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YIVO Yiddish Club: Zalmen Mlotek and Yiddish Theater Today

Hosted By: YIVO

An event for Yiddish enthusiasts the world over, the YIVO Yiddish club is an informal monthly gathering to celebrate mame-loshn. Hosted by Shane Baker, sessions take place in English, and are liberally peppered with Yiddish. Each month Baker is joined by a different guest who discusses their work and a related Yiddish cultural theme. In the spirit of a club, sessions are held as interactive zoom meetings in which participants can see and hear one another. Each session includes ample time for audience questions, group discussion, and, time permitting, knock-down, drag-out arguments. Attendees need not know any Yiddish to attend, though some familiarity with the language is highly recommended.

This session features Zalmen Mlotek, conductor, composer, pianist, and the artistic director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF), the longest continuously running Yiddish theatre in the world.

Mlotek is an internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music as well as creator of new musicals such as The Golden Land which toured Italy under the sponsorship of Leonard Bernstein and Those Were The Days, nominated for two Tony Awards. As the artistic director of the NYTF for the past twenty years, Mlotek helped revive Yiddish classics, instituted simultaneous English and Russian supertitles at performances and brought leading creative artists of television, theatre and film, such as Itzhak Perlman, Mandy Patinkin, Sheldon Harnick, Ron Rifkin and Joel Grey to the Yiddish stage. His vision has propelled classics, including NYTF productions of the world premiere of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Yentl in Yiddish (1998), Di Yam Gazlonim (The Yiddish Pirates of Penzance, 2006) the 1923 Rumshinky operetta The Golden Bride (2016), and the critically acclaimed Fidler Afn Dakh (Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, 2018). During his tenure at the NYTF, the theatre company has been nominated or received over ten Drama Desk Awards and four Lucille Lortel Awards.

The event listed here is hosted by a third party. My Jewish Learning/70 Faces Media is not responsible for its content or for errors in the listing.

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