- Hardcover: 328 pages
- Publisher: Columbia University Press (March 8, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780231176705
- ISBN-13: 978-0231176705
- ASIN: 0231176708
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.2 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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New York’s Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway Hardcover – February 16, 2016
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A witty and absorbing demonstration of the interplay of minority and mainstream―with the minority culture here being of outsize influence over the larger culture of Broadway, Hollywood, and America. (Kirkus Reviews)
The many photos of famous actors and comics, old posters, packed theaters, and stage scenes balance out the richly sourced text, making this a visually lively, comprehensive, and accessible addition to any collection on theater or Jewish American history and heritage. (Booklist)
A comprehensive... readable and lavishly illustrated history of the Yiddish Theater.... This essential book is an important addition to library collections focusing on theater, pop culture, and Jewish studies. (Library Journal (starred review))
A tribute in scholarly scrapbook form to a dramatic phenomenon that acculturated immigrant Jews and left a legacy often defined as New York humor. (Sam Roberts The New York Times)
[A] scholarly scrapbook full of vivid illustrations that buttress essays from leading critics and historians. (Haaretz)
A richly-illustrated approachable work about the Lower East Side's entertainment legacy. (Southern Jewish Life)
[A] marvelous book. (Norman J. Fedder Jewish Book Council)
A comprehensive guide. . . . the book is as entertaining as New York's once-thriving Yiddish theater. (Robert A. Cohn St. Louis Jewish Light)
Anyone interested in Yiddish New York will want to read New York's Yiddish Theater. Theater buffs will be delighted to the learn the connections between Yiddish theater and the American stage. The book is also highly recommended for anyone interested in American Jewish history. (Rabbi Rachel Esserman The Reporter)
New York’s Yiddish Theater serves as an excellent history through images, together with illuminating essays. . . . This welcome publication also fills a long-felt need for an illustrated history of an important chapter in the city’s musical life. (Michael Ochs Notes: the Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association)
About the Author
Edna Nahshon is professor of theater and drama at the Jewish Theological Seminary and senior associate at Oxford University's Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. She is the author of Jews and Theater in an Intercultural Context and Jewish Theatre: A Global View, and the editor of From the Ghetto to the Melting Pot: Israel Zangwill's Jewish Plays.
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What I found most fascinating about this book – which mainly serves as a primer (albeit much deeper than simple facts) - is the fact that it explored an entire area of the cultural and immigrant experience in theater that I was completely ignorant of. I have a deep love for the theater, participating in at least one (oftentimes more) and seeing many productions a year, and exploring this entirely new and unknown genre was a fascinating experience. I thought about having walked through these parts of New York City in the 1990s, and I knew a little bit about the "borscht belt" prior to now, but having some context and a well-researched, vibrant narrative brought these vague ideas to life. No longer a passing reference in Waiting For Guffman, the passion the artists of the Bowery brought to serious cultural theater is an inspiration.
Side note, the book itself is an incredible product. In fact it was such a solid reading experience that it is often overlooked because books are relatively shoddy. The cover, binding, layout, paper, and overall presentation of the book is beautiful and high quality. At times, it feels like walking through a well-curated and presented museum exhibit, and it is executed beautifully in a package much smaller than most coffee table books. The Museum of the City of New York did a real crackerjack job in manufacturing this beautiful, well researched, quality package.