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  YIDDISH THEATRE 101 > THE YIDDISH PLAYS > THE PLAY IN HISTORY  >  THE LAUGH MAKER                                                 

Jacob Jacobs presents

Leo Fuchs in
 

"THE LAUGH MAKER"

(Der lakh meister)

 


CAST OF "THE LAUGH MAKER"
Eden Theatre
New York, New York
Opened 19 October 1971

 

Best-Guess Identifications:

1. Janece Martel.  2.Gene Barrett.  3. Thelma Mintz.  4. Jacob Zanger.  5. Jacob Jacobs.  6. Leon Liebgold.  7. Leo Fuchs.
8. Seymour Rechtzeit.  9. Miriam Kressyn.  10. Mordecai Yachson.  11. Nellie Casman.

"The Laugh Maker" is a musical comedy in two acts and seven scenes and was written by G. Hertzog.
The music was composed by Alexander Olshanetsky, and the lyrics were written by Jacob Jacobs.
The music was orchestrated and directed by Renee Solomon and was arranged by Yasha Kreitzberg.
The Stage Manager was Mordecai Yachson, and the Scenic Designer was Donald Du Vall. The play was directed by Paul White.

Cast (in order of appearance):

ABRAHAM, Rachel's father.................................................
RACHEL, a young widow....................................................
MELINDA, her daughter......................................................
SOLOMON OPPENHEIM...................................................
RICHARD, his son.............................................................
CHAIM SHAYE, a cantor....................................................
SARA GITEL, a widow........................................................
CHATZKELE, her son.........................................................
SHIMSHON FEIFER...........................................................
CHAIKE, the town gossip....................................................
IMMIGRATION CLERK........................................................

Time of action: Present.
Place of action:
1st Act, 1st Scene...... A ranch in the West
1st Act, 2nd Scene..... Immigration Office
1st Act, 3rd Scene...... On the ranch

2nd Act, 1st Scene...... Railroad station
2nd Act, 2nd Scene..... Home of Chaim Shaye
2nd Act, 3rd Scene...... In a cabaret
2nd Act, 4th Scene...... On the ranch

 

JACOB ZANGER
MIRIAM KRESSYN
JANECE MARTEL
LEON LIEBGOLD
GENE BARRETT
JACOB JACOBS
NELLIE CASMAN
SEYMOUR RECHTZEIT
LEO FUCHS
THELMA MINTZ
MORDECAI YACHSON

SYNOPSIS OF PLAY:

"The Laugh Maker" tells the story of a Polish refugee Shimshon Feifer (Leo Fuchs), who is brought to America by his grandfather (Jacob Zanger). The grandfather lives with his daughter Rachel (Miriam Kressyn) on a ranch in a small town out west. The community consists of several Jewish families who have completely lost touch with Yiddishkayt.

Chaim Shaye (Jacob Jacobs), a cantor, visits grandfather and there meets an old sweetheart, Sara Gitze (Nellie Casman) and her son Chatzkale (Seymour Rechtzeit). Sara Gitze is a widow for the fourth time. Rachel's former suitor, Mr. Oppenheim (Leon Liebgold), and his son Richard (Gene Barrett) live on a ranch nearby. Claire (Thelma Mintz), another neighbor, is the town gossip.

Shimshon is brought by his grandfather to the community in the hope that he will restore the traditions of Yiddishkayt and hopefully, win Melinda (Janece Martel) away from Richard. Richard's mother had openly expressed hostility towards Jews. Shimshon falls in love with Melinda, but feels that he cannot win her away from Richard, who is a much younger man. He leaves to become an entertainer, which is similar to his old profession, that of wedding jester (a badchan).

Chaim Shaye and Sara Gitze renew their old romance with humorous complications. Shimshon returns to the community for the dedication of the Synagogue and finds that Melinda has had an accident. She has fallen from a horse. Fearing that her injuries were permanent....[Oops... the Museum does not have the remaining part of the synopsis. Sorry.... If you have the play program, please scan or copy the remaining synopsis page to steve@museumoffamilyhistory.com.]

 

 

 

 

 




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

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