Mandy Patinkin's one-man concert, Mamaloshen, begins at Broadway's Belasco Theatre for a four-week engagement Oct. 13. The show will run through Nov. 7.
The concert idea started as a concept CD of songs sung in Yiddish. Patinkin's latest 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.
Patinkin will be joined at the Belasco, by violinist Saeka Matsuyama - who also played the Orensanz Center. Whether pianist Eric Stern, will join Patinkin and Matsuyama is still a question.
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." For the compact disc, arranger Paul Ford helped the singer assemble a team of translators and language coaches to bring Patinkin back to his Yiddish roots - a suggestion first made to him by mentor Joseph Papp.
Other Patinkin concerts have had Broadway runs including a three week engagement in March of 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.