RHINOCEROS: A MASTERPIECE IN MAMALUSHEN
By Myra Chanin
Another multi-talented artist, Eli Rosen, who stars as Berenger [ed. note: Jean], had been the translator of the Rep’s new Yiddish version. Rosen understands the price paid for being an outsider. He was born into a Brooklyn Hassidic community, is a recovering lawyer who’s now pursuing his lifelong passion for writing and performing.
Eli Rosen’s Jean, a highly cultured, somewhat arrogant, angry middle-aged man in stylish, sophisticated attire, prides himself on his rationality and sees himself as a mentor but is actually only a foil to protagonist Luzer Twersky’s Berenger, an alienated, submissive, uncouth, apathetic confused Everyslacker who finds both his work and the culture around him unfulfilling.
Eli Rosen’s Jean turns himself into a rhino during a subtle but agonizing transmutation which begins against his will and ends up with his permission.
Eli Rosen and Luzer Twersky are especially commendable for their outstanding performances.
”נאָזהאָרן“ בײַם ”ניו־ייִדיש־רעפּ“
"Rhinoceros" at the New Yiddish Rep
פֿון דזשאָרדין קוציק
Published September 17, 2017, issue of August 25, 2017.
ניט געקוקט אויף די שוואַכקייטן פֿון דער פּיעסע אַליין, איז פֿאָרט כּדאַי אַז דער ייִדיש־רעדנדיקער עולם זאָל גיין זען די דאָזיקע פּראָדוקציע.
קודם איז די איבערזעצונג פֿון אלי ראָזען אַ גלענצנדיקע. רײַך, אידיאָמאַטיש און שאַרף, קען מען אין איר הערן סײַ די בינע־שפּראַך פֿון אַזעלכע מײַסטערס ווי שלום אַש און פּרץ הירשביין, סײַ די לשון־קודשדיקע פֿראַזעס וואָס ראָזען האָט זיך אויסגעלערנט אין זײַן חסידישער יוגנט. אַזוי ווי שיין בייקערס ייִדישן נוסח פֿון בעקעטס ”וואַרטן אויף גאָדאָ“, איז די איבערזעצונג אַ מײַלשטיין אין דער הײַנטצײַטיקער ייִדישער ליטעראַטור. זי טראָגט אין זיך אַן עכטן ייִדישן טעם אָבער קלינגט פֿאָרט ניט־איבערגעטריבן אין אַ פּיעסע וווּ קיינער פֿון די העלדן זענען נישט קיין ייִדן.
ווי דערמאָנט, זענען די אַקטיאָרן וווּנדערלעך, סײַ אין זייערע אייגענע אויפֿטריטן, סײַ ווי אַן אַנסאַמבל. עס שאַט אויך ניט וואָס להיפּוך צו ס׳רובֿ ייִדישע טעאַטערס קען מען בײַ זיי פֿאַרשטיין יעדעס וואָרט. אַחוצן אויסערגעוויינטלעכן אויפֿטריט פֿון לוזער טווערסקי איז ספּעציעל כּדאַי צו דערמאָנען מלכּי גאָלדמאַנס שטילע אָבער עמאָציאָנעל־שטאַרקע ”דייזי“, און אלי ראָזענס שילדערונג פֿונעם אויסגעבלאָזענעם רעפּאָרטער, דשאָן.
Review: The Beasts Have Arrived, in a Yiddish ‘Rhinoceros’
by Alexis Sokolsky
The play, originally written in French, is performed in Yiddish, in a new translation by Eli Rosen, who also plays Jean, an early casualty. There are English supertitles, projected onto walls behind the characters, which means that in most scenes non-Yiddish speakers risk eyestrain from trying to watch the actors and read the speeches.
But one of the pleasures of the production is hearing the smattering of words that have made their way into English — schmutz, tsoris, shande — and those that are more or less the same in French, English and Yiddish — orgy, epidemic. The Yiddish for rhinoceros is the rather literal nozhorn, which makes up in oomph what it lacks in syllables.
God of Vengeance
BWW Review: New Yiddish Rep's Masterful Revival of Sholem Asch's Look At Eastern European Jewish Culture in GOD OF VENGEANCE
Making his theatrical debut as the scribe in the New Yiddish Rep's GOD OF VENGEANCE, real-life lawyer and ex-Hasid Eli Rosen told American Theater's Simi Horowitz that he believes in "transparency": "The only way to effect change is to shine a light on what goes on behind closed doors." Or in the case of Sholem Asch's controversial 1907 play, in the basement of a brothel owned by Yankl Shapshovitch, deftly played by Shane Baker, a Yiddish stage veteran with a Vaudeville background.
Hoping to gain respectability by marrying his daughter to a scholar from a good, if not well-off family, Yankl purchases a Torah scroll he intends to give his future son-in-law.
The opportunistic Reb Eli (understudied beautifully by Eli Rosen) has to do some finagling given Yankl's dubious profession. When tragedy strikes in Act III, his counsel is oddly reassuring, though still very much eyes on the prize: the marriage of Rivkeleh to the scholar he's selected for her.
READ MORE: https://www.broadwayworld.com/off-broadway/article/BWW-Review-New-Yiddish-Reps-Masterful-Revival-of-Sholem-Aschs-Unflinching-Study-of-Eastern-European-Jewish-Culture-in-GOD-OF-VENGEANCE-20170324
Awake and Sing!
AWAKE AND SING: DAVID MANDELBAUM’S 21ST CENTURY MIRACLE
by Myra Chanin
The New Yiddish Rep’s current production of Awake and Sing, Clifford Odets’ 1935 American masterpiece, is a 21st century miracle. It validates Artistic Director David Mandelbaum’s mishegas/obsession of establishing a Yiddish acting company performing modern plays, either written or translated into Yiddish, that attract diverse appreciative audiences of many ages, which describes the ticket holders at the performance I attended. ...
One of them, Eli Rosen, a recovering lawyer, translated and starred in the company’s previous production, Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, and is presently translating two short plays by the Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin for a future production with his fellow players in what is becoming a Yiddish repertory company.
Awake and Sing contains the skeleton of every 1930 Jewish household I can remember. Myron Berger (Eli Rosen) is the passive, but hard-working lawyer/father. ...
Despite my clichéd descriptions, every one of these characters comes to life as a complex, striving, unique human being, flaws and all. They all long for financial security and romantic love. The actors really inhabit the souls of their characters and bring them to life in ways that make your heart stand up and cheer.
New Yiddish Rep Juxtaposes Hilarity and Heartbreak in English, Hebrew and Yiddish in Hanoch Levin’s Doubleheader
By Myra Chanin
Hanoch Levin is the greatest modern Hebrew playwright and one of the world’s most prolific, having completed 63 plays in the 55 years he was alive. Hanoch Levin Squared is a magical back-to-back New Yiddish Rep presentation of two of Levin tragi-comic tours de force: The Labor of Life and The Whore from Ohio. Both are performed in Levin’s inspired original Hebrew, then also by slightly different casts via Eli Rosen’s comic but poignant Yiddish translations. If you don’t understand Hebrew or Yiddish not to worry, Moshe Lobel’s exquisite English supertitles are clearly readable on the back wall. Lobel and Rosen both grew up in Hassidic Brooklyn households where fluency in Hebrew and Yiddish were givens. In addition, they are both dazzling performers in any language.
The next snag is the appearance of Holbitter’s homeless son Holmar (Eli Rosen, intensely sad and fiercely annoying in his own translation) who’s convinced he’s the heir to his father’s fortune and wants to make the most of his father’s unused sexual down payment. The play takes a darker turn when Bronatsatski convinces the old fool that she cares for him but needs money to buy herself back from her pimp before returning to him. He gives her everything he has including his dead mother ‘s necklace. Does Bronatsatski return? Would anyone?
Holmar ,who is the son of a pauper but not a son of a bitch, reconciles with his father and the play adds sadly ever after.