So we have a beautiful, heartbreaking, gargantuan show with a performance for the ages in Theodore Bikel’s SHOLOM ALEICHEM: LAUGHTER THROUGH TEARS. It’s emotionally huge. Everything about it is huge, except for the cast size. But the singular performance; the scope of the story; the undertaking of the playwright (who also happens to be Bikel); the vastness of the journey his subject (Sholom Aleichem) takes from Europe to America, back to pogrom-infested Europe and then “home” to America once more; the musical catalogue of the show in Yiddish and beautifully translated English… A sold out pay-what-you-can preview last night. Tears within ten minutes. Tears and standing ovations at the end. Laughs at four minutes, sustained throughout (thank god).
Tonight’s $30 preview will be sold out again. The thing is going to be a juggernaut — as Bikel has been for us twice before (in THE DISPUTATION in 05 and SHYLOCK in 07 — both sold out runs). It’s happening now as well. What to do but rejoice in these trouble times?
It’s very good news for all.
Much more soon on this all. Including my own very personal FIDDLER ON THE ROOF memory! (and now take it away, Shirley!)