"Two Hearts" is a melodrama, and in a
melodrama the whole weight is determined by strong actions. There
are strong conflicts, heart-rending scenes. A lot of tears are shed.
And it goes without saying that all those who suffer and sigh and
cry are good people, innocent victims of intriguers and scumbags.
Delivery of the content comprehensively is not needed; it is enough to indicate the general features of the
highly gifted musician (Simon Green) is married to a beautiful woman
(Sarah Green), and they have a five-year-old child (Chickie). In the
house a friend (Paul Harin) enters. The friend falls in love with
Mrs. Green and talks to her alone, suggesting that she should go away with him
to Italy. She has a good voice, and he assures her that there in
Italy she will be a great opera singer.
Five years flies by.
Green lives in great poverty. Since his wife had left him he
couldn't maintain himself. He can't come to his senses, and he gets
drunk and lives off what he plays in a cheap cabaret. His only
comfort is his child who leads the household, and Green is drunk
during the day and works at night.
After five years the wife
returns. She is rich but unhappy. Her lover, however, had left her
long ago. She is lonely and still longs for her child. A struggle
ensues between them: who should have the child? The youngster stays
with the father. He remains at home.
But during the same night something terrible
happened. The youngster steals money from the landlady of the house.
He did it out of love for his father, who is ill and must travel to
the country. The father, however, gets scared and leads the child to
the mother, from whom he was able to get a good education.
But Green cannot live without the child. He become sick. He has no
hope of surviving. Here now, however, the child returns. He has fled from his
mother. He has come to see his father. The youngster suggests that his
parents should invite [to meet with] each other. The mother comes looking for the
youngster. And finally the youngster succeeds in making peace. The
parents again take him in and everything ends well.
heroes of the drama are the father and the youngster. The roles are
played by Samuel Goldinburg and Hershele Bernardi. I indeed want to,
as always, to say several words about "Hershele." He is the "hit" of
the play. In the last two acts he appears onto the stage almost the
entire time. In the second act he plays, believe me, from the start
of it until the end, with a break for only a couple of moments. This
in itself is already to be admired, I mean simply the physical work,
the nervous effort.
But this is not the main thing. The young guy
really acts -- he plays like an experienced actor. I don't want to
say that he is ordinary, that he conducts every scene exceptionally
well. That would be too much to expect. But in general, taking it
all in, he does an excellent "job." Some moments, especially the
important ones, the strong ones come out as truly artistic. He is
weaker in the light scenes, the half-funny ones; maybe that's why he
doesn't treat them with the necessary seriousness; he doesn't give
them enough attention.
Goldinburg in the role of the father,
the musician, always plays with intelligence and conviction. I liked
him as much as possible in the first act, especially in the happy
family scene, and later in the dramatic convergence with his wife
and her lover. He behaved naturally there and gave expression to
his feelings in such an intelligent way.
In the later acts
Goldinburg was already quite a bit melodramatic. As it turns out,
the audience "enjoyed" him more; such crying, such hysterics among
the audience I hadn't seen for a long time while I attended the
Yiddish theatre. And this is evoked in almost all of Goldinburg's
acting. He is the main sufferer; even the youngster's troubles are
darkened by Goldinburg's "tragedy."
I say that Goldinburg adds a large portion of
meloddramatic acting in this part of the play because in reality there
is no reason to suffer as much as it appears. He is not so unhappy
after all, and if he is sick and earns little to live on, it is he
alone who is guilty because all of his misfortunes came because he
had gotten drunk.
In the play there is a side character that has
nothing to do with the main action. This character gives the
audience a lot, with a lot of hearty laughter. He is called
"Leibke," and he is a communist. The role is played by
Unwillingly, people remind themselves that a
similar role has been played by the same actor in Chone Gottesfeld's
very well-known comedy, "Parnose." There he called himself "Chaver
Blitz," and the theatre audience will remember that "Chaver Blitz"
was created for Wendorf's great popularity with the public and
[received] many compliments from the critics.
The role of
Leibke leads him through in the same manner, and he takes it very
seriously. He seems to be born for the role. His attitude, his
speech, his gestures and above all his smile fit the character that
he represents in such a way that it seems that he cannot and must
not look otherwise.
The other roles are smaller and less
important, but they are all entrusted to competent actors. Those
participating are: Yetta Zwerling, Sarah Krohner, Rose Wallerstein,
David Dank, Louis Hyman, Anna Teitelbaum, Mrs. Hyman, Abe Gross and