A Celebration of the Wit & Wisdom of Sholem Aleichem in Word and Song
starring Shane Baker Special Guest Artist from New York
and Caely-Jo Levy with the Yid Dish Players
JOHANNESBURG Theatre on the Square 4 September 2016
The New York Times: ‘Shane Baker, is one of the most prominent proponents of Yiddish theater, language and culture in New York. He is a member of the New Yiddish Repertory Company, one of the two major Yiddish theater companies left in New York City, along with the more traditional Folksbiene theater group. Shane Baker, raised Episcopalian, is a force in Yiddish theater. ‘If it walks like a Jew, talks like a Jew and acts like a Jew, it’s probably Shane Baker, the goy from Kansas City. A character straight out of a Woody Allen film….’
Shane is on a world-wide tour to celebrate Sholem Aleichem’s 100th yahrzeit. It might be 100 years since this iconic Yiddish writer’s passing, but his work still inspires a chuckle and evokes the lost world of our Eastern European roots.
Caely-Jo Levy rediscovered her Jewish identity through Yiddish song. shane_baker
Her appearance in the annual Yiddish Song Festival in Cape Town awoke a powerful yearning to reach back to the rich yerushe – inheritance – of this sadly forgotten treasure chest of memories. For her, sharing her newfound appreciation for her cultural heritage, yiddishkeit, with her own generation is paramount. Yid Dish, the show she produced earlier this year, traced our roots through Yiddish song and was, keyn anhorra, a huge success.
Shane and Caely-Jo make Yiddish – that remarkably resilient but fragile language – accessible to a whole new audience, while feeding into the nostalgia of those who love to hear it nog a mol – once more.
‘My 20-year-old grandson did me a favour by coming with me to hear Caely-Jo in Yid Dish. But he then insisted we stay and see the second show that same night. He was hooked”, reported a smiling granny.
‘Mir Lebn Eibik’ is the title of a song composed by Leyb Rozental, which became an anthem of the Vilna ghetto. Significantly, ‘mir lebnn eibik mir zenen do’, translates not as ‘we shall live forever’, but ‘we will survive, we are here to stay’!
“Coming together for ‘A Celebration of the Wit & Wisdom of Sholem Aleichem in Word and Song’ is indeed proof that we as a people, and the Yiddish language – mame loshen, have survived”, says Philip Todres, producer of the Annual Yiddish Song Festivals 2001 – 2011. “It needs to be understood that the Holocaust also destroyed a language with a rich cultural heritage. We must acknowledge and celebrate the triumph of the human spirit that has persevered despite that enormous loss of life and culture.”
We are indebted to Shane Baker who is coming to SA at his own expense and has offered his professional services as his contribution to Yiddish and the two welfare bodies, the Cape Jewish Seniors Association and the Union of Jewish Women. A sheynem dank – a sincere thank you – to the sheynem Shane Baker!
SUNDAY 28 AUGUST 2016 at 5:00 pm and 7:30 pm SABC Auditorium, St James Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town BOOKINGS www.quicket.co.za or Tel 021 434 9691
SUNDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2016 at 5:00pm and 7:30pm at Theatre on the Square, Sandton, Johannesburg BOOKINGS Theatre on the Square Tel 011 883 8606 or UJW Head Office 011 645-2591
For further information: Philip Todres 083 783 1003 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Beryl Eichenberger 082 490 6652 email@example.com
And die untershte sheereh– the bottom line – is that two welfare organisations, the Cape Jewish Seniors Association (CJSA) and the Union of Jewish Women (UJW) will be able to continue doing their amazing work, because of your generosity.
CJSA CAPE TOWN Dianna Sochen, Director CJSA Tel 021 434 9691 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
UJW JOHANNESBURG Lynne Raphaely, National President, UJW SA Tel 011 645-2591 Email email@example.com
ALL PROCEEDS ARE IN AID OF TWO Public Benefit Organisations, CAPE JEWISH SENIORS ORGANISATION – CJSA and
UNION OF JEWISH WOMEN (UJW) both with SECT 18a Tax Exempt status.