EVERY REVIEW FOR “TEVYE SERVED RAW” IN NEW YORK WAS A RAVE.
“Poignant... Hilarious... Exceptional performers with a real command of the language... Something to see” -- Jewish Standard
“Riotously funny”-- This Week In New York
“Uproarious and deeply touching... Glows with authenticity... A sheer delight”
“Tiny but touching production... Richly expressive... Genuine and moving”
-- Times Square Chronicles
“Brings back the real Tevye” -- CurtainUp
“Tugs at the heartstrings... Uproariously funny”
-- Wolf Entertainment Guide
“It’s not possible to be more authentic... Tears flow between belly laughs”
-- Chelsea Now
“Lovingly crafted... Splendid stories, superbly acted... A tear in the eye, plus belly laughs and character galore...Tevye’s dilemma will pull all your heartstrings. Every single one.”
“Tasty comedy and searing drama equally served up in generous portions... A mesmerizing Tevye” -- Lavender After Dark
That was just the critics. Here’s what our audiences said:
“What a joy!”
“I laughed, I cried, I got investment advice!”
“So much fun! Such talent!”
“Wonderful! Do more!”
“A technical and artistic miracle!”
“Best show I saw in 2018!”
“Best show EVER! We LOVED it!!”
“We loved every moment!”
“Oh, that delicate Berditchever Stepmother Patois!”
“Sholem Aleichem would have been kvelling if he were here tonight!”
“Great stories, acting, chemistry... I laughed until I couldn’t anymore!”
“Today was my birthday, and this play was the best present I could have wished for”
“I haven’t laughed as much in ages -- and so very touching”
“Thank you so much! Greetings from Taiwan!”
What They Left Out Of “FIDDLER”
plus the stories
“Strange Jews On A Train”
“The Yiddish Sisyphus”
“A Stepmother’s Trash-Talk”
in English and Yiddish-with-English-supertitles
with Yelena Shmulenson, Allen Lewis Rickman
the shtetl couple from the Coen brothers' A SERIOUS MAN
and Shane Baker
the best-loved Episcopalian on the Yiddish stage today
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you'll krechtz
the greatest Jewish writer ever,
tells the story his way.
Running Time 1hr 30 mins.
“Allen, Yelena, and Shane are brilliant performers who bring my grandfather’s words to life. They make me extra proud!”
-- Dr. Sherwin Kaufman, grandson of Sholem Aleichem
SHANE BAKER is the best-loved Episcopalian on the Yiddish stage today. He is best known for his work with the New Yiddish Rep, playing Vladimir in his own Yiddish translation of Samuel Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT for the play’s Yiddish world premiere, two Off-Broadway runs, and tours to Enniskillen, Northern Ireland and Paris, France. The
The New Yorker said of Baker’s translation that ‘Beckett’s play may finally have found its mother tongue. Baker has also played with NYR as Yankl Tshaptshovitsh in Sholem Asch’s GOD OF VENGEANCE, and as himself in his one-man show THE BIG BUPKIS! A COMPLETE GENTILE’S GUIDE TO YIDDISH VAUDEVILLE, cowritten with and directed by Allen Lewis Rickman. With the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, Baker has appeared in THE MEGILE OF ITZIK MANGER and played with Mike Burstyn in THE ADVENTURES OF HERSHELE OSTROPOLYER. In 2016 he made a world tour with programs commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Sholem Aleichem, and shared stages with such luminaries as Chava Alberstein and Itshak Perlman.
On the English-language stage, Baker has appeared in Everett Quinton’s staging of Charles Ludlam’s CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE, OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE at La Mama celebrating 50 years of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company; spent several seasons with Jeff Weiss in his serial 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’, the shtetl husband, in the Coen brothers’ Oscar-nominated 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). Television credits include Barry Levinson’s Emmy-winning YOU DON’T KNOW JACK (with Al Pacino and 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?; two LAW & ORDER series, et cetera.
Stage work includes Broadway’s RELATIVELY SPEAKING (with Marlo Thomas); Off-Broadway, SO HELP ME GOD! (with Kristen Johnston), Schnitzler’s FAR AND WIDE for the Mint, THEDA BARA AND THE FRONTIER RABBI for JRT and York, THE SHANGHAI GESTURE for Mirror Rep, etc.; and dozens of regional credits, for Cleveland Playhouse, Paper Mill, Two River, etc.
He has directed Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, and regionally. Among his directing credits are his own musical CHRISTMAS AT THE SMALL EMPIRE, and the Drama Desk-nominated Yiddish PIRATES OF PENZANCE, which he also co-adapted.
He is also is an internationally-produced playwright, and his work has been presented in six languages.
Yelena Shmulenson was born in Belarus, grew up 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 A SERIOUS MAN. Other film and TV credits include ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (recurring), 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.
Yelena & Allen in "A Serious Man"
"Orange Is The New Black"
"The Magic Gentile"
Alex Ryaboy (Original Music) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and audio engineer. He holds a Master’s degree in Music Technology from New York University where he has completed the Tonmeister Honors Track program. As an engineer and producer he records, mixes and masters music for bands as well as solo artists. In theater, he has composed music for HOUSE OF ESTHER (Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater, 2018), DELI BOOKS (Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater, 2017), OLD NEW YEAR (Lost & Found Project, 2017), THROUGH THE CURVES (Artxutor Project, 2017); for television, for THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH, THE STEVE HARVEY SHOW, and WHAT NOT TO WEAR; and with his band Blue Circus (www.bluecircusmusic.com).
Benjamin Feldman (Producer) has lived and worked in New York City for the past 49 years and is a farbrenter Yiddishist. He is the chair emeritus of the Board of The National Yiddish Theater - Folksbiene, and currently chairs the Board of the New Yiddish Repertory Theater. Mr. Feldman is the author of four works of non-fiction about 19th and early 20th century New York. His essays and book reviews about New York City and American history and about Yiddish culture have appeared online and in print in CUNY’s Gotham History Blotter, The New Partisan Review, Columbia County History & Heritage, Ducts Literary Magazine, The Forward, New York Archives Magazine and in his blog, The New York Wanderer, on the web at www.newyorkwanderer.com. Ben’s writing career was preceded by a 24-year career in law and commercial real estate in NYC. He holds a B.A. from Columbia College (1969) and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law (1976), and was one of the founding partners of the SL Green Realty Trust, the largest publicly-held owner of commercial office buildings in NYC.
TEVYE SERVED RAW is an evening of stories by Sholem Aleichem.
Some of them are Tevye stories, and they’re beautiful and dramatic and funny.
Some of them are not Tevye stories, and those are just funny.
But they all come right from the pen of Sholem Aleichem, who is pretty much universally considered the Greatest Jewish Writer Ever.
The Tevye stories are most famous, of course, as the basis of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. But the musical watered them down to make them more acceptable to the Broadway audience of its day. TEVYE SERVED RAW goes back to Sholem Aleichem’s original, and it shows you what they left out of FIDDLER.
It’s about authenticity.
TEVYE SERVED RAW goes much deeper into what life in the shtetl -- where most American Jews’ ancestors come from -- was really like. Plus you find out what happened to the characters after the plot of the musical ends.
TEVYE SERVED RAW is performed in English and Yiddish-with-English-supertitles. And unlike most of the actors appearing in recent higher-profile Yiddish productions, the cast of the modestly-produced TEVYE SERVED RAW are actual speakers of the language. (In case of emergency, they can ad-lib!)
TEVYE SERVED RAW was in development for over two years, and has been performed in Toronto, in Los Angeles, in Kiev, Ukraine, in Bethesda, MD, and in Massachusetts, among other places.
And with great success in New York.
One of the most beloved 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, and was immensely popular throughout the Yiddish-speaking world (90% of world Jewry during his lifetime). His funeral in 1916 was attended by 100,000 people, and his popularity did not decline after his death. His fiction has been translated into a great many languages; his plays and dramatizations of his stories have been produced in some of the most prominent theaters in America, Russia, Israel, Poland, and many other countries. And perhaps most famously, his ‘Tevye’ stories became the basis of “Fiddler On The Roof”, one of the most popular American musicals.
The Congress for Jewish Culture
The Congress for Jewish Culture (in Yiddish: Alveltlekher Yidisher Kultur-kongres) was founded in 1948 to promote the Yiddish language and culture in the United States and throughout the world.
In recent years, we have produced Yiddish programming in venues all over North America (New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto, Mexico City, and the Shalom Club at the Four Seasons of Metedeconk Lakes, New Jersey) as well as all over the world (Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, South Africa, and Sweden. Yes, Sweden.)
The CJC cultivates Yiddish in all its manifestations: spoken, printed (ink or pixels!), recorded, sung, or acted. We have a distinguished publishing record, including many of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s greatest works in their original Yiddish; we present concerts, plays, and Purim-shpiln; run classes in literature and Yiddish theater; facilitate literary reading circles; field Yiddish-related questions; and we can guide you in finding materials for your reading circle or research, provide your synagogue or community center with Yiddish programming, and, yes, we can even translate the writing on the back of your grandmother’s photographs.