Lea Kalisch Performs IN LOVE WITH A DREAM for New Yiddish Rep's May 11 KABARET!
New Yiddish Rep will present Lea Kalisch (www.leakalisch.com) in a new solo show, "In Love with a Dream," as its May 11 "Kabaret!" at The Cyrus and Rose Feldman Studio Theater, 315 W. 39 Street, 9th floor. Kalisch is a dynamic, sexy, multidisciplinary performer originally from Zurich, Switzerland. Her piece, performed with a three-piece band, is an autobiography in song, rap and comedy: a high-energy reflection on her clash of expectations and real-life experiences.Ms. Kalisch, a high-energy brunette twenty-something, recounts, from the perspective of "a new artist with an old soul," her ripening in the five years since she left Switzerland in 2014, assuring her mother she would soon be a Broadway star. There is a memorable comedic sung reflection on love and orthodoxy, in which she appears clad in a velvety doublet and shtreimal (a fur hat worn by many married Haredi Jewish men) and explores the creative repercussions of romance with the religious. The piece is performed in English, but it is sprinkled with Spanish, Yiddish and German (Kalisch speaks seven languages). She sings, dances and raps and even takes a turn at the piano, where she croons a comedic song over a Bach piece. Her musical compositions are dramatic, theatrical and story-driven. She characterizes their musical genre as "blues-pop with a touch of Jewish." She views herself as a collage artist who is "Jewish with all my heart and Latin with my hips." In New Yiddish Rep's "Motzei Shabbes Kabaret" last Saturday, she workshopped a comedic piece with hand puppets about the marriage of a young orthodox couple. "In Love with a Dream," was initially created for a private event in Boston. Its May 11 performance is a workshop toward its upcoming debut, which will be presented in June 11 to 23 by New Yiddish Rep in a double-bill with "The Crazy Meshuge Hurricane Earthquake" by Amy Coleman. The run will be split between two venues, with performances June 11 to 16 at The Cyrus and Rose Feldman Studio Theater (315 W. 39 Street, 9th floor) and June 19 to 23 at The Playroom Theater (151 W. 46th St., 8th Floor). Ms. Kalisch has hitherto appeared in New Yiddish Rep's productions of "Awake and Sing" and "God of Vengeance," which were both acted in Yiddish. At HERE, she co-created and performed "Between the Threads (Jewish Women Project)." For Folksbiene, she appeared in a staged reading of "Fernvald." She is lead singer of a folk rock band, Revival, which performs music set to Jewish and biblical texts. In Switzerland, she was a professional ice skater for ten years, always enjoying gala-shows much more than competitions. New Yiddish Rep (www.newyiddishrep.org) is a developer of a wide array of Yiddish theater-related artistic activities. It offers modern treatments of the Yiddish classics and Yiddish interpretations of modern and post modern masterpieces in intimate venues and with easily readable supertitles. Its productions since its founding in 2008 include Yiddish renditions of "Rhinoceros," "God of Vengeance," "Awake and Sing," "Death of a Salesman" and "Waiting for Godot" as well as an abundance of plays originating in Yiddish. Led by David Mandelbaum and Amy Coleman, its aim is to carry the classical into the present, to develop new Yiddish-inspired works, and to investigate modern approaches to the vast Yiddish theater lexicon.
Photo Credit: Geoge Xenos