New York's Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre will stage the musical Songs of Paradise, Oct. 28-Dec. 25.
The show, which is being produced under a Hebrew Actor's Union Contract, features a five-person ensemble who play multiple roles. Author's are Miriam Hoffman and Rena Borow (book) and Rosalie Gerut (songs, adapting the lyrics of poetry by Itsik Manger. The show adapts such biblical tales as Adam and Eve, Joseph and his brothers and the Jacob-Rachel marriage deal into the Purimshpiel tradition of Eastern European travelling Yiddish performing troupes.
The production team includes director Avi Hoffman, who was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his solo show Too Jewish? and who appeared in the original Off-Broadway staging of Paradise in 1989. Hoffman has made clear in Too Jewish and Too Jewish, Two, that poet Manger is a personal favorite and strong influence on his own work.
Folksbiene artistic directors Zalmen Mlotek and Eleanor Reissa (another veteran of the original Paradise cast) are the musical director and choreographer, respectively. Performances will be held at Theatre Four, 424 W. 55th St.
— by Diane Snyder and David Lefkowitz