National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene to Premiere LIES MY FATHER TOLD ME, Beg. 11/10
National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene will present for its 99th season the American premiere of the tender coming-of-age musical adapted from the 1975 Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe Award winning film Lies My Father Told Me based on the works of Ted Allan. Lies My Father Told Me begins previews Sunday, November 10, at 2:00pm for a press opening Thursday, November 21, at 7:30pm at the Nagelberg Theater, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue.
Adapted and directed by National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene's Executive Director Bryna Wasserman with music, lyrics and orchestrations by Elan Kunin, musical direction by Zalmen Moltek and choreography by Merete Muenter, Lies My Father Told Me follows three generations of a Montreal immigrant family during the final great wave of North American immigration in the 1920s. Lies My Father Told Me recounts Ted Allan's childhood memories of the people and events that would shape his life.
Lies My Father Told Me is performed in English with some dialogue in Yiddish served by English and Russian supertitles.
Ted Allan (1916 - 1995) started out in life as Alan Herman. Raised in Montreal's hard St. Urbain Street neighborhood, he went to Spain to fight the fascists, and later was part of a gang of talented Canadians who invaded the British media and entertainment business in the 1950s. His fighting for the Spanish Republic put him on the Blacklist in North American in the 1950s. Mr. Allan eventually settled in Hollywood in the 1970s and, among other assignments, was the script doctor on the movie Yental starring Barbra Streisand. His screenwriting credits include Son Copain (1950), The Money Makers(TV-1952), The Webster Boy (1962), Seven Times a Day (1975), Lies My Father Told Me (1975), It Rained All Night the Day, I Left (1980), Falling In Love Again (1980), Love Streams (1984), I'm Almost Not Crazy... John Cassavetes: The Man And His Work (1984) and Bethune: The Making of a Hero (1990).
Ms. Wasserman directed the world premiere of the music in Montreal in 2010. Before becoming the Executive Director of The National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene in 2011, Ms. Wasserman transformed the Segal Centre for Performing Arts into one of Canada's leading, award-winning theatres. For her contribution, Ms. Wasserman was recognized with a special MECCA and a Quebec Drama Federation award, and the Mlotek Prize. The highly successful Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival (2008, 2011) was her creation. Her recent directing credits include: The Golden Land (2013 Drama Desk Nomination - Outstanding Musical Revival), Lies My Father Told Me, Man Of La Mancha, Duddy The Musical, God Of Vengeance, The Dybbuk, Houdini, On Second Avenue (Drama Desk win - Outstanding Musical Revival) and Fiddler On The Roof.
Elan Kunin music and lyrics, is Artist in Residence for the Segal Centre of the Performing Arts and has established himself as an award-winning composer/lyricist over the last 15 years. His works include Lies My Father Told Me by Ted Allan, starring Theodore Bikel, The Jazz Singer based on the 1927 original Broadway play, and Houdini by the late Melville Shavelson. Mr. Kunin is currently working on a brand new "Anti-Bullying" musical, One, for kids ages 10-16. He has also been commissioned to write a new musical based on Alexandre Dumas's Count of Monte Cristo. An accomplished arranger and orchestrator, Mr. Kunin worked on numerous productions in Montreal, New York and in Europe. He is currently in production for the new animated television series Wakalainie Wakalou.
Zalmen Mlotek, Artistic Director of National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene, is musical director for Lies My Father Told Me. An internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theatre music, Mr. Mlotek is a leading figure in the Jewish theatre and concert worlds. He brought Yiddish-Klezmer music to Broadway and Off-Broadway stages as co-creator, music director, and conductor of Those Were The Days, the first bilingual musical honored with a Drama Desk Award and nominated for two Tony Awards as well as the recent Off Broadway hit The Golden Land. He was a composer, arranger, and music director for Isaac Bashevis Singer and Robert Brustein's acclaimed production of Shlemiel The First.
Merete Muenter, choreographer, has directed and choreographed the Woodstock Playhouse production of Chicago, choreographed the national tour ofBurlesque To Broadway and The Folksbiene's The Megile Of Itzik Manger among other productions in North America and Europe.
The Drama Desk Award-winning National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene, which celebrates its centenary in 2015, is the longest continuously producing Yiddish theatre company in the world, and America's sole-surviving professional Yiddish theatre. The company presents plays, concerts, literary events and workshops in English and Yiddish, with English and Russian supertitles accompanying most performances. The company's mission is to celebrate the Jewish experience through the performing arts and to transmit a rich cultural legacy in exciting new ways.
Evening performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays 6:00pm. Matinees are Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 2:00pm. There are no performances Mondays, Tuesdays or Fridays.
Tickets are $60 Orchestra, $50 Balcony. Tickets can be purchased at (646) 312-5073 or www.nationalyiddishtheatre.org. Lies My Father Told Meruns through December 15.