Tag Archive for playwright

The Potash and Perlmutter Stories

For years the magazines sent him rejection letters, inferring that his short stories about a pair of Jewish cloak and suit makers in New York were about as unmarketable as last year’s suits and dresses. But in the early 1900s Montague Glass broke through to the big time as major American magazines like The Saturday…

Great-granddaughter writes wonderful bio of Jacob Gordin

◊ Finding the Jewish Shakespeare, The Life and Legacy of Jacob Gordin, by Beth Kaplan, has been newly released in paperback by Syracuse University Press, Spring 2012.  One of the great moments in Yiddish theatre occurred the evening the curtain opened upon actor Jacob Adler in the role of “the Jewish King Lear,” as envisioned by…

Sholem Asch Reconsidered

Eighty years ago, as Yiddish writer and playwright Sholem Asch celebrated his 50th birthday in 1930, he seemed to be riding on top of the world. His newest book, Fam Mabul, was a critical and popular success among Yiddish readers– it would soon become vastly more popular in its English translation as Three Cities —…

Zangwill’s ‘Melting Pot’ a Century Later

One hundred years ago, in September 1908, British writer Israel Zangwill’s influential play The Melting Pot premiered in New York, simultaneously winning widespread popular acclaim and sweeping pans from the critics. When Theodore Roosevelt saw it, he leaned over the edge of his presidential box and exclaimed “That’s all right!” in great apparent satisfaction. But…

Al Waxman is ‘Lost in Yonkers’

With the production of Lost In Yonkers that opened Feb. 4 at the Atlantis Theatre, director Al Waxman has delivered his third theatrical hit in as many years to the Toronto theatre-going public. This production of Neil Simon’s Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning 1990 play is solidly put together, delivering all the laughs, drama, pathos and…

Interview with playwright Jason Sherman

Although his current play It’s All True is based on a “labor opera” from the 1930s, and though many of his previous plays have been highly critical of Israel, Toronto playwright Jason Sherman told an audience at Harbourfront recently, “I don’t think of myself as a political playwright any more than I do a Jewish…

Essential Canlit from William Weintraub

Iconic Canadian author Mordechai Richler figures prominently in Getting Started: A Memoir of the 1950s, by William (“Why Rock the Boat?”) Weintraub (McClelland & Stewart, 1999). As a young print and radio journalist stationed in Europe, Weintraub kept up a lively correspondence with Richler, Mavis Gallant and Brian Moore during a period of heightened literary…

Neil Simon memoir

If the word “bittersweet” has often been associated with phenomenal American playwright Neil Simon, one need only read his recent memoir Rewrites (Simon & Schuster, 1997) to understand why. In it, he shares a string of typically good-humored tales of his quick ascent up the ladder of theatrical success, from his days of writing for television…