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
-- A beautiful country, our America! --
-- You bet! -- Irving said with
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
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
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 ...