When the main actor of the
theatre, Yosef Vaynshtok, suddenly disappeared
from the theatre, G. had on the initiative of
the conductor Eskreyz, the opportunity of
performing in the title role of the operetta
"Shlomo HaMelekh (King Solomon)", and
immediately drew a great deal of attention to himself.
Later, when Goldfaden came
to Lemberg to perform his "Latkhmud", G.
acted as "Akhitufl". Later, Adler came to
Lemberg and took to the popular actors of the
troupe, and thus the local theatre was abided to
support only G.
When in several
years ("Professor") Horowitz came around to Lemberg, he
assembled a troupe for Romania, also taking in
In 1900 Horowitz
took his troupe over to America, and G.
performed in a minor role at the Windsor
In 1904 G. was
engaged by Adler for his Grand Theatre, and
acted in the Grand in such plays as "The Path of
Evil, or After the Ball" (opened 1 January
1904). Initially in Gordin's repertoire he
revealed himself in such a way that Gordin wrote
especially for him the role of "Israel Yakov der
zeygermakher (Israel Yakov the Clockmaker)" in "Der
meturef (The Worthless)" in 1905, and "Kalman
Moshe" in "Der fremder (The Stranger), oder, A
mensh fun an anderer velt" in 1906.
He had also acted at
the Grand in the role of "Shimshon David Zakhary",
in Gordin's play "Der emes kraft (The True
Power)", which was staged in November 1904.
Others in the cast included Jacob P. Adler,
David Kessler, Bertha Kalich, Sara Adler,
Frances Adler, Y. Greenberg, Fannie Greenberg,
Annie Manne and Gustave Schacht. On 2 November
1906 there as also staged at the Grand Theatre
Leon Kobrin's "Der groyser id (The Great Jew)",
a drama in four acts. G. also acted in the
Gordin play "Elisha ben abuyah" in 1906,
presumably at the Grand Theatre.
Then G. acted in
operas and melodramas with Thomashefsky, later
again with Adler, then in Edelstein's theatre,
in Irving Place, again in the Grand Theatre.
photo: Peter Graf as Kalman Moshe in
Gordin's "Der fremder (The
During the 1910-11
season, G. acted in the Thalia in "Ben hador" in
February 1911. At the same theatre on 13 April
1911 he also acted in "Di naye froy (The New
In September 1913 he
acted in the Lenox Theatre in Manhattan in the
play "The Lost Happiness".
On 21 September 1914
the play "Di vaybershe melkhe (The Women's
Kingdom)" was staged at the People's Theatre, in
which G. performed. In March 1916 he acted in
the production of "Stayl (Style)" in the
People's Theatre, and during the 1917-18 season,
on 26 September 1917, he acted in the play "Mazel
Tov (Good Luck)" at Thomashefsky's National
Theatre, which Thomashefsky had written and
staged, music by Joseph Rumshinsky.
During the 1918-1919
season, on 17 April 1919, Maurice Schwartz and
his famed Yiddish Art Theatre staged Goldfaden's
"The Two Kuni Lemels", in which G. played a
G. was one of the
cast in "Der goylem (The Golem)", which was
staged at the 116th Street Theatre in Manhattan
on 3 February 1921.
He acted in "Di shif
mit tsadikim (The Ship of Saints)" in the Irving
Place Theatre, which opened on 20 January 1927;
at Gabel's People's Theatre during the 1926-27
season in "Ihr groyser sud (Her Great Secret)"
(4 February) and "A froy fun der velt (A Woman
of the World)".
G. acted in the
Public Theatre In January 1929 in "Der yeshiva
bukher (The Yeshiva Boy)", in the Rolland
Theatre during the 1928-29 season in "A
Bridegroom Wanted" and "Kinder fun der untervelt
(Children of the Underworld)".
There was staged on
14 October 1929 "His Wife's Lover" at the
Yiddish Folks Theatre, in which G. played a
G. acted in the
Downtown National Theatre during the 1930-1932
seasons, in such plays as "A Village Wedding",
"Russian Love", "A nakht in vald (A Night in the
Woods)", "Di gliklikhe nakht (The Lucky Night)",
"Victims of Life", "The Great Miracle", and
He acted at the
Parkway Theatre in the Bronx, New York, from
1935 until 1937. During the 1935-36 season, he
acted in "Di zibete evenyu (On Seventh Avenue)",
"In a hoyz fun gloz (In a House of Glass)", "The
Girls From Paris", "Sins of Children", "Mayn
shtetele belz (My Little Town Belz)",and "Which
Woman is Right?". In the 1936-37 season, he
acted in "Di falshe tekhter (The False
Daughter)", "He and His Wives", "A vayb far
yeden (Everybody's Woman)", and "Shver tsu zayn
a maydl (Tough to be a Girl)".
During the 1936-37
season, he also acted at the McKinley Square
Theatre in the Bronx in "Di falshe tekhter (The
False Daughter)", as well as in the play "Zindige
mames (Sins of Mothers)", which was staged at
the Downtown National Theatre
Over the years,
during his long career, he also acted in such
plays as "A mentsh zol men zayn! (Be a Man!)",
Gordin's "Der vilder mentsh (The Wild Man)",
Tolstoy's " Di makht fun finsternish (The Power
of Darkness)", "Di vaybershe melukhe (The
Women's Kingdom)", "The Reverend's Lady", "Uriel
Acosta" and "Vayber".
G. passed away on 20
October 1951 and was brought to his eternal rest
in the burial plot of the Yiddish Theatrical
Alliance, located in the Mount Hebron Cemetery
in Flushing, Queens, New York.
-- Bilder galerye fun unzere idishe
shoyshpiler, "Der tog", N. Y, 3 February
Peter Graf --
Moment fun aktyorn-lebn, "Teater-zikhrunuts",
(Editor, Z. Zylbercweig), Vilna, 1928, pp.