The Bride and the Brothel, a musical adaptation of Sholem Asch's God of Vengeance, opens its world premiere at the Gascon Center Theater in Culver City, California Jan. 26. Performances began Jan. 19 for a run through March 4.
The turn-of-the-century Yiddish drama centers on Yankl Tshaptshovish, a father devoted to preserving his daughter Rivkele's innocence and in increasing his reputation as an honorable man in the community, even as he runs a brothel in the basement. As he plans a wedding between Rivkele and a rabbinical student, Rivkele falls for the prostitute Manke, who introduces her to Shloyme, a rival pimp. When the 1906 play was first translated into English in 1923 and performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, the producer, theatre owner and cast were arrested and found guilty of presenting an "immoral" entertainment.
Joachim Neugroschel translated the play which was then adapted by director Madeline and screenwriter Charles Leavitt ("The Mighty"). Israeli composer and conductor Hanna Levy wrote the music and lyrics and serves as the production's musical director.
The cast of The Bride and the Brothel features Adam Gregor, JoAnne Bailey, Jamie Farmer Ebersole, Courtney Delancey, Amy Tolsky, Lauren Leitner, Hale Porter, Donald Bluestein, James Felton, Richard McPhee, Barbara Goodson, Marie Bergenholtz and Leila Renee.
Evan Bartoletti designed the sets, Leif Gantvoort, the lighting and Shon LeBlanc, the costumes. Denise Leitner is the choreographer. Tickets are $25 The Gascon Center Theatre is located at 8737 Washington Boulevard. For reservations, call (310) 289-2999.
— By Christine Ehren