Previews of the Yiddish classic Green Fields, (Greene Felder in Yiddish) begin Oct. 25 at the Mazer Theatre at 197 Broadway in Manhattan. This play with music will open Nov. 1 for a twelve-week run.
Green Fields is the debut show of The Yiddish Public Theatre, a new producing organization under the artistic direction of Zypora Spaisman. Spaisman, a leading lady for decades at the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre, will play the mother in this story about the culture clash and young love that result when a scrupulously observant student from the city boards with an easy-going country family. Also in the cast is Yiddish Theatre star Shifra Lerer, familiar from appearances in the movies “Avalon,” “Deconstructing Harry,” and “A Stranger Among Us.”
Written by Peretz Hirschbein, Green Fields was first performed in New York City in 1919, when renowned actor-director Jacob Ben-Ami chose it to open the New Yiddish Art Theatre at Irving Place. The Yiddish Public's production will be directed by Bryna Turetsky and feature songs by Sholem Secunda (who penned the tune "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen”) and Vladimir Heifetz. Heifetz composed the score for the 1938 film version of this comedy, whose cast included 15-year-old Herschel Bernardi.
The show will be performed in Yiddish, with simultaneous translation (via headphones) to English and Russian. Performances are Wednesday at 2 PM and 7 PM, Thursday at 2 PM, Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday at 2 PM and 5:30 PM.
-- by Amy Asch