Saturday, September 2, 2017

Fyvush Finkel & Theodore Bikel: L’Chaim

Fyvush Finkel [born Philip Finkel in Brooklyn, NY; 1922–2016] & Theodore Meir Bikel [in Vienna, Austria; 1924–2015] perform a scene from Fiddler on the Roof, based on Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye the Dairyman (Yiddish: טבֿיה דער מילכיקער‎; “Tevye der milkhiker”), first published in Yiddish in 1894. “Fiddler” became a classic of American Yiddish theatre; and in this video clip, the two nonagenarians end by singing “L'Chaim”—to life. This is from NYTF’s 2013 Hanukkah concert. May their memories be a blessing.  The NYTF in New York City was founded in 1915, and is considered America's preeminent Yiddish theatre, the NYTF site says: “Founded under the aegis of the Workmen’s Circle, the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre became an independent nonprofit in 1998, with a commitment to make the world of Yiddish theatre accessible, enjoyable and relevant to new generations and audiences beyond its core Yiddish-speaking constituency. In recognition of its role in the Jewish immigrant experience, the theatre was renamed National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.”

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