"The Yiddish King Lear," adapted, assembled, and created with Martha Kaufman and Lauren Dubowski
based on Jacob Gordin's 1903 play, will be presented at the Yale Cabaret, 217 Park St. in New Haven Thursday, March 8 at 8 p.m.; and Frday and Saturday March 9 and 10 at 8 and 11.
The show, performed in English, is directed by Whitney Dibo
The show is desc ribed: "In a move that could be considered theatrical blasphemy (or maybe just chutzpah), Yiddish theatre artists at the turn of the century advertised their adaptation of this Shakespearean classic as superior to the original text. Playwright Jacob Gordin lifted Shakespeare's ideas and placed them in a Jewish context, delivering a version that spoke to his immigrant populace. Now, over 100 years later, 'The Yiddish King Lear' is dusted off and re-imagined for a modern audience. A story of assimilation, family wealth and gender expectation - this is Shakespeare like you've never seen it before.
"In New York City at the turn of the century, the everyday domestic language of the Jewish home and marketplace was Yiddish. During this time, the Yiddish theatres packed 2,000-seat houses eight times per week and Yiddish stage actors were revered like today’s A-list movie stars. That energy and popularity is obviously a thing of the past.
"The Yiddish King Lear has not been fully produced since the Works Progress Administration but the importance of these stories has not disappeared. By recapturing this classic play (Yiddish theatre’s first stab at naturalism), we are sharing what we know about our Jewish theatre traditions and engaging with 100-year-old rhetoric on feminism, the immigrant experience and economic injustice."
Tickets: $15; $10 students.
Information: 203-432-1566 and www.yalecabaret.org.