All-Yiddish Death of a Salesman Opens Off-Broadway Tonight

News   All-Yiddish Death of a Salesman Opens Off-Broadway Tonight "Men darf akhting geybn." That's "attention must be paid" in Yiddish — just one of the famous Arthur Miller lines ringing out through Nov. 22 as New Yiddish Rep performs Miller's classic Death of a Salesman Off-Broadway entirely in the mamaloschen.
Avi Hoffman
Avi Hoffman

Death of a Salesman is produced in association with the Castillo Theatre at its 543 West 42nd Street performing space. The opening night is timed to coincide with the Oct. 17 centennial of Miller’s birth.

Hoping to attract a wider audience, the production is presented with English supertitles.

Directed by Moshe Yassur, the production stars Avi Hoffman as Willy Loman, Daniel Kahn as Biff, Shane Baker as Charley and Suzanne Toren as Linda.

The cast also includes Lev Herskovitz (in his Off-Broadway debut as Happy); Arielle Beth; Amy Coleman; Itzy Firestone; Ilan Kwittken; Ben Rosenblatt; Shayna Schmidt; and Adam Shapiro.

The 1949 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama tells the story of an aging salesman whose entire world view is built on empty notions of what constitutes success for himself and his two grown sons. Yiddish is the language of northern European Jews, many of whom came to America in the late 19th and early 20th century. For a time there was a thriving Yiddish theatre community in New York.

This production uses a translation written by actor Joseph Buloff (the original peddler Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!), who appeared in a Brooklyn production in 1951, under the title Toyt Fun a Seylsman.

New Yiddish Rep, which presented an all-Yiddish production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot two seasons ago (also directed by Yassur), hopes this version "can illuminate the play in new, unexpected ways, proving how deeply the language is engrained in the play’s linguistic and ethical DNA," according to production notes.

For tickets, which cost $50, call (866) 811-4111 or visit Castillo.org, or the Castillo Theatre box office. For additional information visit Newyiddishrep.org.

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