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National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Presents FOLKSBIENE LIVE!: WELCOME TO OUR SUKE/SUKKAH

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"Welcome to Our Suke" begins with Kids and Yiddish: The Reunion Special, on Monday, October 5th.

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Presents FOLKSBIENE LIVE!: WELCOME TO OUR SUKE/SUKKAH

This October, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (Folksbiene)-led by Zalmen Mlotek, Artistic Director, and Dominick Balletta, Executive Director-presents Folksbiene! LIVE: "Welcome to Our Suke/Sukkah", a four-day festival of family-friendly performances during Chol Hamoed (the intermediary days of Sukkos) from October 5th to 8th.

Presentations include Kids and Yiddish: The Reunion Special (October 5th); Tatiana Wechsler in Concert (October 6th); Budd Mishkin's interview with the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics; and, A Bisl Borscht: A Tribute to Mickey Katz, starring Ben Liebert (Motl from Folksbiene's Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish) (October 8th).

"Sukkos is the Jewish festival celebrating the shelters in which our ancestors lived following the annual harvest as they journeyed to the temple in Jerusalem. During this holiday it is a mitzvah to extend hospitality to ushpizn (guests) and break bread together inside our shelters," said Motl Didner, Associate Artistic Director at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. "This year, the virtual world has become our shelter as we are away from home at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. And we invite you to be our guest and share our cultural bounty with a festival within a festival of Yiddish performing arts."

"Welcome to Our Suke" begins with a not-to-be-missed event, Kids and Yiddish: The Reunion Special, on Monday, October 5th.

Kids and Yiddish was originally a concert created by Zalmen Mlotek with Adrienne Cooper, Joanne H. Borts, and Michael Fox for the Workmen's Circle in 1993. In 1998, Joanne H. Borts teamed up with Mlotek and Michael Fox to create a show that was modeled after Saturday Night Live and Sesame Street. It was then presented annually until 2011 at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. With glowing reviews in The New York Times, Folksbiene created a CD called "Kids and Yiddish - A Musical Adventure." The original cast was just the four original creators, but in subsequent theatrical versions produced by the NYTF, children were added along with more actors and musicians, most of whom are joining for this online reunion special.

Launched in March, Folksbiene! LIVE is an online celebration of Yiddish culture, featuring live-streamed theater, American Jewish performers, concerts, lectures, talks, and other events. Programming provides inspirational and entertaining experiences as cultural and arts venues across the country and the world remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

All Folksbiene! LIVE programs are presented at 1:00 PM. Stay in the loop and get reminders about new episodes by subscribing to Folksbiene's newsletter, and catch up on past episodes on-demand, at nytf.org/live. Kids and Yiddish: The Reunion Special is a benefit for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene through permission from Theatre Authority, Inc.

Event Details Below:

Kids and Yiddish: The Reunion Special

Monday, October 5th at 1:00 PM

(Only available for viewing through October 9th at 1:00 PM Eastern Time)

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene presents Kids and Yiddish: The Reunion Special. The beloved family show returns in an online production featuring original cast members as well as new voices. This can be viewed only through October 9th at 1:00 PM Eastern Time.

Participating in the special are: Norah Bergman, Joanne Borts, Josh Dolgin, Charlie Dresdner, Johnny Dresdner, Sruli Dresdner, Lisa Fishman, Michael Fox, Sophie Knapp, Margot Leverett, Rebecca Lawrence Levy, Aaron Mayer, Lisa Mayer, Zach Mayer, Stav Meishar, Avram Mlotek, Hillel Yosl Mlotek, Marissa Mlotek, Ravi Mlotek, Sarah Mlotek, Zalmen Mlotek, Jenny Romaine, Dinah Slepovitch, D. Zisl Slepovitch, Jordan Wax, and Michael Winograd.

The special is produced by National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, with Avram Mlotek (Director); Elisha Mlotek (Editor); Michael Winograd (Audio Supervisor); and Joanne H. Borts (Script Consultant). Kids and Yiddish is written by Joanne H. Borts, Mike Fox, and Zalmen Mlotek.

Tatiana Wechsler's "Anywhere I Wander" Concert

Tuesday, October 6th at 1:00 PM

Tatiana Wechsler was featured in Folksbiene's The Golden Bride and starred as Curly in last year's radically reimagined Oklahoma! at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. "Anywhere I Wander" is an intimate, at-home concert sharing Tatiana's reflections on the holiday of Sukkos. With Yiddish favorites, English favorites sung in Yiddish, and original material, Tatiana explores themes of home, wandering, autumn, nature, and traditions as we celebrate this festival and the beginning of the Jewish New Year. Music provided by Zalmen Mlotek.

Tatiana Wechsler is an NYTF alum, having appeared in productions of The Golden Bride and The Sorceress. She was the first woman to play Curly in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Off-Broadway: X: Or Betty Shabazz v. The Nation (Acting Company: Theatre at St. Clement's/New Victory Theater) and Julius Caesar (New Victory). NYC: Othello (Acting Company). Regional: Love in Hate Nation (Two River Theatre), Benny & Joon (Paper Mill Playhouse), The Legend of Georgia McBride (Marin Theatre Company), Love's Labor's Lost (OSF). Tour: X and Julius Caesar (Acting Company). Film: Netuser (Best Film at the LA LGBT Film Festival). Many concert and reading appearances in major venues around New York City, including Bombshell at the Minskoff Theatre. Tatiana is a songwriter, and her original material can be viewed on her website. Proud graduate of the New Studio on Broadway at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. www.tatianawechsler.com @tatiwex

Zalmen Mlotek is an internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music as well as a leading figure in the Jewish theatre and concert worlds. For the past 20 years, he has been the Artistic Director and conductor at Folksbiene. He brought Yiddish-Klezmer music to Broadway and Off-Broadway stages with the Tony-nominated Those Were the Days and Drama Desk-nominated Amerike - The Golden Land. He serves as Music Director for most Folksbiene productions, including the recent New York Times Critics Pick The Sorceress and Drama Desk-nominated musical The Golden Bride. His music can be heard in over two-dozen recordings and films and he has taught and performed all over the world and worked with countless singers. His vision brought the critically acclaimed award-winning Fidler Afn Dakh (Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish), directed by Joel Grey, for which he served as music director, to New York City.

Budd Mishkin In Conversation with The Klezmatics

Wednesday, October 7th at 1:00 PM

Budd Mishkin interviews the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics' Frank London and Lorin Sklamberg as part of Folksbiene's popular Conversation series. The presentation will also include musical moments. Since their emergence more than 35 years ago, The Klezmatics have raised the bar for Eastern European Jewish music, made aesthetically, politically, and musically interesting recordings, and helped to change the face of contemporary Yiddish culture. Often called a "Jewish roots band," The Klezmatics have led a popular revival of this ages-old, nearly forgotten art form. They have performed in more than 20 countries and released 11 albums to date-most recently the album Apikorsim (Heretics). On their Grammy-winning 2006 album Wonder Wheel, The Klezmatics set a dozen previously unsung Woody Guthrie lyrics to music. They have also recently served as the subject of a feature-length documentary film, The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground. During their third-of-a-century existence, The Klezmatics have collaborated with such brilliant artists as violinist Itzhak Perlman, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner and Israeli vocal icon Chava Alberstein, plus many other prominent artists working within multiple genres.

Sir Frank London is a Grammy Award-winning trumpeter-composer and co-founder of The Klezmatics. He has worked with the Folksbiene on numerous projects. He composed and performed Freylekhs - Klezmer Fantasy for Trumpet & Orchestra at Central Park SummerStage for Zalmen Mlotek and the NYTF. His Yiddish-Cuban opera Hatuey Memory of Fire (with Elise Thoron) premiered in Havana and at Montclair's Peak Performances. His latest recording is Salomé: Woman of Valor (with poet Adeena Karasick). In 2019 alone, he premiered the song cycle Ghetto Songs at Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie; co-created and music directed Carnegie Hall's From Shtetl to Stage; presented Weill in New York at Dessau's Kurt Weill Festival; and created the spectacle In Dreams Begin Responsibilities for the New York Public Library.

Frank has worked with John Zorn, Karen O, Itzhak Perlman, Pink Floyd, LL Cool J, Mel Tormé, Lester Bowie, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5; is on over 500 CDs; and was featured on Sex And The City. He created, composed, performed, and music directed From Moses to Mostel, the history of Jews in musical theater starring Steve Martin at NY's Town Hall; the folk-opera A Night In The Old Marketplace (with Alex Aron and Glen Berger), Green Violin (with Elise Thoron & Rebecca Taichman), Davenen for Pilobolus Dance Theater; 1001 Voices: Symphony for a New America (with Judith Sloan & Warren Lehrer); music for Tony Kushner's A Dybbuk, John Sayles' The Brother From Another Planet, Karin Coonrod's Merchant of Venice, and the Czech-American Marionette Theater¹s Golem.

Lorin Sklamberg is a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics and has collaborated with such diverse artists as Itzhak Perlman, Chava Alberstein, Pete Seeger, Emmylou Harris, Neil Sedaka, Natalie Merchant, Tony Kushner, and Holly Near. He has composed and performed for film, dance, stage, and circus, and has produced a number of recordings of world and theater music. He also teaches Yiddish song from São Paulo to St. Petersburg. Critically-acclaimed projects include the Nigunim Trio, Saints and Tzadiks, the Semer Ensemble, Alpen Klezmer, and Sklamberg and the Shepherds. This summer saw the release of 150 Voices, a recorded collaboration between Lorin, Polina Shepherd, and choirs in the UK and the United States. Lorin serves as the Sound Archivist of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, for whom he co-curates the Ruth Rubin Legacy website. "One of the premier American singers in any genre." - Robert Christgau, NPR.

Budd Mishkin has been a broadcast journalist for almost forty years. He joined CBS News Radio in March 2019 as an anchor/correspondent. Budd spent 25 years as an anchor/reporter for NY1, New York City's 24-hour television news channel. He was one of the station's founding journalists in 1992. In 2003, he created NY1's weekly series One on 1 with Budd Mishkin, profiling influential and intriguing New Yorkers from a wide range of fields. From 2003-2017, One on 1 profiled 400 prominent New Yorkers: poets and politicians, athletes and artists, the old-timers, and the rising stars. In 2012, the New York Press Club honored One on 1 with Budd Mishkin with its coveted Reverend Mychal Judge Heart of New York Award. Mishkin has also created and hosted close to 100 nights of conversation at some of the most prestigious venues in New York and beyond, including the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, for which he has interviewed Joel Grey and the creative team behind the Theatre's production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish and, more recently, Broadway producer Manny Azenberg.

A Bisl Borscht: A Tribute to Mickey Katz

Thursday, October 8th at 1:00 PM

(Only available for viewing until October 12 at 1:00 PM)

A concert featuring songs from the legendary Mickey Katz starring Ben Liebert (Motl Kamzoyl from Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish) with Kathryn Krull (Vocalist and Piano). Musical Arrangements by D. Zisl Slepovitch and Zalmen Mlotek; Lyric transcriptions by Sabina Brukner and Zalmen Mlotek; Band: Avigail Malachi (Clarinet), Clyde Daley (Trumpet), and Nicole Patrick (Drums).

Ben Liebert recently appeared as Motl in the acclaimed Off-Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, directed by Joel Grey, and presented Allan Sherman on a Friday Early Evening for Folksbiene! LIVE. He's been seen as Boq in the Broadway company of Wicked, across Europe in Grease, regionally in Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), Young Frankenstein (Igor), Spamalot (Patsy), Next to Normal (Henry), Avenue Q (Nicky/Trekkie), and at Carnegie Hall in the world premiere of The Christmas Rose. As a director, Ben's work includes Into the Woods, Ordinary Days, Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), and The Bomb-itty of Errors as well as new works with Samuel French OOB Festival (festival winner), Randomly Specific Theatre, the Metropolitan Room, and Planet Connections Festival. Ben is the co-creator of Viper plays the Top Gun Soundtrack Live and presents and edits Musicals From Home. Proud member of AEA and associate member of SDC. www.benliebert.com @glorious_idiot

A Bisl Borscht: A Tribute To Mickey Katz is a benefit for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene through permission from Theatre Authority, Inc.


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