Thursday, August 14, 2008

YIDDISH THEATER IN THE QUEENS COURIER.

Our film opens this weekend in Queens NY. Here's one of the reviews we got there:


Yiddish language makes a comeback

BY MARIANNA NASH
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 9:40 PM EDT

When I.B. Singer said, “Yiddish is the most alive dead language,” perhaps he was predicting the release of Dan Katzir’s documentary film, “Yiddish Theater: A Love Story,” which will open at the North Shore Towers in Queens on Friday, August 15.

The documentary was one of About.com’s Top 10 Documentaries of 2007 and was hailed at film festivals everywhere from San Francisco to Tel Aviv.

Zypora Spaisman, 84, is the actress and Holocaust survivor who runs Folksbiene, the oldest running Yiddish theater in America. Katzir tells the story of her fight to keep an old art form alive, as well as her struggle to reclaim the stage from a youth-obsessed public.

A major point of concentration in the film is the star’s work on her theater troupe’s revival of Peretz Hirschbein’s Yiddish play, “Green Fields” (“Grine Felder”) in 2000, which was critically acclaimed at the time of its debut.
Although the film is set in one of New York’s coldest winters, its personalities are warm, energetic and fun loving, and humor drives the action throughout. Even when Spaisman has to raise enough funds to keep her last show going and possibly transfer it to Broadway, there is witty commentary to be heard.

Born in Lublin, Poland in 1916, Spaisman immigrated to the United States in the 1950s and became an actress. She has passionately kept both the Yiddish language and the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater alive in New York for 42 years, though she retired at 84, when she started a new production with Yiddish Public Theater.

Other Yiddish theater legends featured in the documentary include Shifra Lerer, Felix Fibich and Seymour Rechzeit, not to mention the 2nd Avenue Deli, with its Yiddish walk of fame.

To find out more about the film, visit yiddishtheater.net.

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