New Yiddish Rep has announced the director and principal cast for its full contemporary staging of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance, the once-notorious play responsible for presenting the first lesbian kiss on Broadway in 1923. The staging marks the first Yiddish production of this play to be seen in the United States in decades.
Tony-nominated director Eleanor Reissa is set to helm the production and will also star as Sarah, Yekel’s wife. She will be joined by Shane Baker in the role of the brothel owner Yekel, and NYR artistic director David Mandelbaum as marriage broker Reb Ali, along with Shayna Schmidt as Rivke and Melissa Weisz as Manke, the two women who fall in love. New Yiddish Rep will present God of Vengeance in Yiddish with English supertitles at La MaMa December 22-January 22, 2017. The revival will officially open December 25.
God of Vengeance is at the center of Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman’s Indecent, which played an acclaimed engagement at the Vineyard Theatre earlier this year.
The play tells the story of a brothel owner’s attempt to marry off his daughter to lead a more religious life, only to have her drawn back into the world he tried to shield her from. Full casting will be announced soon.
The landmark show received two staged readings from New Yiddish Rep earlier this summer, directed by Reissa (Those Were the Days), as part of the Jewish Plays Project’s OPEN: The Festival of New Jewish Theater at the 14th Street Y.