Photo Flash: First Look at TEVYE SERVED RAW
Find out what happens to the beloved characters in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF after the musical ends. TEVYE SERVED RAW is an evening of Sholem Aleichem material, with adaptations of his 'Tevye' stories ("What, Me Worthy?" and "Get Thee Gone!"), scenes from his own long-unseen Yiddish stage version, and three of his purely comedic stories, newly adapted ("Strange Jews on a Train," "The Yiddish Sisyphus" and "A Stepmother's Trash-Talk"). The production is set to officially open next Tuesday, July 17th at The Playroom Theater in the Heart of the Theatre District, 151 West 46 Street (just east of Seventh Ave.)
A lot of TEVYE SERVED RAW is very funny. Some of it is not. But all of it is served up onstage in a form that's very close to how he originally wrote it. This is not a Broadway musical version of the world most American Jews come from. This is the genuine article as written by the man called "the Jewish Mark Twain," who was really there and wrote what he saw.
TEVYE SERVED RAW stars Allen Lewis Rickman and Yelena Shmulenson (the Yiddish-speaking couple from the Coen brothers' A SERIOUS MAN) and Shane Baker ("the best-loved Episcopalian on the Yiddish stage today"). The production will be performed in English and Yiddish with English supertitles and delves deeply into what life in the shtetl - where most American Jews' ancestors come from - was really like. Unlike several current Yiddish-language productions, the cast of TEVYE SERVED RAW are all authentic speakers of the language.
TEVYE SERVED RAW has been in development for over two years, and has been performed in Los Angeles; Kiev, Ukraine; Toronto; and Massachusetts, among other places. This marks its New York premiere. Direction and translation are by Allen Lewis Rickman.
Shane Baker is best known for his work with New Yiddish Rep, where he appeared in Sholem Asch's GOD OF VENGEANCE, in his one-man show THE BIG BUPKIS! A COMPLETE GENTILE'S GUIDE TO YIDDISH VAUDEVILLE (cowritten and directed by Allen Lewis Rickman), and in his own Yiddish translation of Beckett's WAITING FOR GODOT for the play's Yiddish world premiere, two Off-Broadway runs, and tours to Enniskillen, Ireland and Paris, France. The New Yorker said of his translation that "Beckett's play may finally have found its mother tongue." For the Folksbiene he appeared in THE ADVENTURES OF HERSHELE OSTROPOLYER (with Mike Burstyn) and THE MEGILE OF Itzik Manger. In 2016 he toured the world with programs commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Sholem Aleichem, sharing stages with Itzhak Perlman and Chava Alberstein. In English he was seen in Everett Quinton's staging of Charles Ludlam's CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE, spent several seasons with Jeff Weiss in his serial AND THAT'S HOW THE RENT GETS PAID / HOT KEYS / COME CLEAN and assisted director Doug Hughes in his Obie-award winning direction of THE GREY ZONE.
Allen Lewis Rickman is an actor, writer and director. He played Velvel in A SERIOUS MAN and also translated the Coens' dialogue into Yiddish. Other film work includes John Turturro's FADING GIGOLO (with Liev Schreiber), CHINESE PUZZLE (with Audrey Tautou) and THE COBBLER (with Dustin Hoffman). TV: Barry Levinson's Emmy-winning "You Don't Know Jack" (with Al Pacino & John Goodman), recurring roles on "Boardwalk Empire" and Steven Spielberg's "Public Morals," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (as Red Skelton), Michael Moore's "The Awful Truth," Buck Henry's "Are We On?," etc. Broadway: RELATIVELY SPEAKING (with Marlo Thomas). Off-Broadway: SO HELP ME GOD! (with Kristen Johnston), Schnitzler's FAR AND WIDE (Mint), Theda Bara AND THE FRONTIER RABBI (JRT & York), etc. Regional: Cleveland Play House, Paper Mill, Two River, etc. Rickman has directed Off-Broadway and regionally, including the Drama Desk-nominated Yiddish PIRATES OF PENZANCE. He is an internationally-produced playwright whose work has been presented in six languages.
Yelena Shmulenson was born in Belarus, raised in Ukraine and emigrated to the US in 1993. She's perhaps best known as the icepick-wielding Dora in the Coen brothers' Oscar-nominated Best Picture A SERIOUS MAN. Other film & TV credits include "Orange is the New Black," "Blue Bloods," "Madame Secretary," "The Knick," "Boardwalk Empire" (as Mrs. Manny Horvitz), "Chicago Med," THE GOOD SHEPHERD, ROMEO & JULIET IN YIDDISH, and CHINESE PUZZLE. Stage credits include THE GOLEM OF HAVANA (Miami New Drama), THE ESSENCE: A YIDDISH THEATER DIM SUM (Fringe/tour), two seasons at the Ellis Island Theatre, COVERS (New York/St. Petersburg/Moscow/Montreal), etc. She won three Earphones Awards for her recorded books and is fluent in five languages.
One of the most revered writers of Yiddish literature, Sholem Aleichem was born Solomon Rabinowitz in Pereyaslav, Ukraine in 1859. One of his first stories appeared in a Yiddish newspaper under the pseudonym "Sholem Aleichem", which in Hebrew means "Peace unto you" -- and this became his pen name. He wrote stories, sketches, critical reviews, plays, and poems in both verse and prose. His immense popularity did not decline after his death in 1916 but rather increased beyond the Yiddish-speaking public. His works have also been translated into most European languages as well as into Russian and English. His plays and dramatic versions of his stories have been produced in some of the most prominent theaters in America, Russia, Israel, Poland, and many other countries, in a great variety of languages. And perhaps most famously, his 'Tevye' stories became the basis of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.
The playing schedule for TEVYE SERVED RAW is Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays at 7 pm, and this Thursday, July 12 at 3 & 7 pm through August 14th. Tickets are $38 and are available through www.TevyeServedRaw.com or by calling 1-800-838-3006.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Smith
Allen Lewis Rickman