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 YIDDISH THEATRE 101 > THE YIDDISH PLAYS > THE PLAY IN HISTORY  >  WILLIAM SIEGEL   >   BUBLITCHKI

 

 

SYNOPSIS OF "BUBLITCHKI"

by William Siegel



This play starred Molly Picon and Aaron Lebedeff.
It was first staged on January 11, 1938 in NYC's Public Theatre.
The synopsis below is from the program doled out during its performance.
The photographs below are sheet music covers and the cast members.
 

A new operetta with music by Abe Ellstein, lyrics by Jacob Jacobs, and staged by Jacob Kalich.


ACT ONE

Scene 1-- IN NEW YORK

NATHAN SHLIFKIN'S HOME


It's little Benny Shlifkin's birthday, but it promises to be a very sad affair, because his mother has gone off with a sweetheart and left his father, Nathan, who out of aggravation, has taken to drink, and all the pleas of his sister Lilly and his cousin Pearl Peye are of no avail. A telegram comes for Benny from his mother, saying that she cannot be with him because she has left for Europe. Nathan decides to do the same--give up his home and go back to Russia to se his old mother, his uncle Elye and forget his troubles. Lilly tells this to Misha, Nathan's wife's cousin, who left his sweetheart in Odessa and still hopes to find her.

SCENE 2-- IN ODESSA

Sonya, the daughter of a rich manufacturer, has been leading a gang of homeless boys, herself disguised as a boy since the revolution has done away with the bourgeoisie. Her only friend is uncle Elye, and she makes her way by stealing what she can and singing "Bublitchki" in the streets.

When Nathan comes to Odessa he finds uncle Elye and arranges to take him back to America, the old man refuses to go without Sonya, or Sashka, as she calls herself. Sonya has overheard Nathan speaking of his friend Motel, who, years ago lost his arm on account of him in a factory, and she slyly tells Nathan that she is Motel's son and persuades him to take her along to America too.

Lilly, who accompanies Nathan, meets Mike, Perel Peye's son, who is a sailor on the battleship Ohio, which is in port in Odessa.


SCENE 3-- RUSSIAN BORDER LINE

They all arrive here on the May Day celebration, which they all join, but when they prepare to leave, the officer in charge refuses to grant permission for Sashka to leave Russia.

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ACT 2

SCENE 1-- ROUMANIA ACROSS THE BORDER

Nathan has succeeded in adopting Sashka, and in this way managed to bring him across the border-line, but there he discovers that Sashka is a girl.

Sonya pleadingly tells him why she was forced to adopt her boyish disguise, and Nathan decides to take her along anyway.

Perel Peye also finds her long lost husband [?] here.
 

SCENE 2-- NEW YORK

NATHAN'S HOME

Nathan's wife, Eva, finds out that Nathan has adopted a girl, and she refuses to take her place as a wife and mother again.

At the same time Sonya meets her former sweetheart, Misha, who is now engaged to Lilly, and realizing that she is breaking up Nathan's home, Sonya leaves.
 

SCENE 3-- CAFE BUBLITCHKI

Sonya has become an entertainer, and Nathan comes to pleas with her to return to his home. Sonya promises to come back as a friend, and through her ingenuity, Nathan remains with his wife, and she with her sweetheart Misha.


 


Aaron Lebedeff



Sam Josephson
 


Jacob Suzanoff



Michael Wilensky



Jacob Zanger
 

 


 


Molly Picon,
who played
Sonia (Sashka)
 


Gertie Bulman
 


Rose Greenfield



Tillie Rabinowitz
 


Abe Ellstein, composer


 

                                                 


<<  Previous William Siegel play: "My Malkele."  





 

 

 




Photograph courtesy of the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance Archives and the Yiddish Forward.

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