Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Jewish King Lear

This Sunday, February 8, at 2:30PM Actors Shakespeare will present a rare reading of a neglected classic of the Yiddish theater: דער יידישער קעניג ליר (Der Yiddisher Kenig Lir) or, The Jewish King Lear by Jacob Gordin. The play, written in 1892, tells the story of a Jewish patriarch whose life and family fall apart, in much the same way as Shakespeare's King Lear.

A poster for the original 1898 production of The Jewish King Lear

The reading, the latest in ASC's The Play's the Thing series, will be at Congregation B'Nai Jacob in Jersey City, and represents an exciting new partnership between ASC and this community organization. The reading will be co-directed by B'nai Jacob Cantor Dr. Marsha Dubrow and ASC Artistic Director Colette Rice. Dr. Dubrow will give a short talk on the Yiddish Theater in America at 2:30PM, and the reading will begin at 3:00PM; a free reception with the cast will follow the reading.

The Cast for the reading:

Reb Dovidl Moysheles, A rich Jewish scholar – Gerald Kline*
Khane Leah, his wife – Cindy Boyle*
Etele, his eldest daughter – Elizabeth Belonzi
Avrom Harif, her husband – Colin Ryan*
Gitele, his second daughter – Liza Skinner*
Moyshe Hasid, her husband – Craig Colfelt
Taybele, his third daughter – Jessica Weiss
Trytel, his servant – Paul Sugarman
Herr Yaffe, a student at the Rabbinical Academy – Jonathan Hopkins

Stage Directions – Daniella Rabbani
Purim Players & Musicians – Marsha Dubrow, Craig Eichner
Aidan Koehler, Daniella Rabbani, David Rosenberg

* denotes member Actors Equity Association