National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's AMERIKE Extends Downtown Run
The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) is extending the Off-Broadway run of the musical "Amerike -- The Golden Land" through Sunday August 20. In making the announcement, Christopher Massimine (NYTF's CEO and the show's producer) said, "We are hearing resounding approval from audiences for our willingness to let the Jewish immigration story stand for all immigrants, and to serve as a stark reminder not just of the opportunities America offers, but also the challenges and injustices immigrants face."
Directed by Drama Desk Award-nominee Bryna Wasserman, and choreographed by current Chita Rivera Award nominee Merete Muenter, "Amerike -- The Golden Land" began performances on July 4 and was scheduled to run through August 6. This re-conceived production of Zalmen Mlotek and Moishe Rosenfeld's 1984 musical (originally "The Golden Land") blends popular songs of the day (from the 1880s to the mid-20th century) into a lavish score that demonstrates how America both absorbs and reflects back the cultures of its immigrants. Music direction and arrangements for the show -- which now runs at the Museum of Jewish Heritage through Sunday August 20 -- are by Mlotek, NYTF's artistic director.
The two-day Immigration Arts Summit brings together prominent artists and arts organizations that produce art from "other" cultures for New York audiences. Participating organizations include the performing arts producers Pan Asian Repertory; Repertorio Español; Irish Repertory Theatre; the Kairos Italy Theater; the Irish Arts Center, and the Turkish American Repertory Theatre, as well as such museums and cultural organizations as El Museo del Bario; the Lower East Side Tenement Museum; the Museum at Eldridge Street; Israel's Office of Cultural Affairs in the USA, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and the Cumbe Center for African and Diaspora Dance.
The Tony-nominated and Emmy-winning actor John Leguizamo delivers the Summit's Keynote Address Tuesday July 17 at 5pm. Leguizamo's Keynote will be followed by a book signing of his recently published graphic novel adaptation of his Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle award-winning one-man show "Ghetto Klown," the story of his blue-collar Queens upbringing (Abrams ComicArts).
The Summit's Plenary Session on Tuesday July 18 (10am to 1pm) will gather all participants to discuss common objectives for ethnic-based groups to collaborate, organize and share advocacy as a distinct subset of of New York cultural landscape.
Adds Massimine: "This show and the Summit are very timely reminders of the continued impact of immigrant cultures on what we know as American popular culture. But they also remind us where we come from as Americans -- and how the freedoms so many of us fought for are imperiled if we forget they exist here for all. We should be embracing our immigrant populations not pushing them out, but we don't always."
Established 1915, the Drama Desk-winning NYTF brings a rich cultural heritage to life on stage-one that was nearly destroyed because of racial and religious hatred and intolerance some 75 years ago. Now in its record-setting 103rd consecutive season, NYTF is the associate producer of Broadway's "Indecent," winner of two Tony Awards including direction.
"Amerike -- The Golden Land" tickets, which are $35 to $60, are on sale now at www.nytf.org and by phone at 866-811-4111.
Immigration Arts Summit tickets are $10 for Panel Discussions or Keynote Address; $15 for both Panel Discussions & Keynote, and $45 for Summit & "Amerike -- The Golden Land" Combo. The concert is free. For more details or to purchase tickets visit www.nytf.org or call the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at 212/213-2120, ext. 206. Twitter: @AmericaGoldenLand, @ImmigrationArtsSummit
The 2017 Immigration Arts Summit is supported by the NYC Mayor's Office on Immigrant Affairs; New York Foundation for the Arts; NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Battery Park City Parks Conservancy.