memory, and this could have been worked out more realistically and better.

Frances Sincoff and Goldie Shapiro play the two servant girls, Celia and Tillie. Izzie Goldstein plays the chauffeur, Charlie.

 

 




Photo of the Hopkinson Theatre courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives.
 

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