Stephen Mo Hanan and Avi Hoffman to Star in National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene's THE MEGILE OF ITZIK MANGER, 3/2-16; Cast Announced!

Following a wildly successful Off Broadway run last Spring, The National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene's critically-acclaimed musical production "The Megile of Itzik Manger" will return to Baruch Performing Arts Center for a two week limited engagement, March 2 - 16.

New to the cast, starring alongside Tony Nominee Stephen Mo Hanan, is Drama Desk nominee Avi Hoffman. Hoffman's hit one man shows "Too Jewish?" & "Too Jewish Two!" landed such praise that he was named Performer of the Year by NY Press Magazine. On TV, Mr. Hoffman's "Too Jewish?" has been broadcasted nationally on PBS. He was featured as Teddy Wayne in the NBC series "Law and Order". He starred in the motion picture -"The Imported Bridegroom", which received national acclaim and was featured at the Montreal and Boston Film Festivals. Hoffman was also seen in the PBS documentary "They Came for Good: a History of Jewish in the US."

Hoffman will be accompanied by new cast members MAC Award winner Adam Shapiro, Alan Schmuckler, and Rachel Arielle Yucht. Filling out the returning cast members are Stacey Harris, Andrew Keltz, Rebecca Keren, and Hannah D. Scott.

A whimsical circus-inspired adaptation based on the familiar tale of Queen Esther, "The Megile of Itzik Manger" is filled with music, acrobatic thrills, magic, larger-than-life puppets, dance, and comedy. With innovative post-modern staging, the production is set simultaneously in Biblical Persia and inter-war Poland, housed within in the center ring of the big-top.

A special Purim celebration is set for the evening of March 15, sponsored by 67 Wine & Spirits and Boston Beer Company. This special performance will include a reading of The Megillah of Esther 30 minutes previous to the 9pm curtain. The reading will be presented in Yiddish with English translations. The performance following will conclude with a reception and costume contest judged by Luxury Fashion Designers Caitlin Kelly, owner of Caitlin Kelly Designer Swimwear; and Hila Geller, Design Director at Robert Graham Designs.

"The Megile of Itzik Manger's" music is composed by Dov Seltzer, with the book and lyrics authored by Shmuel Bunim, Haim Hefer, Itzik Manger and Dov Seltzer. The production team includes Folksbiene Associate Artistic Director Motl Didner back at the helm as director, Folksbiene Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek as music director, Merete Muenter as choreographer, circus innovator Jenny Romaine as production designer, Natalie Robin as lighting designer, Benjamin Furiga as sound designer, Shayna O'Neill as production stage manager, and Christopher Massimine as supervising producer.

"The Megile of Itzik Manger" is presented in Yiddish and with some English, complemented with English and Russian supertitles.

Performances will run Sunday at 2pm & 6pm; Weds at 2pm & 7:30pm; Thurs at noon & 7:30pm, Saturday March 8 at 8:30pm; Saturday March 15 at 9pm. For tickets, which are $40 Orchestra and $35 Balcony, visit the Baruch Performing Arts Center box office, or call (866) 811-4111, or visit nationalyiddishtheatre.org.

ARTIST BIOS:

STEPHEN MO HANAN Broadway: THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, CATS (Tony Nomination), PETER PAN. West End (London): LES MISERABLES. Folksbiene: DI YAM GAZLONIM, KLEYNKUNST! Off Broadway: THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, COMEDY OF ERRORS, JOLSON & COMPANY, HOLY CRAP, KING LEAR.

AVI HOFFMAN has entertained millions of people with his humor, his pathos and his passionate singing voice. His extensive resume includes his groundbreaking productions of SONGS OF PARADISE with the famous Broadway Impresario Joe Papp and the NY productions of THE GOLDEN LAND and THE RISE OF DAVID LEVINSKY. He is currently appearing on the Starz television series MAGIC CITY, as lawyer Sid Raskin, and has been featured on NBC's LAW & ORDER and A&E's THE GLADES. >From NY to Los Angeles, from the stage to the big screen, Avi has received numerous awards and great acclaim with critics and audiences alike.




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