(Joseph Wachtel, Kaufman,
Zaks, Gelis and his wife, Zorakh Vinavitsh, Leon
Berger), with whom he performed in Kherson. Here he took
into the troupe Sarah Levitska, (the late Sara Adler),
with whom he later married. The troupe performed in
Russia, Lithuania and Poland, until Lublin (circa 1880,
in the Pantheon Theatre), where they had to transfer the
productions due to a new ban on Yiddish theatre.
Returning to Odessa, H.
organized a troupe from the actors Moshe Zilberman, Berl
Borodkin, Feivele Fridman and his wife, to travel from
London to America. However, encountering in London a
Yiddish troupe that was performing (with Jacob P. Adler)
in a club, they also began there to perform in a club.
Due to bad business, both troupes united as one.
However, H. didn't enter into the unification, but
organized on each Shabbat evening "productions" in
Concerned for the local Jews
with ship cards, and with a certain monetary support, a
group of actors traveled in May 1884 (with Heine) to
America, where they began to act in new York on 23 May
1884 in Turin Hall (113 Bowery). Here several
productions came (during Friday and Saturday evenings)
with Shmr's "Di tsvey yesoymim", and soon H. leased with
Mssrs. Meir and Keyzer the Folks Garden Hall, which he
gave the name Oriental Theatre (due to the nearby
Oriental Bank), and on Sukkos 1884 he began there to
perform (on Friday, Shabbes and Tuesday in the evening)
with a cooperative troupe (Heine, Zilberman, Borodkin
and Fridman with their wives and Wachtel, Karp and
Kurazh. Lateiner was the prompter). Later the troupe
began to perform on Sunday with concerts and also acted
on the weekdays -- until 1887. Then H. acted with
Hurwitz in Poole's Theatre (gez. "Dovid's Harfe"),
and traveled to London with Mogulesko to bring Adler
over from there. However, Adler leased their theatre,
and H. took over with Mogulesko the Thalia Theatre.
Later they took over Poole's Theatre, then the Philing's
Theatre (called: Roumanian Opera House), and again in
the Thalia Theatre.
In 1892 H. went to Chicago,
where he acted for six months in the Metropolitan
Theatre. Returning to New York, he leased, together with
Adolf Prints and Max Levy, the Thalia theatre and took
over here the troupe of the Roumanian Opera House.
Here Thomashefsky for the first time performed as an
amateur. after acting and directing with that theatre
for three seasons (the third season together with
Kessler), H. was in one week the manager of the Yiddish
theatre in Chelsea. Again for a season (with Hurwitz),
he was the manager of the Thalia Theatre in New York and
directed the Windsor Theatre after five years, where he
also performed as a comic.
In the period of the
varieties, H. opened a music hall on Grand Street,
directed (1908-09) for three months with Berl Bernstein
a large troupe in the Star Theatre (Lexington Avenue and
Tenth Street), toured around the province as an actor
with Keni Lipzin, and became together with Michael Mintz
the lessee of the London theatre, under the name "Lipzin
Theatre", where he also (until 1910) was a co-partner
and actor -- until he transformed it into an Italian
During the span of twenty
years, he retired from Yiddish theatre, H. mostly
directing movie houses, until 1929-30 when he again
became the manager of the Yiddish Prospect Theatre in
B. Gorin --
"History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, pp. 34,
42, 213; Vol. II, pp. 30, 56-71.
Jacob P. Adler --
40 yoyhr oyf der bine, "Di varhayt", N. Y., 29
February, 5 March 1917.
Sh. Shvartser --
Teater-notitsen, "Lubliner tegblat", 31 July
B. Veynshteyn --
Di ershte yorn fun yidishn teater in odes un in
noy-york, "Archive", Vilna, 1930, pp. 252-3.