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49 minutes | Jun 22, 2022
The Life and Times of Kadya Molodowsky
On today's episode, we have an exciting panel discussion diving into the life and times of Kadya Molodowsky featuring Molodowsky experts Kathryn Hellerstein and Anita Norich for a chat with translator Faith Jones. Kadye Molodowsky's play Ale Fenster tsu der Zun (All Windows Face the Sun) will be presented to view online from June 21st and will remain archived on the National Yiddish Theatre Website. You can view the work on the Yiddish Women's Playwright Series page at nytf.org/women nytf.org/womennytf.org/donate
24 minutes | Jun 17, 2022
A Conversation with Jenny Romaine, Director of Ale Fentster tzu Der Zun (All Windows Face the Sun)
In this new episode of NYTF Radio, Folksbiene associate artistic director (and Ale Fentster cast member) Motl Didner sits down with director and designer Jenny Romaine to discuss her vision for the virtual production. All Windows Face the Sun is the story of Binyumen, an optimistic builder’s apprentice who creates a magical tower that allows listeners to hear the past — hoping that looking back will help the world to move forward. But when the tower shares some unpleasant truths, the people in power must choose between the convenience of forgetting and facing the ugly realities of human history head on. Listen here for more background on how the production came to be and what to expect from the unique, funny, and hopeful story of Binyumen’s tower. nytf.org/radionytf.org/women
24 minutes | May 4, 2022
Harmony: A New Musical (featuring Sierra Boggess)
On Today’s episode, our very own Sarah Jae Leiber sits down to talk with Actress Sierra Boggess who is currently starring in Harmony: A New Musical. In the interview, Sierra tells us how she first became involved in the project, discusses her creative relationship with Barry Manilow, Bruce Sussman, and Warren Carlyle, plus she tells us why she thinks the story of the Comedian Harmonists is still relevant today. A New York Times Critics’ Pick and a recipient of 8 Outer Critics Circle Nominations including Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. Harmony: A New Musical must end May 15th 2022. To purchase tickets, please visit nytf.org/harmony
48 minutes | Feb 14, 2022
Valentine's Day Conversation with Daniella Rabbani and Motl Didner
On today’s episode, NYTF Associate Artistic Director, Motl Didner sits down for an in depth conversation with actress Daniella Rabbani, a familiar face in the Folksbiene family. In the episode, we learn about about Daniella’s Jewish upbringing, her time studying theater at NYU, plus we hear all about riding in the van driven by our very own Motl Didner, as a member of NYTF’s Folksbiene Acting Troupe, AND we learn about her role in the motion picture Ocean’s 8 and many other projects she’s been cooking up lately. Be sure to catch Daniella performing in her virtual concert with MusicTalks. This Monday Feb 14 2022. MusicTalks will be screening a very special concert celebrating Valentine’s Day. This concert by Daniella Rabbani will include songs celebrating love and our love to the Yiddish language performed by a five-piece ensemble and led by Folksbiene’s Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek and a special appearance by Steven Skybell (Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish). To register please go to https://musiclove.eventbrite.comDonate to NYTF: nytf.org/donate
23 minutes | Jan 29, 2022
A Conversation with Rachel Blaustein | The Garden of the Finzi Continis
We had the opportunity to speak to Rachel Blaustein, who leads the cast of The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. The opera opened Thursday night to a sold-out crowd and a hungry audience grateful to be gathered in a theater together once again. Blaustein tells us about the way she got to know the story of the Finzi-Continis and the way she felt learning about the Jews of Ferrara, Italy who were murdered during the Holocaust. The granddaughter of survivors, Blaustein also shares how working on Finzi deepened her relationship to her family’s past. Praised for her "brilliant lyric soprano and apparent ease" (San Diego Story), Rachel Blaustein is poised as a bright and up-and-coming artist, with a moving sensibility to drama and text. For tickets to The Garden of the Finzi Continis go to nytf.org/finzi-continis
21 minutes | Jan 23, 2022
The Garden of the Finzi Continis | Creative Team (feat. Ricky Ian Gordon, Michael Korie, and Richard Stafford)
In the latest edition of NYTF Radio, we invite you to meet the creative team behind The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, opening in less than one week and running from Jan. 27 – Feb. 6. What makes a production happen? Who are the people that create a world-premiere opera where there never was one before? In this series of interviews with representatives from NYTF and the New York City Opera’s latest production, get behind-the-scenes scoop on the creative process that brought The Garden of the Finzi-Continis to life over the past few years. For tickets to The Garden of the Finzi Continis please go to nytf.org/finzi-continis
56 minutes | Jan 18, 2022
An Intimate Conversation with Zalmen Mlotek and Eleanor Reissa
Today we have a very special episode for you today, an intimate conversation between Tony-nominated former NYTF artistic director Eleanor Reissa and current NYTF artistic director Zalmen Mlotek In this exclusive interview, longtime friends Mlotek and Reissa sit down to discuss the incredible story that inspired Reissa’s new book, The Letters Project: A Daughter’s Journey. You can purchase The Letters Project: A Daughter’s Journey at Amazon or wherever you buy your books, including Eleanor's website www.eleanorreissa.com and for the audio book read by the author, that can be found at audible.com This is the audio version of the interview, we are delighted to offer a video version of the interview including archival photos of Eleanor Reissa’s family on our website NYTF.org/live.
38 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
Kung Pao Kosher Comedy (feat. Lisa Geduldig and Ophira Eisenberg)
On today’s episode, NYTF Literary Manager Sabina Brukner welcomes Lisa Geduldig (Kung Pao Kosher Comedy) and Ophira Eisenberg (NPR’s Ask Me Another) for a conversation about the intersection of Judaism and comedy in promotion for the 29th Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy. Founded by Comedian Lisa Geduldig, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy is an annual Christmastime comedy show housed in a Chinese restaurant — held this year virtually. This year’s comics include Ophira Eisenberg, Jessica Kirson, Arline Geduldig, and Lisa Geduldig. Past years have included the likes of Jackie Hoffman, Judy Gold, Marc Maron, Gary Gulman, and the late Henny Youngman. 29th Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy takes place virtually December 24-26. For more information please visit: koshercomedy.com
57 minutes | Oct 25, 2021
A Conversation with Stand Up Comedian Modi Rosenfeld (feat. Bobby Underwood)
Today’s episode guest is stand up comedian Modi Rosenfeld. Voted one of the top 10 comedians in New York City by The Hollywood Reporter, MODI is one of the comedy circuit’s most sought after performers. Featured on HBO, CBS, NBC, ABC, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, and E! Entertainment, MODI has received rave reviews in The New York Times, Time Out NY and The New York Post. In the episode, Modi talks to NYTF's Bobby Underwood (Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, Amerike: The Golden Land) about his career in standup, his favorite yiddish songs, what it’s like being a Jewish Comedian, his audition with the Sopranos and so much more. You can see Modi Rosenfeld perform his latest stand up show MODI: Know Your Audience which performs on Tuesday October 26, 2021 at the at Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL and then on November 9, 2021 at the North Shore Ctr. for the Performing Arts in Skokie Illinois. For tickets, go to modilive.com/shows. To check out upcoming programming at NYTF, visit our website, nytf.org
28 minutes | Jun 27, 2021
"Putting it All Together" an interview with Motl Didner
On today’s episode, we interview NYTF Associate Artistic Director Motl Didner who, along with Zalmen Mlotek, are in the midst of putting together A Yiddish Renaissance, A Virtual Concert Celebration. Motl took the time out of his day to conversation titled “Putting It All Together” is a full on in depth background of the Yiddish Renaissance, the rise of Yiddish in our pop culture, and a behind the scenes look at piecing together a full scale online concert featuring over 140+ artists. So let’s take it away to Motl Didner.
60 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
"Things I Learned Along the Way" | Budd Mishkin Interviews Zalmen Mlotek (Artistic Director, NYTF)
On today’s episode, we have a very insightful interview today conducted by the great Budd Mishkin from NY1 and currently on 1010 WINS. Budd is in conversation on a beautiful sunday day with NYTF’s very own Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek. Zalmen is in the middle of gearing up for the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene’s upcoming A YIDDISH RENAISSANCE: A VIRTUAL CONCERT CELEBRATION. Debuting on Monday, July 26, 2021 at 2pm and only available for 96 hours, the benefit concert features over 140 Actors, Singers, and Musicians of all ages celebrating the revival of Yiddish in Culture, Arts, and Learning across the globe. The conversation with Budd Mishkin and Zalmen Mlotek titled “Things I learned along the way” touches on both the personal and professional life of Zalmen and his prestigious career in music and Yiddish culture. Be sure to register for our free event "A YIDDISH RENAISSANCE: A VIRTUAL CONCERT CELEBRATION" by going to nytf.org/renaissance
30 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
The Bird of the Ghetto and Yiddish Women Playwrights Festival (feat. Sabina Brukner)
On April 18th 2021, NYTF will present The Bird of the Ghetto by Chava Rosenfarb. The play chronicles the attempted Vilna Ghetto uprising and the tragic story of Jewish resistance leader Itsik Vitenberg, commander of the United Partisan Organization (FPO). The presentation coincides with the 78th anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on April 19, 1943. In anticipation for this production, NYTF Radio speaks to NYTF Literary Manager Sabina Brukner. We will learn about the start of NTYF’s Yiddish Women Playwrights Festival, our production of The Bird of the Ghetto, Sabina's life and upbringing in Yiddish culture, and of course, we chat about the great Chava Rosenfarb, one of the greatest post-war Yiddish Writers.
46 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
Soul to Soul 2021 (feat. Zalmen Mlotek, Elmore James, and Tatiana Wechsler)
This episode is all about NYTF's annual concert tradition: Soul to Soul. The electrifying and emotionally captivating theatrical concert that explores the parallels of African American and Jewish history takes to our virtual stage this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We interview NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek and singer Elmore James. We discuss how the two artists first met, their relationship to Yiddish and African Music, and learn about how the first Soul to Soul concert came to fruition. Then, we talk to Soul to Soul director/producer Tatiana Wechsler about the process of making Soul to Soul virtually, growing up in an African and Jewish household, her performing influences, and her time performing with NYTF in The Golden Bride. About our GuestsZalmen Mlotek is an internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music as well as a leading figure in the Jewish theatre and concert worlds. For the past 20 years, he has been the Artistic Director and conductor at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. He brought Yiddish-Klezmer music to Broadway and Off-Broadway stages with the Tony-nominated Those Were the Days and Drama Desk Nominated Amerike – The Golden Land. He serves as Music Director for most NYTF productions, including the Drama Desk Nominated musical, THE GOLDEN BRIDE. His music can be heard in over two-dozen recordings and films, has taught and performed all over the world and worked with countless singers including Jan Peerce, Theodore Bikel and Mandy Patinkin. He is currently the musical director and conductor of critically acclaimed, award-winning Fidler Afn Dakh (Fiddler on the Roof – In Yiddish), directed by Joel Grey. He received his musical training at the Juilliard School of Music and studied under Leonard Bernstein.Elmore James Elmore James has spent a lifetime in the theater as an actor, Broadway musical performer, international opera singer, and director. He has performed at all the major musical venues in New York City, including the Metropolitan Opera House and Carnegie Hall, as well as in the opera houses of Europe.Tatiana Wechsler – NYTF: The Golden Bride, The Sorceress. Off-Broadway: X: Or, Betty Shabazz…, Julius Caesar (The Acting Company). NYC: Othello. First woman to play Curly in Oklahoma! (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Regional: Love in Hate Nation (Two River Theatre), Benny & Joon (Paper Mill Playhouse), The Legend of Georgia McBride (Marin Theatre Company), Love’s Labor’s Lost (OSF). Film: Netuser. Appearances at The O’Neill Theater Center, Joe’s Pub, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Yankee Stadium, Birdland, The Beacon Theatre, Madison Square Garden, Town Hall, The Minskoff Theatre, Lincoln Center, The Delacorte Theater, and Radio City Music Hall. Singer-songwriter. NYU New Studio graduate.
30 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
Yiddish Stars of the Past and Present | Mickey Katz and Ben Liebert
On today’s episode, the past and present of Yiddish theater collide as we explore the life and performance of renowned Yiddish musician and comedian Mickey Katz. We are joined by Ben Liebert, who is making his return to Folksbiene! Live on Thursday, October 8th with A Bisl Borscht: A Tribute to Mickey Katz. Ben Liebert is an actor, director, and business coach, based in New York City. He played Motl in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish and Boq in Wicked on Broadway and has directed such shows as Into the Woods and the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). He is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association and associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Ben gives us a breakdown on the life of Mickey Katz, from his musicianship, his yiddish parodies, and why his music is so important today. Later, Ben reflects on his time as a cast member in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, and discusses his time as a director during the COVID19 pandemic.
37 minutes | Aug 10, 2020
Yiddish Stars of the Past | Samuel Goldenberg (feat. Zachary Baker)
On today’s episode, we pay tribute to the forgotten stars of the Yiddish Theatre by learning about the actor Samuel Goldenberg. We will learn about his life, his famous roles, his contemporaries, and wonder, “How did he perhaps get lost to time?” We are joined on the program by scholar Zachary Baker. Zachary Baker is the Reinhard Family Curator Emeritus of Judaica and Hebraica Collections in the Stanford University Libraries. He has two pieces about the life of Samuel Goldenberg published at the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project. One article is titled “Enough about Strindberg! Let’s talk about Goldenberg” and the other article is titled “A Piquant Curiosity: The Gender Bending Drama Yo a Man, Nit a man. Let us preserve the history of Samuel Goldenberg by learning all about this famous Yiddish Performer.
48 minutes | Jul 6, 2020
Yiddish Stars of Today: Daniel Kahn
Today we learn about Yiddish Stars of the present. Our guest on the episode is Daniel Kahn. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan and currently residing in Berlin, Daniel Kahn is an actor, musician, playwright, poet, and translator of the Yiddish language. He is the front man of the group Daniel Kahn and The Painted Bird. We discuss his career in the performing arts, translating english into Yiddish, and his time performing with the Folksbiene. Did you know Daniel is a viral sensation? Tune in, to hear the story.
82 minutes | May 20, 2020
The Cast and Creative Team of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish
On today’s episode, we pay tribute NYTF’s Landmark production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish.This is a rebroadcast of the Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish Q&A from Folksbiene! LIVE, featuring director Joel Grey, Stephen Skybell, and many of the cast and creative team members. Hosted by Folksbiene Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek.
26 minutes | Mar 10, 2020
Happy Purim! (feat. Motl Didner)
Happy Purim! We throw it back to our very first episode of NYTF Radio where we sat down with Associate Artistic Director Motl Didner to discuss the history of Purim and Purim Spiels, the earliest example Yiddish theatrical performance.
25 minutes | Mar 1, 2020
Against the Odds (feat. Itzy Firestone)
In this episode, we continue explore the oral history of the Folksbiene with longtime company member Itzy Firestone. We learn about the Folksbiene in the 1980s as the company navigate a difficult question: How do we preserve Yiddish theatre in a world with fewer and fewer fluent Yiddish speakers?
48 minutes | Jan 15, 2020
January Special Edition: Soul to Soul and The Investigation (Featuring: Bryan Doerries)
In today's special edition episode, we talk about our upcoming events centered around Social Justice. We talk about our concert Soul to Soul (An Annual MLK Jr. Tradition). Then we sit down with Theater of War Artistic Director Bryan Doerries to talk about his company, the audience's role in a theatrical performance, and their staged reading and town hall discussion of Peter Weiss' The Investigation.
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