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
 

David Levenson
 

 

L. was born on 15 May 1871 in Riga, Latvia to well-to-do parents. He finished a city school, then attended a real school, sang as a soprano (he was called "Dovidl Mngn'") with Cantor Rozovsky, and he learned to work in silver and bronze figures.

He came to America and took up with his profession and was a member in the German Singing and Dramatic Union, performing in German operettas and classical plays. Later he became a member in Yiddish dramatic associations.

On the initiative of Feinman he became  a professional Yiddish actor in Chicago, debuting as "Jaffe" in Gordin's "Der idisher kenig lir (The Jewish King Lear)" and soon thereafter traveled to New York, where he had an entire year of acting under the direction of Adler and Thomashefsky, performing in first lover roles in "historical operettas".

Later L. became a contractor/entrepreneur for the permanent troupes across America (from New York to California), finding plays, and for the first time in Yiddish Lessing's "Natan Hakhokhem". In the span of that time, L. for several seasons acted as a first actor and regisseur in Philadelphia's Yiddish theatre (Director -- Mike Thomashefsky).

L. was the first to act as "Benjamin" in Libin's "Di gebrokhene hertser", "Pitshe khazan" in Gordin's "Dud'l mshurr", "Der betler"

in Lateiner's "Der yid in rumanye (The Jew in Romania)", and at the same time as New York he staged in Philadelphia's Green Street Theatre Asch's "God of Vengeance" (performing as "Yekl Shapshovitsh").

When he toured throughout the province, L. had the opportunity to act in German as "Iago" in "Othello", "Karl" in "Di royber (The Robbers)", and as the lover in "Intrige un libe", as well as act together in German with Morisson across the province.

In 1926-27 L. acted in Brooklyn's Liberty Theatre (Manager -- Anshel Schorr), 1930-31 in the Odeon Theatre, from 1931-33 in Newark.
 

Sh. E.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, p. 226.


 

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1156.
 

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