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  YIDDISH THEATRE 101 > THE YIDDISH PLAYS > THE PLAY IN HISTORY  >  BRONX EXPRESS 1925                                                 

OSSIP DYMOV'S "BRONX EXPRESS"

 


BRONX EXPRESS
Rudolph Schildkraut Theatre
Bronx, New York
Opened 29 September 1925

Top from left: Jacob Bleifer, Wolfe Barzell, Jacob Bergreen, Judah Bleich, Victor Packer, Joseph Green.

Second row: Clara Langsner, Miriam Bleich, Clara Packer, Rudolph Schildkraut, Bella Nadel, David Sokolovsky, Simeon Ruskin. Children's names unknown.

Sitting: Leon Hoffman, Ossip Dymov, Boris Aronson.

Others in this production include Wolf Asenberg; Whitman Hilshin (sp); Betty Levine; Clara Lipow; Vera Lebedeff; Clara  Miller; Rose Stulman (sp); Joseph Warshawsky; Miriam Zabova.

 Standardized transliteration of the English title is "Bronks ekspres". Set and costumes by Boris Aronson.

Cast of Characters:

David Hungerstoltz................................
Sarah, his wife......................................
Leah, his daughter.................................
Sammy, his son....................................
.... Palashuk.........................................
Reb Kalmon Lippe Smareshansky..........
Subway conductor................................
Finkel Flianken?...................................
Pluto....................................................
Aunt Jemima........................................
Arrow...................................................
Miss Murad..........................................
First Wrigley.........................................
Second Wrigley....................................
Trade Smith..........................................
Mark Smith...........................................
Baby Nestle..........................................
A Woman.............................................

 

Rudolph Schildkraut
Clara Langsner
Bella Nadel
Joseph Warshawsky
Joseph Greenberg
Juda Bleich
Wolf Arenberg
Jacob Bleifer
Victor Packer
Clara Lipow
Jacob Bergreen
Vera Lebedeff
Clara Miller
Miriam Zabova
David Sokoloff
Whitman Hilshin?
Betty Levine
Rose Stulman?

photo, left: from "Bronx Express", with Victor Packer, Jacob Bleifer and Rudolph Schildkraut.

"The Bronx Express" is a comedy in three acts by Ossip Dymov, staged by Rudolph Schildkraut and Mr. Dymov; produced by the Schildkraut Dramatic Society at the Schildkraut Theatre.

According to a September 30, 1925 review in the New York Evening Post of the production:

"Bronx aspirants to the creation of an American intimate theatre modeled after Max Reinhardt's Kammerspiele in Berlin and August Strindberg's Kammerspielein Stockholm selected as their first vehicle. Ossip Dymov's rollicking satire called 'The Bronx Express' and produced it to capital fashion last night at the tiny new Schildkraut Theatre.

The playhouse, adequately enough, is just at the foot of the 180th street station, the last stop on the Bronx Park division of the very Bronx Express so happily immortalized in the Dymov play.

There may have been plays especially written for production in certain playhouses, but the Schildkraut may claim the distinction of being the first theatre built especially for a certain play.

Be it coincidental or otherwise, the fact remains that a group of young, ambitious and enthusiastic folks succeeded in presenting a highly diverting interpretation of the play which several seasons ago graced the boards of the Yiddish Art Theatre and then graduated to the English-speaking stage.

 

 
     
Victor Packer, John Bleifer and Rudolph Schildkraut, with Vera Lebedeff.   From left: Victor Packer, Jacob Bleifer, Vera Lebedeff, Rudolph Schildkraut, Clara Packer, Miriam Bleich, Clara Langsner, David Sokolovsky, Simeon Ruskin, Jacob Bergreen. Child unknown.

Rudolph Schildkraut, the veteran player of two continents and mentor of the Schildkraut Dramatic Society, achieved a real triumph in his portrayal of the old buttonhole maker whose adventures in the mythical land peopled by Smith Brothers, Murad, Nestle, Pluto, Aunt Jemima, Wrigley and Arrow provide him with the opportunities for numerous observations on advertising, capital, labor, love and transportation.

It is difficult to select any other outstanding member of the cast because all were excellent. Mention might be made, however, of the work of Judah Bleich as a doddering old rabbi and of Vera Lebedeff as the dashing siren who leads the buttonhole worker into temptation.

The scenery and costumes were designed by B. Aronson and the incidental music by Vladmir Heifetz."

 

 

 

 




Photograph courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.

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