Photo Flash: National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Honors Joel Grey, Mark & Audrey Mlotek

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) held its annual Summer Benefit Concert on Monday, July 15, presenting Tony- and Academy Award-winning actor and Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish director Joel Grey with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding work in film, television, and theatre; and honoring longtime supporters Mark and Audrey Mlotek.

The celebration featured performances by the cast and orchestra of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, currently running at Stage 42. NYTF's production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish has won a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, an Off-Broadway Alliance Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, and a NY Drama Critics' Circle Award special citation, and has been nominated for Drama League Awards and a Chita Rivera Award.

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Managing Director Carol Levin and Executive Vice-President Sandy Cahn delivered welcoming remarks, noting, "Our Folksbiene carries out a precious mission to preserve the thousand-year-old Eastern European Jewish culture which sustained the generations before us and bring it forward into the next hundred years for the generations which will follow us."

The benefit, held every year at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, supports the programs of NYTF, the oldest Yiddish theatre in the world and longest consecutively-producing theatre in the United States.

"So much has happened from the beginning of this amazing Fiddler Afn Dakh in this amazing space," said Joel Grey, best known for his Tony- and Academy Award-winning performance as the Emcee in Cabaret, in his acceptance speech. "This dictionary defines honor as the respect and esteem shown to another and I humbly accept this honor."

The Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish cast members performing at the concert were: Steven Skybell, Jennifer Babiak, Joanne Borts, Lisa Fishman, Kirk Geritano, John Giesige, Abby Goldfarb, Samantha Hahn, Cameron Johnson, Ben Liebert, Moshe Lobel, Stephanie Lynne Mason, Evan Mayer, Rosie Jo Neddy, Raquel Nobile, Jonathan Quigley, Nick Raynor, Bruce Sabath, Kayleen Seidl, Drew Seigla, Adam B. Shapiro, Jodi Snyder, James Monroe Števko, Bobby Underwood, Mikhl Yashinsky, and Rachel Zatcoff.

The concert also featured special appearances by former Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish cast member Daniel Kahn and star of NYTF's upcoming production of Hannah Senesh, Lexi Rabadi. Hannah Senesh begins previews on July 24 and opens on July 28.

Audience members also were treated to remarks by Mikhl Baran, who has dedicated his life to yiddishkayt and education, and Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York. Also attending the celebration were New York State Senator Liz Krueger, New York State Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright and her husband Jay Hershenson, New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, and Hal Luftig and Jana Robbins, producers of the Off-Broadway Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish.

Photo Credits: Victor Nechay -

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