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  YIDDISH THEATRE 101 > THE YIDDISH PLAYS > THE PLAY IN HISTORY  >  RAIZELE

 

Friday Evening, Saturday Mat. and Evening, November 11-12, 1927.

Molly Picon

in RUMSHINSKY and KALICH'S new song-play

"RAIZELE"

In Two Parts, by Chune Gottesfeld

Music by Joseph Rumshinsky

Lyrics by Molly Picon

Produced by Jacob Kalich

Dances by Dan Dody

 

 

CAST

 

The Rabbi of Glembock

 

Boris Rosenthal

The Rebitzin, his second wife

 

Rose Greenfeld

Raizele, his only daughter

 

Molly Picon

David

 

Gershon Rubin

Rivche, one of David's daughters

 

Lucy Levin

Bailche, one of David's daughters

 

Frances Weintraub

Sheindele

 

Regina Prager

Nuchem, her son

 

Julius Nathanson

Chune, a chusid

 

Kalmen Juvelier

Jonah, a chusid

 

Herman Serotzky

Louis, a prizefighter

 

Irving Grossman

Bertha, a widow

 

Anna Nathanson

Naftuly, a musician

 

N. Brandwein

Leah, a neighbor

 

Rebecca Weintraub

 

 

 

Place of action

Part 1: Raizele's wedding in Europe.

Partg 2: Raizele's business place in the U.S.

Time: The Present.

 

Molly Picon on a horse, in "Raizele," 1927.
Courtesy of the Center for Jewish History.


 

Synopsis of the Play

As told by Molly Picon


 

Our play is unusual (we hope) because in other plays the parents generally disapprove of the wedding, but in our "unusual" play the parents are in favor of the wedding, whereas the bride and groom are not. Why? Simply because they don't know each other. this condition arises out of the old Jewish custom that bride and groom must not see each other until after the wedding.

Still, through song and dance, etc., our heroine, Raizele, meets our hero, Nuchem, and they fall in love; then, were it not a Jewish play, the wedding bells would ring out. Instead, the rabbi's violin lulls the bride and groom into their first marital kiss with "Chusen Kale Mazl Tov." That's the end of the first part of our unusual play.

And here begins the trouble along with the second part!

The scene shifts from the little Galician town to a poor all-in-one grocery, candy and soda-water store on the lower East Side. It looks as if love has slowly crept out of the broken window panes, for business is bad and our poor Raizele and Nuchem are in Zures.

Day after day they have seen "all America" rush to a store across the way for the simple reason that that store belongs to a widow. And it seems, to make a success in business in America, one must be a widow. So Raizele decides to become a widow and persuades her husband, Nuchem, the pose as her brother. the deception works, wit the result that over night, in true musical comedy style, the poor dilapidated store is turned into a first-class establishment and customers stand in line for a soda and a look at the new widow, a self-confessed vamp who is none other than Raizele. But Nuchem has also attracted the attention of their erstwhile competitor, the real window. And the widow's former sweetheart, Louie Satz, has become an ardent suitor for Raizele's hand.

By this time the author has gottn all the actors into as tight a mix-up as two parts will warrant, and there remains nothing for Raizele to do but to tell the truth (which brings us back to the unusual value of our play) and send us all home with a real Jewish "Hor Mir a Gute Nacht."

 
 

 

 



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