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Re: [yiddish-31] Der Goldene Land

From: Sam F.
Sent on: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 6:18 PM
As a longtime quiet member here who knows less Yiddish than many NYC goyim but who hopes to someday learn it, but sees few opportunities for beginners and hasn't yet any time, pre-retirement, yet who somehow managed to be in a Workman's Circle Yiddish-singing chorus (if it's official weakest link) for a while, and who saw The Golden Land -- the same play you're discussing, I believe -- a few days ago, I have to second Yelene's review.
 
While I thought the acting and some of the singing and especially the band most worthy, I found the "book" or script or storyline itself to be so wanting as to stand out, at times,  as glaringly,  painfully deficient.  True, there were some nice moments, most of them late in the show.  But when a theater piece is meant, from the beginning, as a revue, not as a traditional plot/characters narrative, it takes very artful writing to "make it sing."  Great instrumentalists and solid, even spirited, performers just aren't enough.  Here, the book ceates stock characters as song-deliverers, and dot-connects all the historical touchpoints we all already know as storyline, nothing more -- and the extreme artifice of it is simply glaring.  Not coincidentally, the overall feel is mawkish and the element of critique -- of anybody or anything portrayed is entirely absent, and that, I think, is historically inaccurate in some important ways --sort of a, "Yea, Ashkenazi immigrants!" cheerleading exercise.  (In particular, my reading of the American Jewish response to the Nazi onsalught is at substantial odds with The Golden Land 's portrayal.) 
 
All that said, I wouldn't say don't go, because of the show's several pros, including the band, the music, the singing, and the performers' various strengths.
 
 But, Broadway-caliber or even off-?  I think not.
 
My frames of reference include some superior productions I've seen, though not recently, including Folksbienne's Yentyl and Workmen Circle's Yiddish in America in Town Hall, both  in 2002, I think.
 
Disclosure:  Also just saw Cotton Club Revue at City Center, so I've deliberately avoided opining on choreography/dancing in Golden Land so as not to be meanspirited.
 
- Sam
 
 


 
-----Original Message-----
From: Helen <[address removed]>
To: yiddish-31 <[address removed]>
Sent: Wed, Nov 28,[masked]:31 pm
Subject: Re: [yiddish-31] Der Goldene Land

So why don't we all go see the thing - and then have a discussion based on actual experience?

--- On Wed, 11/28/12, claudia deutsch <[address removed]> wrote:

From: claudia deutsch <[address removed]>
Subject: Re: [yiddish-31] Der Goldene Land
To: [address removed]
Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 2:15 PM

just to weigh in == I saw it and I thought it was delightful!

On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:36 PM, Helen <[address removed]> wrote:
Actually, could you define what exactly we should patronize?
Are there many really good, insightful, relevant plays in Yiddish today? And how can the Yiddish Theater thrive and produce meaningful, poignant plays if we do not support it from day one, just because it is in Yiddish?
 
-- On Wed, 11/28/12, YSR <[address removed]> wrote:

From: YSR <[address removed]>
Subject: Re: [yiddish-31] Der Goldene Land
To: [address removed]
Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 1:16 PM

the performances are fine, unfortunately the play itself is beyond mediocre. Just because it's in Yiddish and they sing well doesn't mean we should patronize it.  - Y


-----Original Message-----
From: Adela <[address removed]>
To: yiddish-31 <[address removed]>
Sent: Wed, Nov 28,[masked]:04 pm
Subject: Re: [yiddish-31] Der Goldene Land

It’s a very small theater and stage can be greatly seen from any angle!  Go see it.  They are SO GOOD I feel they are ready for Broadway!   Adela
 
 
From: Mike
Sent: Wednesday, November 28,[masked]:13 PM
Subject: [yiddish-31] Der Goldene Land
 
Cheverim,
It was suggested that I schedule a meetup to go see the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater performance of Der Goldene Land.  Unfortunately, there are very few seats left for any of the 3 remaining performances (for example, one balcony seat remains for the Sunday 2pm matinee).  I blew it not getting around to this early enough and apologize.  Here is a link for anyone who doesn't mind an orchestra or balcony seat on Dec. 2nd:
 
 
Mike




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