[Mendele] Mendele Personal Notices and Announcements -- The Essence: A Yiddish Theatre Dim Sum" at this year’s New York International Fringe Festival.

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Wed Aug 15 11:24:12 EDT 2012

Mendele Personal Notices and Announcements
August 15, 2012
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From: Yelena Shmulenson <yelenele at aol.com>
Date: Aug 13
Subject: The Essence: A Yiddish Theatre Dim Sum" at this year’s New
York International Fringe Festival.

Allen Lewis Rickman and Yelena Shmulenson -- better known as the
shtetl couple from the Coen brothers’ Oscar-nominated "A Serious Man"
-- will appear in "The Essence: A Yiddish Theatre Dim Sum" at this
year’s New York International Fringe Festival.

The play, also featuring Broadway veteran Steve Sterner, is an
irreverent introduction to all things Yiddish, featuring drama,
melodrama, music, peculiarities of the language, and the Yiddish New
Testament. “This is not one of those nostalgia shows, not at all,”
said Rickman, who also wrote and directed. “Our best audiences have
been gentile college students.”  "People who have seen the show in the
past would probably want to come see it again," adds Shmulenson.
"There is a lot of new material".

Beyond "A Serious Man", Rickman is familiar from his work in Barry
Levinson’s Emmy-winning "You Don’t Know Jack" and his recurring role
on "Boardwalk Empire" (Broadway-goers also saw him in last season’s
"Relatively Speaking"); Shmulenson, from her work in "The Good
Shepherd" and on ABC’s "Life On Mars". (She will also be joining the
‘Boardwalk Empire club’, appearing in Season 3.) Sterner, also the
show’s musical director, appeared on Broadway in "Oh, Brother" and
"The Sheik Of Avenue B", and is perhaps New York’s best-known silent
film accompanist.

Originally presented in 2007 by New York’s New Yiddish Rep, where it
played to sold-out houses, "The Essence..." has also been performed in
Amherst, Massachusetts, in Stockholm, Sweden, and at the CUNY Grad
Center. The published version of the play appeared in the anthology
“Yiddishkeit” (Abrams 2011; co-edited by the late Harvey Pekar), where
it was very well received.

Created in 1996, The New York International Fringe Festival has been
described as “a two-week-long buffet of plays, musicals, magic shows,
stand-up comedy, mime and just about any other kind of performance you
can come up with”. Running this year from August 10th-26th, the Fringe
is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with more than
200 companies from all over the world performing in more than 20
venues. Total attendance typically exceeds 70,000.

Shows that have premiered at FringeNYC include "Urinetown", "Silence!
The Musical", "Dog Sees God", and the musical adaptation of "Debbie
Does Dallas". Other notable Fringe presentations include the
internationally-produced "Charlie Victor Romeo" and the American
English-language premiere of Tom Waits and William Burroughs’ "The
Black Rider".

"The Essence..." will perform six times during the Festival at the
Robert Moss Theater, 440 Lafayette Street, in the East Village. The
showtimes are Tuesday, Aug 14 @ 7:30, Thursday, Aug 16 @ 7:15,
Friday, Aug 17 @ 4:00, Sunday, Aug 19 @ 9:00,  Friday, Aug 24 @ 4:00
and Sunday, Aug 26 @ 1:00.

Details and tickets are available at the show’s website,
www.EssenceOfYiddishTheatre.com. ;All seats are $15 in advance, $18 at
the door.
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