Carol Burnett, Billy Crystal, Beanie Feldstein, Mandy Patinkin & More Join FOLKSBIENE CHANUKAH SPECTACULAR

This curtain rises on this unprecedented event on December 8th at 7:00 PM.

By: Nov. 12, 2020
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Carol Burnett, Billy Crystal, Beanie Feldstein, Mandy Patinkin & More Join FOLKSBIENE CHANUKAH SPECTACULAR Yiddish song, dance, comedy and celebration - from across the globe - come together when the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene presents a Folksbiene Chanukah Spectacular this December, featuring an international array of more than 50 stars - from Broadway music, movies and television to the Yiddish stage.

This curtain rises on this unprecedented event on December 8th at 7:00 PM, kicking off with an international opening number celebrating Yiddish theatre and much more. The cavalcade of cameo celebrity appearances makes this the must-see celebration to launch the Festival of Lights.

This gala is a benefit for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene through permission from Theatre Authority, Inc. The event will be free to the public, with registration required, and opportunities to donate throughout. Afterwards, the celebration will only be available for viewing for 96 hours!

The spectacular is produced and directed by Adam B. Shapiro, one of the stars of the celebrated, award-winning Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish.

"You cannot spell fundraiser without f-u-n, and that's what the evening is about," Shapiro says. "We've enlisted stars from here at home and across the world, and from renowned and award-winning Folksbiene productions like Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, The Golden Bride, The Sorceress, Hannah Senesh, and Soul to Soul. Tune in to see a tribute to the golden age of musical theatre, hilarious sketch comedy routines, beautiful song, dance, and so much more."

"We're excited to present this exceptional Yiddish celebration, bringing together Yiddish Ambassadors from across the globe, from across the United States to as far away as Australia," said Zalmen Mlotek, Artistic Director. Dominick Balletta, Executive Director added, "This will be a theatrical experience like no other - presented virtually so that families and communities across the world can enjoy together."

The spectacular will feature musical segments, comedy, and special guest appearances. Included in the program will be a performance by 18 children, some of whom are members of the Children's Choir from Tzipporei Shalom of Congregation Beth Shalom in Teaneck, NJ, whose conductors are Cantor Ronit Wolff Hanan and Adina Avery-Grossman, of A Regnboygn (A Rainbow), a song written by Mike Menachem Fox, from the Folksbiene's children's show Kids and Yiddish, directed by Joanne H. Borts, and a grand finale featuring over 50 artists from around the world celebrating Chanukah online together in song.

The event is free - though viewers are encouraged to donate and must register at And, Folksbiene also will host a special pre-show Zoom cocktail party (featuring Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish's breakout star Steven Skybell and Folksbiene Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek - at 6:15 PM for donors (and those who donate at certain levels will have special appetizers deliver from the Lox Cafe to nosh on during the event). For more information on this special pre-show event, please contact Joseph Mace at

Yiddish has a global reach, with friends of the Yiddish theater around the world. On December 8th, the Folksbiene will receive cameo greetings from: Geni Brenda (Romania), Mendy Cahan (Israel), Efim Chorny and Susan Ghergus (Moldova), Josh Dolgin (Canada), Daniel Kahn and Yeva Lapsker (Germany), Miwazow Kogure (Japan), Shura Lipovsky (The Netherlands), Freydi Mrocki (Australia), Polina Shepherd (Great Britain), and Merlin Shepherd (Great Britain).

The evening will also include special cameo greetings by: Emanuel Azenberg, Mayim Bialik, Carol Burnett (an audio appearance), Billy Crystal, Tovah Feldshuh, Beanie Feldstein, Joel Grey, Jackie Hoffman, Carol Kane, Barry Manilow, Mandy Patinkin, Itzhak Perlman, Eleanor Reissa, Neil Sedaka, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and Jerry Zaks, many of whom attended Folksbiene's hit production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, plus Steven Skybell, the award-winning actor who played Tevye.

Other participants from Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish are: Jennifer Babiak, Joanne Borts, Lisa Fishman, Kirk Geritano, Abby Goldfarb, Samantha Hahn, Cameron Johnson, Daniel Kahn, Ben Liebert, Stephanie Lynne Mason, Rosie Jo Neddy, Raquel Nobile, Bruce Sabath, Kayleen Seidl, Drew Seigla, Adam B. Shapiro, Jodi Snyder, Lauren Jeanne Thomas, Bobby Underwood, and Rachel Zatcoff.

Also participating are Folksbiene Associate Artistic Director Motl Didner, Richard Kass, Heather Klein, Zalmen Mlotek, Daniella Rabbani, and Dinah Slepovitch. From the cast of Soul to Soul, Folksbiene's annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend program, Senior Cantor at B'nai Torah Congregation Magda Fishman, Brian Glassman, Elmore James, Tony Perry, D. Zisl Slepovitch and Matt Temkin will appear.

Plus, look for the stars of Folksbiene's New York Times Critic's Pick The Sorceress: Mikhl Yashinsky, Jonathan Brody, Rebecca Brudner, Jazmin Gorsline, Dylan Seders Hoffman and Lexi Rabadi (also star of Folksbiene's production of Hannah Senesh).

Tatiana Wechsler, who was recently in the gender-bending, historic performance of Oklahoma at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, will perform a special number with Frank London of The Klezmatics.