Mandy Patinkin brings his one-man, Yiddish concert Mamaloshen to the Toronto, Canada's Hummingbird Centre, May 17. The production, which last fall played a limited engagement on Broadway, was scheduled to embark on a tour, but instead Patinkin has done only a couple of isolated stints, including a February three-nighter at DC's Kennedy Center, and a one-night benefit in Boston.
The concert idea started as a concept CD of songs sung in Yiddish. Patinkin's album, "Mamaloshen," was released on Nonesuch Records, Feb. 24, 1998, and mixes Yiddish standards ("Oyfn Pripetshik," "Belz," "Raisins and Almonds") with translated American numbers (Paul Simon's "American Tune," "Take Me Out To The Ballgame"). Mamaloshen played at Downtown New York's Angel Orensanz Center, July 21-Aug. 22, 1998 before moving to the Belasco Theatre..
Patinkin is joined in the concert by violinist Saeka Matsuyama and pianist Paul Ford.
On the CD, Judith Blazer (Titanic) joined on some tunes, while violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg plays on a medley of "The Old Gypsy" and "White Christmas" (penned by the very un-goyish Irving Berlin).
Said Patinkin in a statement, "Yiddish is not a religious language; it's a street language... It's not my intention to literally trace the history of Jewish or Yiddish music...but I have always been interested in what Jewish musicians and composers have done to assimilate." Patinkin, a former principle on TV's "Chicago Hope," appeared on Broadway in Evita and Sunday in the Park with George, as well as special concert outings. Other Patinkin concerts have had Broadway runs, including a three-week engagement in March 1997 at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre.
On CD, Mamaloshen (which literally means "mother tongue") was produced by Tommy Krasker and taped at NYC's Hit Factory, August 1997. The stage version is produced by Dodger Endemol Theatrical Productions.
For information on the Toronto concert call (416) 872-2262.