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A TALK WITH THE TWO BROTHER ACTORS,

HYMIE AND IRVING JACOBSON
 

Both have returned not long ago from their trips around the world. --

Hymie tells about the Yiddish theatre audience and about the theatre audience in Argentina. --

Irving was in Bialystok Square where he honored a Polish anti-Semite with an American slap.
 

September 13, 1935

 

Among the staggering number of actors who have visited other countries are the brothers Hymie and Irving Jacobson. The first spent six months in Argentina, and the second spent less than a year in various parts of Europe.

-- A beautiful country, our America! -- Hymie said.

-- You bet! -- Irving said with enthusiasm.

Hymie Jacobson, who for the coming season will be the director of the Monument Generale Theatre in Montreal, explained that he had nothing to complain about the treatment he had received recently in Buenos Aires. The local Jews, he said, love the theatre, were guest-friendly, and they also love serious plays. However, they love plays that have many dances. They are not in love with plays that do not evoke any crying or laughter.

And they love a good actor. If they want an actor they will run towards him with outstretched hands and give him a lot of honor. But if they do not like the actor, then he feels it, and there will be no actor who is jealous of him ...

And the Jews of Buenos Aires liked him very much. They have many important institutions, and they nestle one against the other. There is virtually no unemployment there.

In the theatre, Hymie continues to recall, there not only came adults, but they also brought small children, and these pranksters feel better in the theatre than at home. Indeed, when a child travels around worlds, parents can shout at them, but when they do it in the theatre, then the parents have respect for the actors, and they do not shout at them so as not to hinder the course of the play. They are silent, and the little children "fardunkelen" the actors with their singing and dancing ...

And what's even worse is that the small ones catch up quickly to a joke and remember it when they come to the theatre a second time ... A play is played for a long time, and as soon as the actor wants to tell a joke that the children have already heard, they end the joke in a very "high-pitched manner." The applause then irritates the children, and not the actor ... Well, can you imagine the tragedy of an actor when someone else gets his applause?

Just be angry at a child!

As was said, Irving Jacobson spent under half-a-year in Europe. He played in Paris, Antwerp, Warsaw, Lodz, Bialystok, Lemberg and in Vienna. In Lemberg he was there when there were floods, and they had to wait an entire week because they could not play then. He was in Vienna when the revolution occurred there, and no one wanted to go to the theatre then. There too, one could not play for more than a week. In Bialystok a pogrom took place when he was there, and -- there continues to be troubles. Due to this, they weren't able to play for a certain time.

In Bialystok -- as Irving tells it -- I had an opportunity to demonstrate my art, not only on the stage, but also on the back of a lumpy Nazi ... several Nazis had begun to tear up Yiddish newspapers from newsstands, and they started abusing Jews. Well, I thought, what can I do? Do I really want to attack Nazis? I started working my fists on their dog faces a bit ... I was a mental genius when I did the job ...

On the question if the Nazis had also honored him with some slaps, he said that no, because before they had time to do it, policemen ran in and the pranksters escaped ...

Irving Jacobson is engaged for the coming season in the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, and he will play together with his wife, Mae Schoenfeld.

Hymie, as was already said, will play in Montreal, together with his wife, Miriam Kressyn, and his sister Henrietta Jacobson will play the coming season in the McKinley Square Theatre.

On the question if they had additional members of the family in the theatre profession, Hymie, with a smile, stated:

-- Not yet, but -- still have patience! In our family one finds young people, and the family will become bigger. Then in that case, we will still have to have a theatre union for our own family, and -- we all want to be stars in it ...

 

 



 

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