Not only assimilated Jews
came to the theatre, who were normally different than
the Jewish landscape, but even Christians and priests
came to see the wonderful spectacle, and every Polish
newspaper of Krakow had published glowing reviews, both
about the play and about our acting. The 'Dybbuk' played
for a long time, and as a second play Rabinovitsh staged
Hirshbein's 'Idle Inn,' which although it had not
achieved as much success as the 'Dybbuk,' Hirshbein's
'Idle Inn' was fully staged and drew a warm interest
from the Krakow intelligentsia, and one could say that
the two offerings had very strongly elevated the
prestige of Yiddish theatre of which the Krakow Yiddish
intelligentsia had never considered, and this was the
positive praise of Kompaneyets and his artistic family."
Also together with Itzhak
Nozyk, R. founded the Yiddish Artists' Union in Poland
and was at times its secretary.
In 1936 R. wandered with his
wife to Mexico, where he settled down in Mexico City and
began to act in the local Yiddish troupe. When the
troupe disbanded, and R. actually withdrew from acting
in the theatre, and took u societal activity in the
local "Folks League," where he founded with it a drama
section, in which he stage directed for a span of a year
and staged with them many one-acters and several plays
of a literary character. Although for a number of years
his income came from commerce, he went over in a strong
way to the drama section.
So on 8 November 1942 he
staged, "The World in Flames" (underground work) in
twenty-five scenes. On 16 May 1943-- "In the Dark" by
Peretz Hirshbein. "Death Symphony" by Itzhak Berliner,
scenes from R, and "Our Family" by Godiner-Zeldin, and
on 4 march 1925 "Pastrigas' Tragic Life," a Purim play
in nusakh, from Itzik Manger's Megillah songs, adapted
by Dr. Chaim Goldstreich in three acts and fifteen
scenes with singing and dance.
R. also translated from the
Russian the operetta, "The Happy Night [?]," music by
Schlossberg, which he put on in Poland. Being very
musical, from time to time he used to study with the
choruses and orchestras of the theatres where he played,
and in Paris and then in Mexico he was a chorus
conductor in the local synagogues, and he used to write
music for the melodramas in which he used to play.
R.'s daughter, Malka Rabel,
is a writer, and his daughter, Fania, is a painter.
His brother-in-law, the
actor Aaron Poliakov, writes about R.:
"Leon Rabinovitsh heard the
pleiade-observant [?] actors, for whom theatre was a
holy place. He followed his vocation opegehit
with all his Rm"kh abrim... Leon Rabinovitsh was
in theatre as a true laborer: from early on, until the
productions, he was taken up with the stage. Here with
the sets, here with the lighting effects, here with
costumes and props and theatre properties. H was an
enormous pedant. He had lived with the stage-air."
M. E. by his
[--]-- Impozant un
derfalgreykh iz geven di feyerung in "teatro del
pueblo," "Der veg," Mexico, 17 November 1942.
Jacob Glantz-- A
guter onhoyb far a yidishn teater in meksiko, dort,
21 November 1942.
Chaim Lazdeysky-- A
drayfakhiker derfolg, dort, 12 May 1943.
David Zabludovsky-- A
derinerung, "Di shtime," Mexico, 31 August 1960.
Geshtorbn leon rabinovitsh, "Der teater shpil,"
Paris, September 1960.