Todros, Blow or Todres the Trombonist (original Yiddish title Todros, Blos or Todres, Bloz) was an 1878 light comedic play by Abraham Goldfaden, now lost. The story centers around a man living beyond his means who has ordered his servant, Todros, to blow a trombone whenever one of his creditors approaches.
Writing his memoirs some 40 years later, Jacob Adler recalled seeing it as a young man, only a few months into his own acting career. He describes it as "a foolish comedy [translated] from the German" and adds that at the time he first saw it in Odesa, Ukraine, he, well versed in Russian theater, viewed it as an example the shortcomings of the then-nascent Yiddish theater: "Why if we must steal, I asked myself, must it always be something old and stale? Gogol's Inspector General is also about a young man with debts."
Yiddish theatre consists of plays written and performed primarily by Jews in Yiddish, the language of the Central European Ashkenazi Jewish community. The range of Yiddish theatre is broad: operetta, musical comedy, and satiric or nostalgic revues; melodrama; naturalist drama; expressionist and modernist plays. At its height, its geographical scope was comparably broad: from the late 19th century until just before World War II, professional Yiddish theatre could be found throughout the heavily Jewish areas of Eastern and East Central Europe, but also in Berlin, London, Paris, Buenos Aires and New York City.
Abraham Goldfaden, also known as Avram Goldfaden, was a Russian-born Jewish poet, playwright, stage director and actor in Yiddish and Hebrew languages and author of some 40 plays. Goldfaden is considered the father of modern Jewish theatre.
Jacob Pavlovich Adler was a Jewish actor and star of Yiddish theater, first in Odessa, and later in London and in New York City's Yiddish Theater District.
Boris Thomashefsky, born Boruch-Aharon Thomashefsky, was a Ukrainian-born Jewish singer and actor who became one of the biggest stars in Yiddish theater.
Shmendrik, oder di komishe Chaseneh is an 1877 comedy by Abraham Goldfaden, one of the earliest and most enduring pieces in Yiddish theater. The title role of Shmendrik was originally written for the young Sigmund Mogulesko, and derived from a character Mogulesko did when auditioning for Goldfaden earlier that year. The role was first played by Jacob/Yankel Katzman with great reviews. The role was later famously played by actress Molly Picon.
Jacob Michailovitch Gordin was a Russian-born American playwright active in the early years of Yiddish theater. He is known for introducing realism and naturalism into Yiddish theater.
IsraelRosenberg founded the first Yiddish theater troupe in Imperial Russia.
Jacob Spivakofsky, a Russian Jew, was one of the first stars in the early years of Yiddish theater.
Sara Adler was a Russian-born Jewish actress in Yiddish theater who made her career mainly in the United States.
Celia Feinman Adler was an American actress, known as the "First Lady of the Yiddish Theatre".
Abba Schoengold was a Romanian Jewish actor in the early years of Yiddish theater, the first person to score a serious reputation as a dramatic actor in Yiddish.
Sophia "Sonya"Adler, also known by her early stage name Sonya Michelson, was a Ukrainian actress who was one of the first women to perform in Yiddish theater in Imperial Russia. Later she became the first wife of actor Jacob Adler, with whom she relocated to London in 1883, after Yiddish theater was banned in Russia.
David Kessler was a prominent actor in the first great era of Yiddish theater. As a star Yiddish dramatic performer in New York City, he was the first leading man in Yiddish theater to dispense with incidental music.
Annetta Grodner was a Ukrainian Jewish singer and actress, the first prima donna in Yiddish theater.
Osip Mikhailovich Lerner, also known as Y. Y. Lerner, was a 19th-century Russian Jewish intellectual, writer, and critic. Originally a maskil—a propagator of the Haskala, or "Jewish Enlightenment"—he became a pioneer in the fields of Yiddish theater and folklore, as well as literary criticism. In his later years, he converted to Christianity and wrote a book denouncing Jews.
Dinah Shtettin was an English-born Yiddish theater actress. She was the second wife of Jacob Adler, with whom she had a daughter, Celia in 1889; the couple divorced shortly thereafter. Despite acrimony between them, Shtettin went on to perform with Adler's troupe on the American Yiddish stage.
The Yiddish King Lear was an 1892 play by Jacob Gordin, and is generally seen as ushering in the first great era of Yiddish theater in New York City’s Yiddish Theater District, in which serious drama gained prominence over operetta.
The Living Corpse is a Russian play by Leo Tolstoy. Although written around 1900, it was only published shortly after his death—Tolstoy had never considered the work finished. An immediate success, it is still performed.
Bruce Adler was an American Broadway actor. After debuting on the Broadway stage in the 1979 revival of Oklahoma!, he went on to a career that saw him nominated for Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Those Were the Days (1991) and Crazy For You (1992). His film work was limited to voice work in animated films, notably providing the singing voice for the peddler of the 1992 Disney film Aladdin and the 1996 sequel Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
Julius Adler was a Jewish-American actor, writer, and director in Yiddish theater.