Lives in the Yiddish Theatre
SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE
aS DESCRIBED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"

1931-1969
 

Diana Goldberg


 

Born on 4 August 1908 in New York, America. Her father was a merchant. As a child of three she used to stand on a table, sing at Jewish simchas (joyous events) and banquets, and the audience used to throw coins. At the age of seven she was engaged to Jacob Jacobs and Nathan Goldberg to play in children's roles and had such success that until age sixteen she played in children's roles, sometimes written especially for her by play's authors Willie Siegel and Louis Freiman.

G. completed a folks-shul and studied for three semesters in high school, and she participated in the school productions.

At the age of sixteen she went over to soubrette roles, beginning in Baltimore's Folly Theatre, then in Montreal, Toronto and Boston with [Isidore] Hollander. In 1928-29 she was in Philadelphia's Arch Street Theatre and guest-starred in London (England) with the operetta "Kidi." After playing there for four months, she returned to America and became engaged to Ludwig Satz for the operetta, "If the Rabbi Wants." In 1930 she guest-starred with him in Warsaw (Poland), where she participated for an entire summer in the play "The Bandits." In 1933 she was engaged in Philadelphia with the "Yiddish Art Theatre," where she played "Chava" in "Tevye the Dairyman, "Rivkele" in "God of Vengeance."
 

 In 1934 G. guest-starred in Paris (France) with the operetta, "Russian Love," and from there she became engaged to Kovno (Lita), where she played for an entire summer in the operetta, "Russian Love." She returned to America, guest-starring in Chicago in the operetta, "Sweet Dreams." The reviewer Sh. Zamd writes about this:

"We have seen 'Sweet Dreams' with Diana Goldberg, and I must say that without Diana Goldberg there would be no cure for sweet dreams. A true magnet on the stage. To tell you that she is burning with enthusiasm is somehow not enough. She is a true sambation. She does not have any minutes on the stage, and as small as she is, she has the big hit that catches the audience."

The dramaturg Meyer Schwartz, became very excited about her acting, [so much so] that he had written for her the operetta, "The Little Devil," and the same review by Sh. Zamd.

He writes about her acting in the role:

"According to my concept, Diana Goldberg has many more talents, than they can give [her] in one role. Diana is the true devil. She has brought out everything that the writer has wanted with the play, and this is the highest reward for a writer."
 

 

In 19944 G. played in Brooklyn's Hopkinson Theatre in the play, "The Queen of Broadway" by M. Duchovny, and the theatre critic Chaim Ehrenreich writes:

"Diana Goldberg as in herself so much talent, so much fire, that one must say that she is indeed the 'Queen of Broadway.' When she performs in the operetta, 'Everyone Wants to Get Married,' writes the 'Variety': 'Dina Goldberg rises above everyone in the role of "Reyzl Dreyer." The play is Diana Goldberg.'"

G. also guest-starred in Argentina.

In 1948 G. continued to guest-star in London in the operetta, "Oy, iz dos a yingl," in a review by the English reviewer John Mand..., it is said:

"Last Sabbath I was in the Yiddish theatre and saw a production, 'Oy, iz dos a yingl,' and I must add that the success was a shame on the borrower [a chshr fardinter], because the small Diana Goldberg, with her great talent, has [bahersht] the production. She is a personality on the Yiddish stage."

In 1961 G. was engaged on the English stage as a substitute for Molly Picon in the operetta, "Milk and Honey," and in the province she was a hit with the English critics. As such the press in Akron (Ohio) wrote:

"The role of 'Clara' was played by Diana Goldberg, who is one of the beautiful figures in the play, and I have many spiritual enjoyments in seeing Diana Goldberg."

"The Times" in Massachusetts writes that:

"Diana Goldberg stole the play."

"The Times" in Florida writes:

"Diana Goldberg, the star of 'Milk and Honey,' is one of the best Yiddish actresses on the English stage."

After acting in the play, G. virtually withdrew from the theatre, but she performed in 1970 with Jacobs in New York and in the "Bobruisk" camp.

Zalmen Zylbercweig writes:

"Everything in her is big: [she] has a face, the mouth and the eyes, but at the same time her entire figure is small. Her figure is well adapted to her partner, the fat comic Dave Lubritsky, with whom she has played, sung and with whom she was in a duet with couplets, and fixed ([geman(ts)t] the exalted dance, and so also to her other partners, the very tall lover, Irving Grossman, whose very interesting figure has given very much comedy to her movements and expressions.

Her voice was adapted to the songs, which she sang either solo or in a duet. Her organ had highly spoken the prose, which she had needed in her role, and ...dike was very clear. The Yiddish language had n... had in itself no sparks of amateurishness. As small as she is, it is a fear of emerging dynamite, a kind of volcano that erupts with fire, even when it doesn't it did not break, but ...it broke. It is a danger to stand near it. She has m..... farbregt the stage on which she has sad as in a whirlwind."
 

Sh.E. and Sh.E. from Zalmen Zylbercweig.

  • "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre," Vol. 1, New York, 1931, p. 265.


 

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 7, page 6250.
 

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