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Theodore Bikel Brings 'Sholom Aleichem' To Toronto October 13-18

The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company will open its 2009-10 season with Theodore Bikel in his new one-man show Sholom Aleichem: LAUGHTER THROUGH TEARS. The production will run October 13-18.

Bikel will be accompanied by Grammy Award-nominated Tamara Brooks on piano and internationally-renowned Bosnian accordionist Merima Kljuo.

This great theatrical legend returns to New York to unveil this movingly delivered, beautifully sung show about the pioneering 19th - century author Sholom Aleichem. This is a tour de force one-man homage to a writer who was hailed as the Jewish Mark Twain. Told with warmth, humor and a rich catalogue of Yiddish music this major event will be enjoyed by all generations.

Sholom Aleichem's stories introduced the world to Tevye the Milkman and inspired the landmark Broadway musical, "Fiddler on the Roof." Theo Bikel played Tevye more than 2,000 performances onstage... Now as playwright and star, Bikel brings back to life one of literature's most beloved authors and a bevy of the unforgettable characters he created.

He tells their stories... he sings their songs... he magically melds times long gone with matters that tug at our heartstrings even today. Singing in English and Yiddish, Bikel captivates his audience with an enchanting trove of music from Eastern Europe played live onstage by world-renowned musical director Tamara Brooks and acclaimed accordionist Merima Kljuco.

Sholom Aleichem's last will and testament implored that we remember him only with laughter... and laugh you will as Theo Bikel's heartfelt creation touchingly fulfills that wish.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Theodore Bikel (Playwright & Performer) has been an American citizen since 1961. He was born in Vienna in 1924 and left for Israel (then Palestine) at the age of 13. In 1946, he entered the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and graduated with honors. He appeared in severAl West End plays including A Streetcar Named Desire under the direction of Sir Laurence Olivier and The Love of Four Colonels by Peter Ustinov. In the U.S. his roster of memorable stage performances includes Tonight in Samarkand, The Rope Dancers, The Lark, The Sound of Music (in which he created the role of Baron von Trapp), I Do I Do, The Sunshine Boys, My Fair Lady, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well, Etc., Zorba and Fiddler on the Roof, in which he has played the role of Tevye more than 2,000 times over the past 37 years. He was last seen at Theater J in the acclaimed production of Hyam Maccoby's The Disputation in 2005 and a weeklong, sold-out concert reading of Arnold Wesker's Shylock in conjunction with the 2007 Shakespeare in Washington Festival. Theodore Bikel has made more than 35 films, amongst which are The African Queen, The Enemy Below, The Russians are Coming, My Fair Lady, I Want to Live and The Defiant Ones, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Mr. Bikel has also starred in virtually every top dramatic show on TV and received an Academy Award nomination.

Mr. Bikel has also starred in virtually every top dramatic show on TV and received an Emmy Award in 1988. He is also an accomplished concert artist and raconteur, giving numerous concerts and lectures each year, including his most recent appearances at the Jewish Music Festival in Cracow, Poland. He has recorded 20 albums, two in the last two years. Theodore Bikel has been active for many years in Actors' Equity Association, serving from 1973 to 1982 as Vice President and as President. He also held the post of Vice President of the International Federation of Actors (FIA) from 1981 until 1991. He is currently President of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America (4A's), a Board Member of the Americans for the Arts (formerly ACA) and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 to serve a five-year term on the National Council for the Arts. He holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Hartford, Seton Hall and the Hebrew Union College. His updated autobiography Theo, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

Throughout his career, Theo Bikel has felt a particular responsibility to Jewish life and to the Jewish community. His numerous albums of Jewish folk music, his concerts and theater performances; his co-founding of Israel's Cameri Theatre; his leadership in the Soviet Jewry movement and in the American Jewish Congress have distinguished him as a Jewish activist. Theo's profound impact on Jewish culture is also evidenced by his leading role within the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. He is passionate about the survival of the Yiddish language and devotes much energy to insure its continued existence on the Jewish cultural scene.

Photo Credit: Stan Barouh

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