April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Commemorating the Holocaust Through the Arts

On Sunday, May 4, at 2:30 p.m. The National Yiddish Theatre—Folksbiene will once again co-present the acclaimed concert Ghetto Tango, featuring music and songs created and sung in the underground cabarets of Nazi-occupied Europe. This stirring concert, which played to a packed house last year, was co-created by Zalmen Mlotek and the late Adrienne Cooper. The program is filled with songs of the theatres and cabarets that continued to thrive in the ghettos of Poland and Lithuania. The exclusive engagement takes place in Edmond J. Safra Hall at Lower Manhattan’s Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Joining Mlotek, the concert’s music director and pianist, are two performers who represent the next generation of accomplished Yiddish performers—Daniella Rabbani and Avram Mlotek. A talk back with the performers will take place directly after the concert.

The songs, which are representative of music theater repertoire written and adapted by Jewish composers, lyricists, actors, singers, street performers, and amateurs in the ghettos of Poland and Lithuania will surprise many listeners in their variety and depth. The musical forms reflect the diverse sources of popular music of the time and are rooted in Eastern European Jewish folk and liturgical music, but also influenced by opera and operetta, American ragtime and movie music, and Argentine tango. The themes range from satirical and elegiac, to political and personal, to angry and heartsick. Some were discovered in buried milk cans in the Warsaw and Vilna Ghettos.

While some of the performers were seasoned composers, conductors, and lyricists, far more were young and brash. They created entertainment for those who needed escape but could not be comforted.

Tickets are $20, $15 for Museum and Folksbiene members, and $10 for students. Tickets are available online at www.mjhnyc.org or by calling the Museum box office at 646.437.4202.

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