National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's AMERIKE - THE GOLDEN LAND to Close This Month
The Off-Broadway musical "Amerike - The Golden Land" wraps up its seven-week run on Sunday, August 20.
Having begun performances at The Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Batttery Place, on July 4, it will have played 42 performances over seven weeks. The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's (NYTF) timely immigration musical opened Off-Broadway - fittingly, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty - on July 10.
A musical journey through the American immigrant experience from the 1880s until the close of WWII, "Amerike - The Golden Land" depicts the challenges faced by the vast majority of all American immigrants - including poverty, racism and exclusion. But it also clearly illustrates the interesting give-and-take process of cultures from abroad impacting American popular culture.
During the show's run, NYTF hosted the first Immigration Arts Summit in July. Bringing together prominent New York arts organizations that present work inspired by cultures from abroad, the conference resulted in the formation of an Immigrant Arts Coalition.
"Planning is underway for New York's leading cultural arts organizations to work together under the Immigrant Arts Coalition banner," says NYTF CEO Christopher Massimine. "A network of arts organizations and individual artists, the Coalition will share advocacy, audience development and other resources, and collaborate on shared programming."
Directed by Drama Desk Award-nominee Bryna Wasserman, with movement and staging by Chita Rivera Award nominee Merete Muenter, and music direction and arrangements by Zalmen Mlotek (NYTF's artistic director), this re-conceived 2017 production of Mlotek and Moishe Rosenfeld's "Amerike - The Golden Land" (originally "The Golden Land") set out to make the open-hearted point that the Jewish immigration story stands, fundamentally, for all immigrant communities.
Spanning popular songs from the 1880s to the mid-20th century, "Amerike - The Golden Land" recreates the sights and sounds of New York City as it welcomed waves of Jewish immigrants. The production is presented in an authentic American immigrant Yiddish (that often mixed both languages), supported by English and Russian supertitles.
"Amerike - The Golden Land's" cast of 12 features Glenn Seven Allen; Alexandra Frohlinger; the international klezmer star Daniel Kahn; Dani Marcus; Stephanie Lynne Mason and David Perlman. The show's ensemble includes Maya Jacobson, Alexander Kosmowski, Raquel Nobile, Isabel Nesti, Grant Richards, and Bobby Underwood. Jessica Rose Futran and Christopher Tefft are the designated principal understudies.
The show's popular klezmer band features "Zisl" Slepovitch on reeds; Jordan Hirsch -- trumpet; Katsumi Ferguson -- violin; Dmitry Ishenko -- bass; Daniel Linden -- trombone; Sean Perham -- percussion; Zalmen Mlotek -- piano. Andrew Wheeler is the associate music director. The production design team includes Yael Lubetzky (lighting); Izzy Fields (costumes); Jason Courson (scenic and projection design); Patrick Calhoun (sound design), and Colleen Lynch (props). The production stage manager is Eileen Haggerty.
The Drama Desk-winning NYTF -- now in its 103rd consecutive season (and its third at its new permanent home at the Museum of Jewish Heritage) -- brings a rich cultural heritage to life on stage-one that was nearly destroyed some 75 years ago. NYTF was the associate producer of Broadway's "Indecent," winner of two Tony Awards including direction, which closed on August 6.
Tickets, which are $35 to $60, are on sale now at www.nytf.org and by phone at 866-811-4111. For more information call the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at 212/213-2120, ext. 206, or visit www.nytf.org.