YIDDISH THEATRE 101 > THE YIDDISH PLAYS > THE PLAY IN HISTORY  >  ISIDORE SOLOTOREFSKY  >  THE PRICE OF LOVE                                                 


(Der prayz fun libe)
by Isidore Solotorefsky
music by Joseph Rumshinsky
Bessie Thomashefsky's People's Theatre, NYC
opened season on September 3, 1915


Louis Birnbaum,
who plays
Albert Gottheil
(a reverend)

Max Rosenthal,
who plays
Israel Saphir,
a judge

Annie Thomashefsky, who plays
Mrs. O'Brien,
a janitress

Reverend Albert Gottheil is unhappily married to a woman of the wealthy class. Having been married several years, he meets in the course of his duties, Miss Saphir, an ardent social worker, the daughter of a prominent Judge. Their mutual sympathy, as well as the character of the work they are engaged in, draws them together in a bond of love. Their feelings for each other are so strong and so irresistible, that in a short time he abandons his wife and migrates with Miss Saphir to the southern states.

Two children are born onto them, a boy and a girl. Having been forced to give up his divine profession, he is now forced to earn his bread as a laborer. After years of incessant trial and suffering, the ex-Reverend, with is family decides to go back east in search of better economical conditions. Within a few days the family finds itself in the clutches of merciless starvation.

Judge Saphir, who is active in philanthropic work, hears of a family given to great privation and decides to help them out. Entering the house of the unfortunate family he recognizes his daughter, whom he deemed dead for the last fifteen years. Meeting between father and daughter is highly dramatic and pathetic. The daughter appeals for mercy, but the stern Judge refuses her abruptly.

In the meantime the first wife or Rev. Dr. Gottheil discovers him in the flat, which happens to be owned by her mother, and threatens with a suit for bigamy. In face of this situation, the old Judge remains relentless to his daughter's heartrending appeal, deciding to act in strict accordance with the letter of the law. Realizing that her parting with her beloved husband is imminent, the daughter of the Judge decides to commit murder and suicide, the victims of the plot being her own children.

This tragedy is enacted at a moment when Rev. Gottheil's former wife, unnerved by the tears of the children, agrees to let him free of his first marriage bond. However, when the announcement is made, and Judge Saphir calls his daughter to hear the good news, she and her children are found in their room dead. Appalled by this gruesome scene, the old Judge goes insane.

Goldie Lubritsky,
who plays Esther,
one of Albert's and Eva's children


Annie Toback,
who plays Abie, one of Albert's and Eva's children

Sam Tobias,
who plays Nathan, Judith's brother, a musician,
a cripple

Yetta (Nettie) Tobias, who plays Yetta, wife of Kasriel Pikelewitch


Peter Graf,
who plays Kasriel Pikelewitch,
a pickle manufacturer, Lucia's father

Bessie Thomashefsky,
who plays Eva,
the only daughter of
Israel & Judith Saphir

Sabina Rosenthal,
who plays Lucia, first wife of Albert Gottheil

Sabina Laxer,
who plays Judith, wife of Israel Saphir, a judge





Synopsis taken from the theatre program for the show at the People's Theatre.
Courtesy of the New York Public Library.

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