milken archives interviews:

Esta Salzman: B3296 (not for publication or sharing w/o prior permission):

Milken Family Foundation

STORY SLUG:........... ORAL HISTORIES FROM MILKEN ARCHIVE

PRODUCER:................................................. LAWRENCE LESSER

INTERVIEWER:.............................................................. UNKNOWN

INTERVIEWEES:

Michael Wager, Esta Saltzman, Herbert Latner, Melanie Mintz, Edward Smith

Tapes:......................................... B11644 THROUGH B11656 (13)

INTERVIEW DATE:..................................................... June 6, 2005

TRANSCRIPT PRINT DATE:...................................... TIME \@ "MMMM d, yyyy" June 5, 2012

JOB TRACKING ID:................................................................ 63060

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MILKEN FAMILY FOUNDATION

ORAL HISTORIES FROM MILKEN ARCHIVE

UNKNOWN

June 6, 2005

NUMBER OF TAPES: 13

TOTAL PAGES: 268

 

TAPE: B11644...................................... B-ROLL: NONE.......................................................... PAGE: 1

TIMECODE: 10:47:01 - 11:17:58.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: MICHAEL WAGER

 

TAPE: B11645...................................... B-ROLL: NONE......................................................... PAGE: 12

TIMECODE: 11:17:17 - 11:47:02.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: MICHAEL WAGER

 

TAPE: B11646...................................... B-ROLL: NONE......................................................... PAGE: 26

TIMECODE: 11:47:40 - 12:15:46.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: MICHAEL WAGER

 

TAPE: B11647...................................... B-ROLL: NONE......................................................... PAGE: 41

TIMECODE: 12:47:05 - 12:59:02, 12:59:00 - 13:16:26............................ INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: ESTA SALTZMAN

 

TAPE: B11648...................................... B-ROLL: NONE......................................................... PAGE: 56

TIMECODE: 13:16:51 - 13:35:49, 13:35:48 - 13:45:33............................ INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: ESTA SALTZMAN

 

TAPE: B11649...................................... B-ROLL: NONE......................................................... PAGE: 83

TIMECODE: 13:45:49 - 14:03:38.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: ESTA SALTZMAN

 

TAPE: B11650...................................... B-ROLL: NONE......................................................... PAGE: 97

TIMECODE: 14:23:38 - 14:52:18.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEES: ESTA SALTZMAN, HERBERT LATNER

 

TAPE: B11651...................................... B-ROLL: NONE....................................................... PAGE: 126

TIMECODE: 14:23:39 - 14:52:19.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEES: ESTA SALTZMAN, HERBERT LATNER

 

TAPE: B11652...................................... B-ROLL: NONE....................................................... PAGE: 155

TIMECODE: 17:07:29 - 17:34:41.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: MELANIE MINTZ

 

TAPE: B11653...................................... B-ROLL: NONE....................................................... PAGE: 181

TIMECODE: 17:34:59 - 18:04:02.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: MELANIE MINTZ

 

TAPE: B11654...................................... B-ROLL: NONE....................................................... PAGE: 209

TIMECODE: 18:04:25 - 18:12:29.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: MELANIE MINTZ

 

TAPE: B11655...................................... B-ROLL: NONE....................................................... PAGE: 220

TIMECODE: 18:41:18 - 19:10:35.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: EDWARD SMITH

 

TAPE: B11656...................................... B-ROLL: NONE....................................................... PAGE: 246

TIMECODE: 19:10:59 - 19:41:24.......................................................... INTERVIEW DATE: JUNE 6, 2005

INTERVIEWEE: EDWARD SMITH

 


 

TRANSCRIPT INDEX

 


 

 INDEX \e " " \c "2" \h "A" \z "1033" 


 

SPEAKERS

EDWARD SMITH..................................... 220, 222-268

ESTA SALTZMAN................. 41-122, 124-151, 153, 154

HERBERT LATNER........................................... 97-154

MELANIE MINTZ............................................. 155-219

MICHAEL WAGER................................................ 1-40

 

 

"SMUT BOX"

Some Possible 'Non G-Rated' Words Detected.

Others May Also Exist.

Breast................................................................... 37

 

 

 

A

Aaron Lebidov........................................................ 44

Abba...................................................... 16, 24, 29, 32

Abba Ebba.............................................................. 24

Abba Eben............................................................... 32

Abba Josef............................................................. 29

Abigail Kellogg..................................................... 19

Abraham.................................................................. 6

Abromowitz.................................................. 125, 154

Adam...................................................................... 14

Adia Brown........................................................... 264

Adler.......................................................... 17, 51, 66

See Also

Bruce Adler, Brucie Adler, Jacob Adler, Julius Adler, Sarah Adler, Stella Adler

Aha...................................................................... 170

Alexander Ulchanefsky.......................................... 79

See Also

Ulchanefsky

Alexandria............................................................. 13

Alice Tully Hall.................................................. 256

See Also

Hal, Hall

Alma Mala............................................................ 15

America...................................... 1, 162, 166, 170, 260

See Also

South America

American......................... 5, 6, 13, 31, 33, 84, 157, 187

Anderson.............................................................. 156

See Also

Phyllis Anderson Theatre
 

Andrew Sisters..................................................... 190

See Also

Sisters

Andy....................................................................... 20

Anglo.................................................................... 11

Anna........................................ 109, 138, 164, 165, 173

Anna Levin............................................................ 165

Anna Locasto............................................... 109, 138

Anna Lubin............................................................ 173

Anna Lubitski........................................................ 173

Anna Lucasta............................................... 109, 138

Annas................................................................... 164

Anne Bancroft....................................................... 24

See Also

Ba

Anne Baxter........................................................... 20

See Also

Ba

Anne Frank............................................................. 19

Anne Thomashefsky................................................ 43

Annie Labritski..................................................... 164

Annie Levin............................................................ 165

Annie Lubin.................................................... 174, 183

Annie Tomishefski.................................................. 164

See Also

Tom

Annies................................................................... 164

Anno Locasto................................................... 84, 85

Anthony Quail........................................................ 23

Anthony Quinn........................................................ 17

Archives.................................................................. 7

Argentina.............................................. 169, 241, 242

Army................................................................ 1, 179

Arpege................................................................... 26

Art............................................................... 167, 172

See Also

Yiddish Art Theatre
, Yiddish Artists

Art Raymond........................................................ 172

Arthur Miller................................................... 6, 157

See Also

Miller

Arthur Schwartz.................................................... 6

See Also

Schwartz

Asaf....................................................................... 33

Askajulius........................................................... 252

Atalie.................................................................... 31

Athens..................................................................... 4

Atlantic....................................................... 181, 227

Aubrey Eben............................................................ 32

Aunt Rose............................................................. 165

See Also

Rose

Austria................................................................ 159

Austrian................................................................ 16

Automatically...................................................... 54

Avenue 13, 17, 18, 46, 50, 51, 92, 94, 97, 98, 105, 106, 114, 122, 124, 126, 127, 134, 135, 143, 151, 153, 156, 158, 167, 196, 205, 207

See Also

Lenox Avenue

Avenue Yiddish............................................... 122, 151

See Also

Yiddish

Avshaloms Fieler................................................. 267

 

B

Ba........................................................................ 260

See Also

Anne Bancroft, Anne Baxter, Chemical Bank, Claire Barry, Danny Barrenbaum, James Barrie, Samalah Bar Mitzvah

Bach...................................................................... 34

Bagonsi.................................................................. 22

Bagos........................................................... 112, 141

Baltimore....................................................... 85, 236

Banner Records.................................................... 193

Bar Mitzvahs....................................................... 267

Barbara................................................................. 26

Barbara Baxter..................................................... 26

Barbican.............................................................. 261

Barrie.................................................................... 40

See Also

James Barrie

Battlefield.............................................................. 1

Beach............................................. 225, 233, 235, 248

See Also

Manhattan Beach, Miami Beach

Beautiful......................................... 62, 249, 259, 261

Becca................................................................... 197

Bell Geddes......................................................... 8, 9

See Also

Norman Bell Geddes

Bell Harbor................................................... 17, 230

Bell Harbor Chicks................................................ 17

See Also

Chicks

Bella.................................... 64, 68, 102-104, 131-133

See Also

Della Bella Botten

Bella Meisel................................................. 102, 131

Bella Meiser................................................. 103, 132

Bella Meisul.......................................................... 64

Bellini.................................................................... 21

Belts................................................................... 159

Ben.............................................................. 23, 24, 73

Ben Gurion........................................................ 23, 24

Ben Gurions............................................................ 24

Bernhard................................................................ 17

See Also

Sara Bernhardt, Sarah Bernhard, Sarah Bernhardt

Bernstein............................................................ 3, 32

Bertha.................................... 18, 42, 75, 76, 204, 205

Bertha Gerstin..................................................... 205

Bertha Kalish................................................... 18, 42

See Also

Kalish

Bertha Kaylish................................................. 75, 76

Bertral Kaplan................................................... 224

See Also

Kaplan

Bessie Thomashefsky.............................................. 42

Bessie Thomashevsky............................................. 17

See Also

Thomashevsky

Betar..................................................................... 28

Beth Hillel........................................................... 253

See Also

Hill

Bethelaberg Park................................................ 252

Betty........................................................ 26, 59, 160

Betty Crocker....................................................... 26

Betty Jacobs......................................................... 59

See Also

Jacob, Jacobs

Betty Tritla......................................................... 160

Bible.................................................................. 8, 10

Biblical................................................................. 10

Billy Crystal........................................................ 75

See Also

Cry

Billy Rose............................................................ 206

See Also

Rose

Billy Rose Theatre
............................................... 206

See Also

Rose, Theatre
 

Blake................................................................... 221

Blitzstein................................................................ 3

Blitztein................................................................ 21

Blow...................................................................... 88

Boardwalk................................................... 181, 185

Boca.................................................................... 258

Boris Thomashefsky............................................... 42

Born.................................................... 1, 27, 168, 260

Borsch Belt......................................................... 196

Borscht Belt........................................ 48, 50, 55, 56

Boston..................................... 3, 32, 42, 85, 248, 265

Boston Symphony............................................... 3, 32

Bowery.................................................................. 49

Boychicks.............................................................. 57

Brandeis Festival.................................................... 3

Brando................................................................... 17

See Also

Marlon Brando

Brattle Theatre
.................................................... 18

See Also

Theatre
 

Breakers.............................................................. 224

breast.................................................................... 37

British.............................................................. 13, 39

Broadway.... 18, 23, 43, 74, 82, 109, 138, 155, 156, 206

Broken Wings......................................................... 33

Bronx............................................................ 158, 159

Brooklyn....................................... 7, 41, 92, 155, 156

Brownsville......................................................... 231

Bruce Adler........................................... 111, 140, 204

See Also

Adler

Brucey................................................................. 204

Brucie Adler.......................................................... 51

See Also

Adler

Budapest................................................................. 4

Burgess Meredith..................................................... 2

Buroughpark........................................................ 252

Business............................................................... 251

 

C

Caballe................................................................... 5

See Also

Montserrat Caballe

Caddish.................................................................. 34

Cahanah................................................ 264, 266, 267

See Also

Rabbi Cahanah

California........................................... 51, 56, 86, 177

Callas................................................................... 22

Callasite............................................................... 22

Cambridge.......................................................... 1, 18

Canada.................................. 11, 86, 87, 177, 205, 244

Canters........................................................ 255, 261

Cantorals........................................................... 246

Capital Hotel...................................................... 196

Cardinal Hayes...................................................... 14

Carnegie Hall........................................... 20, 34, 256

See Also

Hal, Hall

Carrie.................................................................... 47

Carries.................................................................. 20

Caruso................................................................... 29

Catholics.............................................................. 14

Catskill Mountains............................................... 48

Cesaria.................................................................. 36

Chaim Neiman........................................................ 258

Chaim Weizmann....................................................... 2

See Also

Weizmann

Chamber Society.................................................... 17

Characters...................................................... 18, 31

Charles Klein....................................................... 266

See Also

Klein

Charlie.................................................................... 2

Chemical................................................................ 26

Chemical Bank....................................................... 26

See Also

Ba

Cherry..................................................................... 7

Chicago 2, 10-12, 38, 44, 45, 85, 92, 223, 224, 229, 232, 250-252, 262, 266

Chicago Opera Company........................................ 38

See Also

Opera

Chicago Romance................................................... 10

See Also

Romance

Chicks.................................................................... 57

See Also

Bell Harbor Chicks

Chinese..................................................................... 1

Choreographer...................................................... 77

Chorus................................................................... 78

Christian.............................................................. 155

Christopher Frye.................................................... 23

Chuck................................................................... 266

Chuck Klein.......................................................... 266

See Also

Klein

Circus Girl............................................................ 46

Civic Opera House.................................................. 41

See Also

House, Opera

Claire Barry................................................. 111, 140

See Also

Ba

Cleveland............................................................ 222

Clifford Odettes.................................................... 18

Clinton Theatre
..................................................... 50

See Also

Theatre
 

Coinsky................................................................ 267

Colombia Graduate School................................... 11

See Also

School

Columbus............................................................. 222

Comedy.................................................................. 48

Composition......................................................... 236

Compositions....................................................... 236

Concerts.............................................................. 247

Conducted.............................................................. 38

Congress............................................................... 40

Conigsburg........................................................... 251

Connecticut.................................................. 255, 262

Conservative................................................ 223, 253

Convention Center................................................ 255

Conway.................................................................. 47

Corey Briar................................................... 111, 140

Country................................................................. 31

Cradle................................................................... 21

Cry........................................................................ 95

See Also

Billy Crystal

Cub Scouts..................................................... 98, 127

See Also

Scouts

Culminovich.................................................. 120, 149

See Also

Harry Culminovich

Czechoslovakia..................................................... 16

 

D

Dakota.................................................................... 5

Dallas.................................................................... 5

Dalton Trumble..................................................... 24

Dance..................................................................... 95

Dancing.................................................................. 75

Danny Barrenbaum................................................. 32

See Also

Ba

Danny Kaye............................................................ 48

Dave Lebritsky.............................................. 107, 136

Dave Lubritsky....................................................... 49

See Also

Lubritsky

David.......................................... 10, 34, 106, 135, 162

David Merrick............................................... 106, 135

David Niven........................................................... 162

David Selznick....................................................... 34

Days..................................................................... 162

Deaf....................................................................... 48

Death............................................................... 6, 157

Delbert Fuchs...................................................... 230

Della Bella Botten............................................. 250

See Also

Bella

Denver............................................................ 85, 263

Der....................................................................... 3, 4

Der Weg Der Verheissung......................................... 3

Desire...................................................................... 2

Detroit........................................................... 85, 258

Deutsche Grammophon............................................ 4

Diary...................................................................... 19

Die.......................................................................... 27

Dina...................................................................... 197

Dishwasher................................................... 117, 146

Dog........................................................................ 73

Dolls House............................................................ 8

See Also

House

Domingo................................................................. 22

Don............................................................. 17, 73, 82

Dora Weissman...................................................... 66

Dorchester............................................................ 32

Dorothy Hammerstein............................................ 20

See Also

Hammerstein

Douglas Park................................................... 44, 45

Douglas Park Theatre
........................................... 44

See Also

Theatre
 

Dove Kerin............................................................ 267

See Also

Kerin

Downtown............................................... 60, 124, 153

Dozen................................................................... 227

Dr Weitzman.......................................................... 13

See Also

Weitzman

Drain...................................................................... 26

Drama Desk Award................................................. 51

Drano...................................................................... 4

Dual...................................................................... 46

Dudley Diggs.......................................................... 15

Dumont................................................................ 221

Dusa...................................................................... 17

Duvil.................................................................... 263

Dwarfs........................................... 103, 104, 132, 133

 

E

East Coast............................................................ 86

East Fourth Street.............................................. 156

See Also

Street

East Sixth Street........................................... 99, 128

See Also

Street

Easter................................................................... 20

Eastern Parkway............................................. 78, 79

Edda Stephilippe..................................................... 35

See Also

Madame Edda Stephilippe

Eden Theatre
........................................................ 156

See Also

Theatre
 

EDWARD SMITH

SPEAKING.......................................................... 220, 222-268

Egypt................................................................. 6, 10

Egyptian............................................................. 6, 10

Eight.............................................. 106, 107, 135, 136

Eighteen............................................................... 211

Ellie...................................................................... 17

Ellis Island.......................................................... 158

Ellstein........................................................ 117, 146

Elstein............................................... 52, 53, 181, 191

England................................................. 238, 240, 259

English 1, 2, 13, 15, 18, 43, 44, 47, 48, 50, 51, 56, 84, 88, 90, 91, 110, 120-122, 139, 149-151, 157, 159, 171, 177, 202, 224

English Yiddish................................................ 56, 171

See Also

Yiddish

Englishmen............................................................. 40

Episcopal................................................................ 2

Esta 96, 107, 110, 112, 121, 123, 136, 139, 141, 150, 152

Esta Saltzman........................................ 107, 136

SPEAKING.................................. 41-122, 124-151, 153, 154

See Also

Saltzman

Esther.......................... 31, 96, 165, 167, 176, 177, 195

Esther Dunebrau................................................... 195

Esther Saltzman................................................... 96

See Also

Saltzman

Eternal Load........................................................... 3

Eternal Road............................... 3, 14, 23, 27, 32, 36

Europe 8, 16, 28, 42, 103, 132, 160, 167, 168, 170, 221, 248

European........................................................ 98, 127

Eve Qualer............................................................. 20

Evo............................................................... 192, 210

Exodus........................................................ 19, 20, 24

 

F

Fabulous............................................................... 52

Family.................................................................. 181

Fanny Lubritsky..................................................... 49

See Also

Lubritsky

Fantastic.............................................................. 72

Fathers.................................................................. 39

Fax Fiera.............................................................. 267

Felicia Montealegre................................................ 4

Fifties.................................................................... 18

Financially.......................................................... 188

Finklestein.................................................... 248, 258

Fivish Finkel.................................................. 111, 140

Flag...................................................................... 27

Florida 91, 156, 177, 205, 222, 223, 240, 249-251, 263, 267

Flowering Peach.................................................... 18

Folks Theatre
............................................... 114, 143

See Also

Theatre
 

Formal.................................................................. 95

Founded................................................................... 1

Frances............................................................ 41, 66

Freddy.............................................................. 15, 24

Freddy Weiskel....................................................... 15

See Also

Weiskel

French................................................................... 28

Friday.................................. 47, 93, 197, 198, 231, 236

Friends.......................................................... 110, 139

 

G

Galetian................................................................ 54

Garden................................................................. 191

See Also

Madison Square Garden, Mary Garden, National Roof Garden, Roof Garden

Gardens............................................................... 241

Gary Society......................................................... 43

Genius.................................................................... 10

George Kaufman.................................................... 17

See Also

Kaufman

German............................ 3, 6, 12, 16, 34, 85, 167, 168

Germany................................................. 3, 4, 6, 7, 20

Gershwin................................................................ 37

Gertie Stein.......................................................... 177

Gertrude Bert........................................................ 90

Gin....................................................................... 194

Gina................................................ 111, 140, 174, 216

Gita Galeno......................................................... 179

Gluntz................................................................. 226

Glusovitzky........................................................... 32

Godfried Turl......................................................... 47

Gold Meier............................................................. 24

Golda................................................ 24, 49, 102, 131

Golda Lubritsky.................................................... 49

See Also

Lubritsky

Golda Meier........................................................... 24

Golda Nobecker............................................ 102, 131

Goldberg........................................................ 64, 155

See Also

Nathan Goldberg, Rose Goldberg, Rosie Goldberg

Goldbergs.................................................... 155, 156

Goldenberg............................................................ 64

See Also

Samuel Goldenberg

Goldfab................................................................. 76

Gordie Stein......................................................... 165

Gottfried Reinhardt................................................. 8

See Also

Reinhardt

Graduated............................................................. 93

Gramercy Park............................................. 115, 144

Grammercy................................................... 125, 154

Gramowitz.................................................... 125, 154

Grease................................................................. 156

Greenblatt.......................................................... 265

Greene........................................................... 108, 137

See Also

Joseph Greene, Martin Greene

Grena................................................................... 157

Grena Felda......................................................... 157

Grew........................................................................ 1

Gut........................................................................ 54

 

H

Habima............................................................... 4, 34

Habima Theatre
........................................................ 4

See Also

Theatre
 

Haifa...................................................................... 13

Hal........................................................................ 88

See Also

Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall

Hall.......................................................... 43, 58, 202

See Also

Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall

Hamlet.................................................................. 34

Hammerstein............................................................ 8

See Also

Dorothy Hammerstein, Oscar Hammerstein, Oscar Hammerstein Manhattan Opera House

Hamptons............................................................. 261

Hanna Hoeven.......................................................... 4

Hannah............................................................. 34, 59

Hannah Hollander................................................. 59

Hannah Rovina....................................................... 34

Hanukah................................................................. 19

Hanukkah Festival................................................... 2

Harry Culminovich........................................ 120, 149

See Also

Culminovich

Harvard......................................... 1, 15, 17, 210, 264

Harvard Club....................................................... 264

Harvard University.................................................. 1

Harzones.............................................................. 268

Hawaii.............................................. 101-104, 130-133

Heart................................................................... 242

Heavenly Host......................................................... 6

Hebrew 15, 34, 35, 47, 97, 98, 126, 127, 179, 197, 205, 212

Hebrew Actors Union............................. 179, 197, 205

Heim Talbo........................................................... 177

Heiman.................................................................. 223

See Also

Joseph Heiman

Helen Keller.......................................................... 84

Helen Traubell...................................................... 31

Helfkah......................................................... 261, 268

Henrietta........................................................ 51, 204

Henrietta Jacobsen.............................................. 204

See Also

Jacob, Jacobs

Henrietta Jacobson............................................... 51

See Also

Jacob, Jacobs

Henry Mill Theatre
.................................................. 2

See Also

Theatre
 

Henry Spector...................................................... 229

See Also

Spector

HERBERT LATNER

SPEAKING...................................................................... 97-154

Herman Vol............................................................ 69

Herman Wohl......................................................... 52

Herman Yablokoff................... 44, 96, 98, 117, 127, 146

See Also

Yablokoff

Herschel....................................................... 247, 261

See Also

Moshe Herschel

Highland Park............................................... 253, 254

Hill.............................................................. 2, 25, 36

See Also

Beth Hillel

Hillcrest Jewish Center................................ 228, 262

See Also

Jew, Jewish

Hiroshima................................................................ 4

Historians............................................................ 246

Hitler...................................................................... 3

Holiday......................................................... 220, 226

Holidays......................................... 222, 224, 236, 244

Hollywood............................................................ 44

Holocaust.................................................... 101, 130

Holy...................................................... 113, 142, 169

Honeymoon................................ 46, 177, 179, 195, 200

Hood...................................................................... 83

Hoot Kasma............................................................. 6

Horn...................................................................... 88

Horostovsky......................................................... 26

House............................................................... 20, 23

See Also

Civic Opera House, Dolls House, Manhattan Opera House, Maxwell House, Oscar Hammerstein Manhattan Opera House

Howard.................................................................... 6

Hugo........................................... 15, 16, 21, 22, 29, 30

Humphrey Burton..................................................... 5

Hundreds................................................................ 44

Hungarian.............................................................. 16

 

I

Illia Trilling................................................. 100, 129

See Also

Trilling

Inchov.................................................................. 260

Ingrid Bergman....................................................... 33

Intimidating............................................................ 33

Ira Greenfield....................................................... 179

Irving................................. 51, 111, 140, 141, 167, 266

Irving Fields.......................................... 111, 140, 141

Irving Jacobson..................................................... 51

See Also

Jacob, Jacobs

Irving Lapah......................................................... 266

See Also

Lapah

Isaac................................................... 25, 38, 65, 229

Isaac Feld.............................................................. 65

Isaac Kaminski..................................................... 229

Isaac Van Grove.................................................... 38

See Also

Van Grove

Isadore Lillian....................................................... 52

See Also

Lillian

Ishmael Merchant.................................................. 20

Isidore Lillian........................................................ 73

See Also

Lillian

Isn........................................................... 83, 110, 139

Israel 2, 4, 6, 13, 15, 23, 25, 32, 34, 36, 113, 142, 179, 224, 233, 241, 247, 252

See Also

New Israel Opera

Israeli.................................................................... 35

Italian.............................................................. 31, 35

Itcha.................................................................... 157

Itchy.................................................................... 208

 

J

Jabotinsky............................................................. 13

Jabotinskyites....................................................... 27

Jack............................................................ 6, 52, 255

Jack Gottlieb.......................................................... 6

Jack Kreitzberg..................................................... 52

Jack Mendelssohn................................................ 255

Jackie...................................................... 37, 224, 226

Jackie Gleason...................................................... 37

Jackie Goldstein.................................................. 224

Jacob 17, 51, 59, 84, 98, 102, 109, 121, 127, 131, 138, 150, 155, 180, 181, 198, 204

See Also

Betty Jacobs, Henrietta Jacobsen, Henrietta Jacobson, Irving Jacobson, Joe Jacobs, Thelma Jacobs

Jacob Adler.................................................... 17, 204

See Also

Adler

Jacob Jacobs........ 59, 84, 109, 121, 138, 150, 155, 180

See Also

Jacobs

Jacob Joseph.................................................. 98, 127

Jacob Pete............................................................. 51

Jacob Zanger................................................ 102, 131

Jacobovitz........................................................... 176

Jacobs........................................... 155, 176, 192, 261

See Also

Betty Jacobs, Henrietta Jacobsen, Henrietta Jacobson, Irving Jacobson, Jacob Jacobs, Joe Jacobs, Thelma Jacobs

Jacobs Kenningsberg............................................ 261

See Also

Kenningsberg

Jacobsens............................................................ 204

James Barrie.......................................................... 39

See Also

Ba, Barrie

Jamie...................................................................... 39

Jan Pierce............................................................ 263

See Also

Pierce

Jane Austen............................................................ 20

Jean Cocteau........................................................... 4

Jedda Goudel......................................................... 47

Jenny Goldstein..................................... 45, 49, 60, 68

Jenny Terrell......................................................... 20

Jenny Uvalier......................................................... 42

Jersey.................................................................... 92

See Also

New Jersey

Jerusalem................................................... 23, 33, 36

Jerusalem Festival.......................................... 33, 36

Jesus....................................................................... 6

Jew..... 2, 4, 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 23, 96, 98, 127, 170, 221

See Also

Hillcrest Jewish Center, Tremendous Jewish

Jewish................. 2, 4, 11, 13, 14, 96, 98, 127, 170, 221

See Also

Hillcrest Jewish Center, Tremendous Jewish

Jewish Agency........................................................ 14

Jewish Morning..................................................... 221

Jewish Standard.................................................... 11

Jewish Teacher................................................ 98, 127

Jews....................................... 3, 14, 16, 20, 32, 45, 87

Joanne................................................................... 24

Joe Jacobs........................................................... 201

See Also

Jacob, Jacobs

John Pierce........................................................... 263

See Also

Pierce

Johnny..................................................... 29, 109, 138

Johnny Belinda.............................................. 109, 138

Jonathan............................................................... 29

Joseph Green.................................. 108, 109, 137, 138

Joseph Greene............................................... 108, 137

See Also

Greene

Joseph Heiman...................................................... 223

See Also

Heiman

Joseph Merschinzky................................................ 41

Joseph Scheingold................................................. 66

Joseph Schengol.................................................... 41

Joseph Shilkraut.............................................. 18, 19

Joshua Lind.......................................................... 229

Journalism............................................................ 11

Judy Blazer........................................................... 18

Julius...................................................... 51, 204, 228

See Also

Oscar Julius

Julius Adler........................................................... 51

See Also

Adler

July......................................................................... 2

 

K

Kaddish................................................................. 3-5

Kalish.................................................................. 205

See Also

Bertha Kalish

Kaplan................................................................. 224

See Also

Bertral Kaplan, Zelda Kaplan

Katherine Cornell.................................................. 23

Kaufman................................................................ 17

See Also

George Kaufman

Kemnitz.................................................................... 7

Kenningsberg................................................. 261, 262

See Also

Jacobs Kenningsberg

Kerin............................................................. 267, 268

See Also

Dove Kerin

Keystone................................................................ 47

King....................................................................... 20

Kings...................................................................... 20

Kippur.............................................. 93, 248, 250, 263

See Also

Rashoning Kippur, Roshannian Kippur, Yom Kippur

Klein............................................................. 265, 266

See Also

Charles Klein, Chuck Klein

Kosher Widow............. 46, 116, 117, 119, 145, 146, 148

Kunzt..................................................................... 41

Kurt Weill..................................................... 3, 7, 10

Kurt Wile.................................................... 14, 15, 27

 

L

La Boheme.............................................................. 10

La Mancha............................................................. 51

Lapah................................................................... 266

See Also

Irving Lapah

Laskey Studio........................................................ 47

Latner............................................................ 97, 126

See Also

Herbert Latner

Laurel.................................................................. 231

Lawndale......................................................... 44, 45

Lebby..................................................................... 80

See Also

Lebedof Lebby

Lebedof.............................................. 73, 80, 123, 152

Lebedof Lebby......................................................... 80

See Also

Lebby

Lee Strasbourg...................................................... 33

Legion.................................................................. 221

Leia Van Leer.......................................................... 36

Leif........................................................................ 26

Leinia..................................................................... 37

Lena....................................................................... 10

Lenny................................................... 4, 5, 21, 23, 39

Lenox Avenue.......................................................... 48

See Also

Avenue

Lenox Theatre
........................................................ 48

See Also

Theatre
 

Lent....................................................................... 14

Lenya................................................................... 3, 7

See Also

Lotte Lenya

Leo............... 61, 123, 152, 156, 179, 180, 197, 200, 208

Leo Fuchs............ 61, 123, 152, 156, 179, 197, 200, 208

Leon............................................... 165, 177, 229, 265

Leon Berger.......................................................... 265

Leon Sheckter...................................................... 165

Lewisohn.................................................................. 3

See Also

Ludwig Lewisohn, Ludwing Lewisohn

Lewison.................................................................. 12

Lexicon................................................................. 169

Liberty............................................................. 41, 42

Liberty Theatre
................................................ 41, 42

See Also

Theatre
 

Library.................................................................. 40

Lights.................................................................... 92

Lillian............................................... 38, 52, 111, 140

See Also

Isadore Lillian, Isidore Lillian

Lillian Lux.................................................... 111, 140

Lillian Nordica...................................................... 38

Lilly Noordica......................................................... 8

Lily........................................................................ 51

Lincoln............................................ 42, 254, 256, 257

Lincoln Center....................................... 254, 256, 257

Lisa Lubin............................................................... 92

Liszt...................................................................... 34

Literary........................................................ 122, 151

Live...................................................................... 182

Lobel..................................................................... 42

See Also

Maldina Lobell

Lobell.................................................................. 160

See Also

Maldina Lobell

Lobo..................................................................... 160

See Also

Marvena Lobo

London................................ 32, 86, 168, 237, 249, 261

Loop............................................................. 224, 251

Loop Synagogue............................................ 224, 251

Los Angeles........................................................... 56

Lotte Lenya............................................................. 6

See Also

Lenya

Louie Anzellowitz......................................... 125, 154

Louis Gilrad........................................................... 58

Love..................................................................... 191

Lovely.......................................................... 118, 147

Lower East Side.............................................. 97, 126

Lubowicz....................................................... 124, 153

Lubritsky............................................................... 49

See Also

Dave Lubritsky, Fanny Lubritsky, Golda Lubritsky

Lucy Levin............................................................ 183

Ludwig Lewisohn...................................................... 3

See Also

Lewisohn

Ludwig Lewiston..................................................... 12

Ludwing Lewisohn..................................................... 3

See Also

Lewisohn

Lyric Theatre
......................................................... 43

See Also

Theatre
 

 

M

Macy...................................................................... 14

Madame Edda Stephilippe....................................... 35

See Also

Edda Stephilippe

Madame Kaylish..................................................... 76

Madison Square Garden......................................... 31

See Also

Garden

Maggie Tate........................................................... 38

Mahler................................................................. 3, 5

Maine..................................................................... 30

Majority.......................................................... 88, 89

Malavany............................................................ 267

Maldina Lobell...................................................... 59

See Also

Lobel, Lobell

Malka Lobiler............................................... 101, 130

Malvina Loebel...................................................... 48

Mama............................................................... 46, 49

Managua....................................................... 112, 141

Mandy...................................................................... 1

Mandy Wager........................................................... 1

See Also

Wager

Mandy Weisgal........................................................ 1

See Also

Weisgal

Manhattan.......................................... 6, 20, 156, 237

See Also

Oscar Hammerstein Manhattan Opera House

Manhattan Beach................................................. 237

See Also

Beach

Manhattan Opera House..................................... 6, 20

See Also

House, Opera, Oscar Hammerstein Manhattan Opera House

Mann Auditorium...................................................... 4

Mannil................................................................... 23

Marlon Brando...................................................... 27

See Also

Brando

Martin............................................................ 89, 236

Martin Greene........................................................ 89

See Also

Greene

Marvena....................................................... 160, 166

Marvena Lobo............................................... 160, 166

See Also

Lobo

Mary Garden...................................................... 8, 38

See Also

Garden

Mashovisho.......................................................... 257

Massachusetts...................................................... 42

Maurice.......................... 14, 41, 46, 112, 122, 141, 151

Maurice Eiserman................................................... 14

Maurice Schwartz............... 41, 46, 112, 122, 141, 151

See Also

Schwartz

Maurice Schwartz
................................................... 41

Maury Schwartz........................................... 167, 203

See Also

Schwartz

Max......................................... 3, 6, 102, 131, 156, 179

Max Aarons.......................................................... 156

Max Pearlman...................................................... 179

Max Reinhardt...................................................... 3, 6

See Also

Reinhardt

Maxwell.............................................................. 173

Maxwell House.................................................... 173

See Also

House

Meinz.................................................................... 4, 5

MELANIE MINTZ

SPEAKING................................................................... 155-219

Melka Lobiler............................................... 103, 132

Mellie.................................................................. 198

Melodramas......................................................... 165

Menasch Scolic..................................................... 43

Menasha..... 18, 73, 75, 80, 118, 120, 121, 147, 149, 150

Menasha Scolnic................................................... 18

See Also

Scolnic

Menasha Skulnik......... 75, 118, 120, 121, 147, 149, 150

See Also

Skulnik

Mendi...................................................................... 23

Merchant Ivory................................................ 20, 24

Met..................................... 8, 20, 23, 31, 35, 162, 249

Meyer.......................................................... 16, 24, 28

Meyer Weiskel........................................................ 16

See Also

Weiskel

Miami....................................... 111, 112, 140, 141, 207

Miami Beach.................................................. 112, 141

See Also

Beach

Michael.......................................... 1, 34, 51, 111, 140

Michael Boorstein................................................. 51

Michael Burstein........................................... 111, 140

Michael Tilson Thomas.......................................... 34

MICHAEL WAGER................................................... 1

SPEAKING.......................................................................... 1-40

See Also

Wager

Middle East............................................................ 13

Midwest................................................................. 13

Mignon................................................................... 20

Mihilesko.............................................................. 165

Mike Burstein................................................ 111, 140

Mike Todd............................................................. 162

Mikhail Mikhailesco.......................................... 43, 45

Mildred Dunnock...................................................... 6

Miller..................................................... 234-236, 247

See Also

Arthur Miller

Milwaukee.............................................................. 85

Mina Burn................................................ 94, 111, 140

Mina Burns............................................................. 94

Miriam.......... 85, 109, 116, 138, 145, 173, 179, 200, 208

Miriam Crescent................................................... 208

Miriam Kretzen........................................ 85, 109, 138

Mitch................................................................... 234

Moabite.................................................................. 10

Moaz...................................................................... 10

Molly 17, 42, 44, 46, 53, 58, 72, 73, 75, 89, 116, 117, 145, 146, 165, 177, 195, 200

Molly Pican........................................................... 17

Molly Picarn................................................... 42, 44

Molly Picka.................................................. 116, 145

Molly Picken.................................. 165, 177, 195, 200

Molly Piquan......................................................... 89

Monday.................................................. 233, 243, 254

Montreal..................................................... 56, 86-88

Montserrat Caballe............................................... 4

See Also

Caballe

Monty Lezar......................................................... 265

Moscow................................................................. 43

Moscowitz.................................................... 124, 153

Moses................................................................. 6, 23

Moshe Herschel.................................................... 247

See Also

Herschel

Moshe Stern......................................................... 251

See Also

Stern

Mostel................................................................... 50

Muni Visenforn....................................................... 18

Munie...................................................................... 72

See Also

Paul Munie

Munie Serebrov........................................................ 72

Murray............ 55, 56, 58, 113, 116, 142, 145, 201, 202

Murray Rumsey............................................... 56, 201

Murray Rumshinksi............................................... 201

Murray Rumshinsky................................................ 55

Murray Schwartz.......................... 113, 116, 142, 145

See Also

Schwartz

Museum................................................................ 210

 

N

Nadel................................................................... 264

Nasha Skulnik........................................................ 42

See Also

Skulnik

Natalie.................................................................. 30

Nathan Goldberg............................................ 59, 155

See Also

Goldberg

National Roof Garden........................................... 50

See Also

Garden, Roof Garden

National Theatre
............................................. 50, 64

See Also

Theatre
 

Nazis...................................................................... 19

Neck..................................................................... 267

Negev..................................................................... 13

New Israel Opera................................................... 35

See Also

Israel, Opera

New Jersey........................................................ 37, 92

See Also

Jersey

New Palestine........................................................ 11

See Also

Palestine

New Rochelle....................................................... 255

New York 1, 2, 6, 10, 11, 14-17, 20, 21, 24, 26, 32, 39, 42, 45, 55, 56, 66, 85, 87, 92, 210, 224, 244, 252, 256

New York Opera..................................................... 21

See Also

Opera

Newark................................................................. 224

Newman.................................................................. 24

See Also

Paul Newman

Newsweek................................................................. 5

Nicaragua..................................................... 112, 141

Noah...................................................................... 18

Norm.................................................................... 214

Norman Bell Geddes................................................ 6

See Also

Bell Geddes

Norton Lectures...................................................... 3

Notes................................................................... 215

 

O

Ocean Parkway...................................................... 79

Oedipus.................................................................... 4

See Also

Stravinsky Oedipus Rex

Oklahoma............................................................ 267

Olsenesky.............................................................. 48

Olshinevsky...................................................... 51, 52

Omnibus................................................................. 39

Opera............................................................. 20, 249

See Also

Chicago Opera Company, Civic Opera House, Manhattan Opera House, New Israel Opera, New York Opera, Oscar Hammerstein Manhattan Opera House, Threepenny Opera

Orthodox............................................................. 252

Oscar.............................................. 6, 20, 38, 45, 227

Oscar Hammerstein............................................ 6, 38

See Also

Hammerstein

Oscar Julius........................................................ 227

See Also

Julius

Oscar Ostrov........................................................ 45

Ottawa.................................................................. 87

Otto Preminger...................................................... 19

Overnight.............................................................. 54

 

P

Palestine............................................................... 13

See Also

New Palestine

Papa Sens.............................................................. 23

Pappi Rossen................................................. 118, 147

Pappy..................................................................... 19

Paramount............................................................ 79

Paramount Theatre
............................................... 79

See Also

Theatre
 

Paris....................................................... 3, 23, 32, 33

Parkway Theatre
.......................... 59, 63, 76, 155, 156

See Also

Theatre
 

Parness.......................................... 119, 120, 148, 149

Pasach................................................................. 263

Pascal.................................................................. 14

Passover............................................................... 20

Paul.................................. 18, 19, 24, 58, 72, 264, 266

Paul Muni......................................................... 18, 72

Paul Munie............................................................. 72

See Also

Munie

Paul Muny.............................................................. 58

Paul Newman.................................................... 19, 24

See Also

Newman

Paul Zim........................................................ 264, 266

See Also

Zim

Paul Zimmer......................................................... 266

See Also

Zim

Pearl Fishers......................................................... 29

Pellias.................................................................. 20

Penzance................................................................ 89

Performances.................................................. 26, 27

Perspective.......................................................... 209

Peter.............................................................. 39, 228

Peter Pan............................................................... 39

Philadelphia............................... 10, 56, 66, 67, 75, 85

Phyllis Anderson Theatre
.................................... 156

See Also

Anderson, Theatre
 

Phyllis Diller........................................................ 65

Pierce........................................................... 263, 264

See Also

Jan Pierce, John Pierce

Pinchix................................................................. 260

Pines.................................................................... 231

Pinsk...................................................................... 43

Pirates.................................................................. 89

Poland.................................... 108, 137, 159, 160, 162

See Also

Russian Poland

Posters................................................................ 216

Powerful............................................................... 77

Practically......................................................... 174

President................................................................. 2

Problem............................................................... 256

Progrum.................................................................. 8

Promenade........................................................... 248

Promise.................................................................. 26

Prompters............................................................. 82

Psalms.................................................................. 10

 

Q

Queens.................................................................. 265

 

R

Rabbi......................................... 99, 128, 263, 264, 266

Rabbi Cahanah.............................................. 263, 264

See Also

Cahanah

Rabbi Parilli................................................... 99, 128

Radio..................................................................... 43

Raises.................................................................. 266

See Also

Sal Raises

Randolph............................................................... 92

Rashoning Kippur.................................................. 252

See Also

Kippur

Rebecca........................................... 43, 197, 198, 200

Rebecca Richmond................................................ 197

Rebecca Weinfeld................................................... 43

Recording............................................................. 172

Reformed.............................................................. 262

Regina.................................................................... 22

Reinhardt............................................ 3, 9, 10, 15, 33

See Also

Gottfried Reinhardt, Max Reinhardt

Reliability............................................................. 36

Remembrance......................................................... 25

Rene Kollo.............................................................. 4

Rent..................................................................... 206

Rhovolt................................................................. 13

Richard Kylie......................................................... 51

Richard Tucker............................................... 51, 256

See Also

Tucker

Rigoletto.............................................................. 34

Rimshinsky............................................................. 52

Riseman................................................................ 224

Robert Merrill...................................................... 51

Rockaway..................................................... 225, 231

Romance......................................................... 2, 3, 38

See Also

Chicago Romance

Roof Garden.......................................................... 50

See Also

Garden, National Roof Garden

Rose...................................................... 155, 160, 179

See Also

Aunt Rose, Billy Rose, Billy Rose Theatre
, Sanford Rosen

Rose Goldberg..................................................... 155

See Also

Goldberg

Rose Greenfield............................................. 160, 179

Rose Tritla.......................................................... 160

Rosenblat..................................................... 102, 131

Rosenblatt.................................................... 254-256

Rosenthal............................................................ 180

Rosh Hashanah...................................................... 67

Roshannian Kippur................................................ 228

See Also

Kippur

Rosie Goldberg...................................................... 59

See Also

Goldberg

Rosie Greenfield..................................................... 59

Roxy................................................................... 2, 10

Roxy Theatre
........................................................... 2

See Also

Theatre
 

Rudolph Shilkraut................................................. 18

Rummy................................................................... 58

Rumshinski............................................................ 201

Russian....................................................... 15, 16, 35

Russian Poland...................................................... 16

See Also

Poland

Ruth................................................................... 6, 10

 

S

Saint Louis............................................................. 85

Sal Mineo............................................................... 24

Sal Raises............................................................ 266

See Also

Raises

Salesman......................................................... 6, 157

Salome.................................................................. 47

Saltzman......................................................... 76, 96

See Also

Esta Saltzman, Esther Saltzman

Salzmann..................................................... 165, 177

Samalah........................................ 119, 120, 148, 149

Sammy Milman................................................ 98, 127

Samuel....................................................... 6, 64, 222

Samuel Goldenberg............................................ 6, 64

See Also

Goldenberg

Samuel Marshall................................................ 222

Sandy Meisner........................................................ 17

Sanford Rosen................................................ 98, 127

See Also

Rose

Sara Bernhardt................................................... 160

See Also

Bernhard

Sarah Adler........................................................... 17

See Also

Adler

Sarah Bernhard.............................................. 17, 166

See Also

Bernhard

Sarah Bernhardt.................................................. 166

See Also

Bernhard

Saturday..... 8, 39, 48, 85, 221, 230, 233, 236, 256, 257

Schalyapin............................................................ 35

Scheckman..................................................... 97, 126

Scholar............................................................... 171

School.................................................................... 1

See Also

Colombia Graduate School

Schulnick.............................................................. 68

Schumann.............................................................. 34

Schwartz....................................................... 44, 241

See Also

Arthur Schwartz, Maurice Schwartz, Maury Schwartz, Murray Schwartz

Science.................................................................. 23

Scolnic.................................................................. 46

See Also

Menasha Scolnic

Scouts........................................................... 98, 127

See Also

Cub Scouts

Screw.................................................................... 33

Seagull................................................................... 1

Secunda........................................... 181, 185-187, 189

Seders............................................................ 15, 263

Sekunda...................................................... 66, 67, 78

Seventh Street................................. 99, 111, 128, 140

See Also

Street

Sevilla.................................................................. 96

Seymour....... 47, 116, 145, 173, 175, 179, 197, 198, 208

Shabbats................................ 247, 252, 256, 261, 266

Shabbis................................................................ 221

Shalom.................................................................. 34

Shane................................................................... 175

Shanesky................................................................ 62

Shendi.................................................................... 23

Shifrolera.................................................... 111, 140

Shiva Hazones...................................................... 268

Shmendrik.............................................................. 61

Sidney Lumet...................................................... 6, 31

Siegel Theatre
....................................................... 43

See Also

Theatre
 

Signed.................................................................. 263

Silk........................................................................ 68

Simon............................................................ 248, 257

Simon Spiro.......................................................... 248

See Also

Spiro

Sinatra.................................................................. 79

Sing.................................................. 99, 128, 234, 261

Sings.................................................................... 261

Sisters................................................................... 26

See Also

Andrew Sisters

Sixty...................................................................... 24

Skulnik............................................................. 73, 80

See Also

Menasha Skulnik, Nasha Skulnik

Smith............................................................ 222, 244

See Also

Edward Smith

Snow White.................................... 103, 104, 132, 133

Social Security............................................ 157, 208

Soldier Field........................................................ 2, 3

Songs.................................................................... 56

South Africa........................................................ 180

South America................................................ 86, 223

See Also

America

Spain...................................................................... 20

Spanish.................................................................. 96

Sparkle................................................................. 45

Spector.......................................... 220, 222, 228, 232

See Also

Henry Spector

Spiro..................................................... 254, 255, 259

See Also

Simon Spiro

Stamford............................................................. 255

Steichen................................................................... 6

Stella........................................................ 17, 27, 28

Stella Adler.................................................... 17, 27

See Also

Adler

Stern..................................................... 247, 250, 252

See Also

Moshe Stern, Vera Stern

Sternis.......................................................... 226, 227

Sternis Choir................................................ 226, 227

Story..................................................................... 84

Stravinsky Oedipus Rex............................................ 3

See Also

Oedipus

Street 3, 98, 107, 114, 115, 124, 127, 136, 143, 144, 153, 241

See Also

East Fourth Street, East Sixth Street, Seventh Street, Twelfth Street

Streetcar.......................................................... 2, 17

Studebaker............................................................ 48

Sunday....................... 85, 220, 221, 227, 237, 247, 257

Sundays................................................................. 74

Susan Strausberg.................................................. 19

Sutton.................................................... 263-265, 268

 

T

Talabender........................................................... 192

See Also

Yenta Mentle Talabender, Yenta Talabender

Talmud Torah.................................... 98, 99, 127, 128

See Also

Torah

Tandy..................................................................... 17

Tatiana Troyanos.................................................... 4

Tel Aviv.................................................. 4, 13, 23, 34

Temple................................................................. 8, 9

Tenements.............................................................. 47

Terrific.................................................................. 78

Texas..................................................................... 86

Theatre
....................................... 43, 49, 167, 168, 198

See Also

Billy Rose Theatre
, Brattle Theatre
, Clinton Theatre
, Douglas Park Theatre
, Eden Theatre
, Folks Theatre
, Habima Theatre
, Henry Mill Theatre
, Lenox Theatre
, Liberty Theatre
, Lyric Theatre
, National Theatre
, Paramount Theatre
, Parkway Theatre
, Phyllis Anderson Theatre
, Roxy Theatre
, Siegel Theatre
, Yiddish Art Theatre
, Yiddish Theatre
, Yiddish Theatre
 Vaudeville

Thelma Jacobs.............................................. 195, 196

See Also

Jacob, Jacobs

Thelma Mintz....................................................... 195

Thomas Chalmers.................................................... 6

Thomashevsky........................................................ 17

See Also

Bessie Thomashevsky

Threepenny Opera..................................................... 3

See Also

Opera

Tom......................................................................... 4

See Also

Annie Tomishefski

Tony Curtis............................................................ 44

Tops....................................................................... 53

Torah................................................................... 233

See Also

Talmud Torah

Tore....................................................................... 46

Toronto................. 11, 87, 248, 249, 256-259, 265, 266

Traviata................................................................ 31

Tremendous............................................................ 87

Tremendous Jewish................................................. 87

See Also

Jew, Jewish

Trilling......................................................... 100, 129

See Also

Illia Trilling

Trista............................................................... 22, 23

Tritlas................................................................. 160

Tucker.............................................. 79, 256, 257, 266

See Also

Richard Tucker

Twelfth Street............................... 114, 115, 143, 144

See Also

Street

 

U

Uda Hagen.............................................................. 17

Ulchanefsky............................. 79, 102, 103, 131, 132

See Also

Alexander Ulchanefsky

Ulchie.................................................................... 79

Ulysses.................................................................. 50

Uncle Willie.......................................................... 74

United States...................................... 4, 14, 158, 239

Uptown.................................................................. 60

Uta Haagen.............................................................. 1

 

V

Vaguely................................................... 52, 120, 149

Valishav Melchior................................................. 22

Valkyrie................................................................. 31

Van Grove.............................................................. 38

See Also

Isaac Van Grove

Vaudeville....... 50, 51, 79, 159, 160, 162, 171, 175, 207

See Also

Yiddish Theatre
 Vaudeville, Yiddish Vaudeville

Vehrful.................................................................. 15

Venice...................................................................... 4

Vera Stern............................................................. 25

See Also

Stern

Versatile............................................................... 54

Vershovsky.................................... 249, 253, 254, 258

Verves..................................................................... 8

Victory Bond......................................................... 31

Vietra...................................................................... 6

Virginia............................................................. 92, 93

Volksbeta.............................................................. 51

See Also

Yiddish Volksbeta

 

W

Wager................................................................ 1, 17

See Also

Mandy Wager, Michael Wager

Wagner......................................................... 5, 10, 31

Waldman........................................ 224, 227, 248, 263

Waldorf Astoria................................................... 32

Walt Disney.................................................. 103, 132

Walter.................................................................. 31

Warren Alpert..................................................... 264

Washington............................................................. 6

Watered................................................................. 17

Waxman............................................................... 267

Weekend............................................................... 248

Weekends............................................................... 45

Weisgal................................................................... 1

See Also

Mandy Weisgal

Weiskel.................................................................. 29

See Also

Freddy Weiskel, Meyer Weiskel

Weitzman......................................... 13, 14, 23, 32, 33

See Also

Dr Weitzman

Weitzman Institute..................................... 13, 23, 32

Weitzmanite........................................................... 22

Weitzmanites......................................................... 13

Weizmann................................................................. 2

See Also

Chaim Weizmann

Werfel..................................................................... 3

West Coast........................................................... 86

Westerly............................................................. 201

Whitehead................................................................ 2

Wife....................................................................... 17

Willamette.......................................................... 253

William Epstein..................................................... 69

William Novak....................................................... 32

Williamsburg........................................................ 43

Willie Seagal........................................................ 65

Wilmette.............................................................. 253

Women................................................................. 207

Worry.................................................................. 230

 

Y

Yabby............................................... 98, 104, 127, 133

Yablokoff. 98, 101, 103-105, 120, 127, 130, 132-134, 149

See Also

Herman Yablokoff

Yasha............................................................. 32, 180

Yasha Heifitz.......................................................... 32

Yeherbin Yabica...................................................... 61

Yenta........................................ 60, 162, 163, 171, 174

Yenta Mentle Talabender..................................... 163

See Also

Talabender

Yenta Talabender.................................. 162, 171, 174

See Also

Talabender

Yetta Swerling................................ 65, 121, 150, 208

Yevo.............................................................. 122, 151

Yez Whirling.......................................................... 84

Yiddish 13, 15-17, 24, 28, 34, 41-48, 50-54, 59, 69, 79, 84-88, 91, 92, 95-98, 106, 107, 109-112, 114, 116, 121, 122, 126, 127, 135, 136, 138-141, 143, 145, 150, 151, 156, 157, 159, 160, 164, 168, 169, 180, 185, 187, 199, 200, 202, 203, 207, 260, 263

See Also

Avenue Yiddish, English Yiddish

Yiddish Art Theatre
......................... 114, 116, 143, 145

See Also

Art, Theatre
 

Yiddish Artists.............................................. 110, 139

See Also

Art

Yiddish Maury Shavallia...................................... 207

Yiddish Theatre
.............. 17, 41, 42, 44, 50, 51, 53, 169

See Also

Theatre
 

Yiddish Theatre
 Vaudeville..................................... 50

See Also

Theatre
, Vaudeville

Yiddish Vaudeville.................................................. 51

See Also

Vaudeville

Yiddish Volksbeta.................................................. 51

See Also

Volksbeta

Yiddishist...................................................... 111, 140

Yinglish......................................................... 121, 150

Yom Kippur................................................ 67, 93, 220

See Also

Kippur

 

Z

Zabotinsky............................................................. 22

Zamir.................................................................... 265

Zeferelli................................................................ 10

Zelda Kaplan................................................ 197, 198

See Also

Kaplan

Zim....................................................................... 266

See Also

Paul Zim, Paul Zimmer

Zionist.................................................................... 11


 

 


 

TAPE NUMBER: B11644

[bars and tone: [B11644]10:47:01]

[B11644]10:47:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Okay.  It's Michael, a.k.a...

[B11644]10:47:21                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

A.k.a. what?  Mandy ...

[B11644]10:47:22                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Or...

[B11644]10:47:23                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Wager XE "Wager:See Also:Michael Wager"  XE "Wager:See Also:Mandy Wager"  XE "Wager" .

[B11644]10:47:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Mandy XE "Mandy"  Wager XE "Mandy Wager:See Also:Wager"  XE "Mandy Wager" .

[B11644]10:47:24                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Or Mandy XE "Mandy"  Weisgal XE "Mandy Weisgal:See Also:Weisgal"  XE "Mandy Weisgal" .

[B11644]10:47:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Mandy XE "Mandy"  Weisgal XE "Mandy Weisgal:See Also:Weisgal"  XE "Mandy Weisgal" .

[B11644]10:47:26                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yeah.

[B11644]10:47:26                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And the Weisgal XE "Weisgal:See Also:Mandy Weisgal"  XE "Weisgal"  comes from, of course, the illustrious...

[B11644]10:47:32                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) My father.

[B11644]10:47:33                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...Weisgal XE "Weisgal:See Also:Mandy Weisgal"  XE "Weisgal" .  Just tell me what...

[B11644]10:47:38                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

You never ask the son to talk about his father. (laugh)

[B11644]10:47:42                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Just tell me about yourself, where you were born.

[B11644]10:47:46                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Born XE "Born"  in New York XE "New York"  City.  Grew XE "Grew"  up in New York City.  Went to DeWitt Clinton High School XE "School:See Also:Colombia Graduate School"  XE "School"  and went to Harvard XE "Harvard"  University XE "Harvard University" .  Went into the Army XE "Army"  where I became a Chinese XE "Chinese"  interpreter of all things.   And went back, got a graduate degree in English XE "English" . Founded XE "Founded"  The Battlefield XE "Battlefield"  in Cambridge XE "Cambridge" , one of the first regional theatre
s in America XE "America:See Also:South America"  XE "America" .  Came back to New York, got married and was in a class with Uta Haagen XE "Uta Haagen" .  And one day she said, after doing a scene from The Seagull XE "Seagull" , said, phone this number.

[B11644]10:48:26                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

I phoned this number, said please come up to (sounds like) Henry Mill Theatre
 XE "Henry Mill Theatre
:See Also:Theatre
"  XE "Henry Mill Theatre
" , and I went up and I got my first job, literally out of college, in a regional production of Streetcar XE "Streetcar"  Named Desire XE "Desire" .  And that began a rather long theatre
 career.  And, and the third play I was in, I played a young Episcopal XE "Episcopal"  minister with Burgess Meredith XE "Burgess Meredith" .  And I got this offer to go to Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel"  to make the first full-length feature film in English XE "English"  that was then distributed worldwide called Hill XE "Hill:See Also:Beth Hillel"  XE "Hill"  24 Does Not Answer.

[B11644]10:49:03                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And I didn't know whether to leave the play, so I asked for a raise from, from (sounds like) Whitehead XE "Whitehead"  and they didn't give me a raise.  And so I left the play and went to Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel"  in 1954 to make this movie which is going to be released in July XE "July"  on DVD.

[B11644]10:49:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You have some early memories of theatrical things and pageants and so forth that go back to Chicago XE "Chicago" .  Were you living in Chicago?

[B11644]10:49:29                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yes.  (stammers) The family moved to Chicago XE "Chicago"  and I don't know how this happened, but my father got excited putting on a Hanukkah Festival XE "Hanukkah Festival" .  And it was called The Romance XE "Romance:See Also:Chicago Romance"  XE "Romance"  Of The People, which was sort of a historical narrative about, biblical narrative.  And it really was for the benefit of Jew XE "Jew:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jew:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jew" ish XE "Jewish:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jewish:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jewish"  refugees at the time.  And he called Weizmann XE "Weizmann:See Also:Chaim Weizmann"  XE "Weizmann" , Chaim Weizmann XE "Chaim Weizmann:See Also:Weizmann"  XE "Chaim Weizmann" , who was the first President XE "President"  Of Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" .  This is, of course, before Israel, and said that, if you come to Chicago, I will guarantee $100,000 to the refugee fund, and (laugh) Weizmann said, put it in writing, and he did and they did.

[B11644]10:50:21                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Now, let's just clarify, that...

[B11644]10:50:24                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) It was done first in, in, in a theatre
 and then for the first time they had a Jew XE "Jew:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jew:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jew" ish XE "Jewish:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jewish:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jewish"  Day at the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago XE "Chicago" .  And it was a big, sold-out business, and I, I was there, Charlie XE "Charlie" . (laugh)

[B11644]10:50:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And that was at Soldier Field XE "Soldier Field" ?

[B11644]10:50:42                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Soldier Field XE "Soldier Field" , yeah.

[B11644]10:50:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And so that would have been in the Summer?

[B11644]10:50:47                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yeah, but it went on tour then, you know.  It played the Roxy XE "Roxy"  Theatre
 XE "Roxy Theatre
:See Also:Theatre
"  XE "Roxy Theatre
"  in New York XE "New York"  where I saw it again.

[B11644]10:50:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Were you in it?  Did...

[B11644]10:50:56                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) No.

[B11644]10:50:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...you sing in it?

[B11644]10:50:57                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

No, no, no, no, no.

[B11644]10:50:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What do you remember about The Romance XE "Romance:See Also:Chicago Romance"  XE "Romance"  Of The People, especially the Soldier Field XE "Soldier Field" .

[B11644]10:51:01                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Well, it was just very exciting, I remember.  I literally was, what, nine or eight or something like that.  So I have much, much more vivid memories (sounds like) of touring the road, which came out of that.  They were very, the beginning of terrible times, you know, '37 before, and my father just seemed like a, a demon about getting this done.  And it was a time when many, many Jews XE "Jews"  from Germany XE "Germany"  were being exiled or fleeing.  Max XE "Max"  Reinhardt XE "Max Reinhardt:See Also:Reinhardt"  XE "Max Reinhardt"  was in Paris XE "Paris" , great, great German XE "German"  director, and (laugh) apocryphal or not, supposedly he sent a telegram to Reinhardt XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Max Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Gottfried Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt"  who was directing a, a play in Paris, saying, if Hitler XE "Hitler"  doesn't want you, I do.

[B11644]10:52:03                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And it was Reinhardt XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Max Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Gottfried Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt"  who chose Franz Werfel XE "Werfel" , another, by the (stammers) by the way, was at that time married to Alma Mahler XE "Mahler" , the, the wife of Gustav Mahler, whom I also met, and Kurt Weill XE "Kurt Weill"  and Lenya XE "Lenya:See Also:Lotte Lenya"  XE "Lenya" , whom I also spent a year on the stage with in Brecht On Brecht., and got them together to do this.  Werfel wrote the, the text.  It was called Der XE "Der"  Weg Der Verheissung XE "Der Weg Der Verheissung"  in German XE "German"  and it was translated by Ludwig Lewisohn XE "Ludwig Lewisohn:See Also:Lewisohn"  XE "Ludwig Lewisohn"  as The Eternal Road XE "Eternal Road" , or, as our family used to say, The Eternal Load XE "Eternal Load"  (laugh) because my father didn't take any money.

[B11644]10:52:47                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And I, I was interviewed once for a Kurt Weill XE "Kurt Weill"  program, and they told me that Kurt Weill used to complain about his royalties not being paid or this or that.  I said, what's he complaining about?  We had to move out of our (stammers) beautiful apartment on 86th Street XE "Street:See Also:Twelfth Street"  XE "Street:See Also:Seventh Street"  XE "Street:See Also:East Sixth Street"  XE "Street:See Also:East Fourth Street"  XE "Street"  into a fleabag hotel for two years because my father had no money.   Said, so what's he complaining about?  I suffered, not Kurt Weill. (laugh)

[B11644]10:53:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you know Lewisohn XE "Lewisohn:See Also:Ludwing Lewisohn"  XE "Lewisohn:See Also:Ludwig Lewisohn"  XE "Lewisohn"  at all?

[B11644]10:53:19                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(stammers) Ludwing Lewisohn XE "Ludwing Lewisohn:See Also:Lewisohn"  XE "Ludwing Lewisohn" .

[B11644]10:53:21                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Lewisohn XE "Lewisohn:See Also:Ludwing Lewisohn"  XE "Lewisohn:See Also:Ludwig Lewisohn"  XE "Lewisohn" .

[B11644]10:53:22                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Oh, yes.  Yes.  He, as a matter of fact, as a very, very young man, he said, I will give you some advice.  He said, marry a rich woman much older than you then let her die. (laugh)

[B11644]10:53:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

He was in the midst of a messy divorce at the time he told you that.

[B11644]10:53:44                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yes, I heard him lecture, also, at the first (stammers) Brandeis Festival XE "Brandeis Festival"  where, actually, Bernstein XE "Bernstein" , his first, the first performance of, of Blitzstein XE "Blitzstein" 's translation of Threepenny Opera XE "Threepenny Opera:See Also:Opera"  XE "Threepenny Opera" .  And then, I ended up working for Bernstein.  Did the Stravinsky Oedipus Rex XE "Stravinsky Oedipus Rex:See Also:Oedipus"  XE "Stravinsky Oedipus Rex" , part of The Norton Lectures XE "Norton Lectures"  with the Boston XE "Boston"  Symphony XE "Boston Symphony" , and that was recorded.  And also, his Kaddish XE "Kaddish" , the third symphony.  He toured the world from, with that.

[B11644]10:54:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The first thing you mentioned, so you did the dramatic speaking?

[B11644]10:54:32                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yes, the speaker.

[B11644]10:54:34                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What was that like?

[B11644]10:54:34                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Der XE "Der"  schpreche.   Well, one thing I'll never forget is the first sit-down rehearsal with the cast of Oedipus XE "Oedipus:See Also:Stravinsky Oedipus Rex"  XE "Oedipus" , which was Tatiana Troyanos XE "Tatiana Troyanos" , Rene Kollo XE "Rene Kollo" , Tom XE "Tom:See Also:Annie Tomishefski"  XE "Tom"  (stammers), I mean, a big cast of stars.  And Lenny XE "Lenny" , as usual, said, you will now hear the voice of Drano XE "Drano"  recite the words of (laugh) Jean Cocteau XE "Jean Cocteau" .  I wanted to hit him.  I mean, I did the commercial, nothing can snake out your drain like Drano.  But, you know, like my father, you know.  Never mind. (laugh)

[B11644]10:55:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And by the time you did the, the Kaddish XE "Kaddish" ...

[B11644]10:55:19                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) That was many years later.  It had first been done by the great actress Hanna Hoeven XE "Hanna Hoeven"  (sp?) of the Habima XE "Habima"  Theatre
 XE "Habima Theatre
:See Also:Theatre
"  XE "Habima Theatre
"  in Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" .  And then, Felicia Montealegre XE "Felicia Montealegre" , his wife, did the first performance in the United States XE "United States" , and in fact, I think, according to Jew XE "Jew:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jew:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jew" ish XE "Jewish:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jewish:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jewish"  law, women do not say Kaddish XE "Kaddish" , which, and then he rewrote it with me in mind and we did the first performance of that and literally toured the world over a number of years with Kaddish.  I mean, we were at the 40th anniversary of the, (stammers) in Hiroshima XE "Hiroshima" .  We did it in Budapest XE "Budapest"  and Venice XE "Venice"  and Athens XE "Athens" .

[B11644]10:56:04                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And in Tel Aviv XE "Tel Aviv" , actually, I was very touching (sic) because my father was dying at the time, and he came to the Mann Auditorium XE "Mann Auditorium"  in a wheelchair.  And there I was saying (stammers).  Oh, God.  And I remember him saying to me, I felt you were talking to me.  (makes noise)  So that's, I'll start to cry in a minute.

[B11644]10:56:35                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And you did the recording.

[B11644]10:56:36                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yes, the recording was done in Meinz XE "Meinz"  in Germany XE "Germany"  with Montserrat Caballe XE "Montserrat Caballe:See Also:Caballe"  XE "Montserrat Caballe" , and it was recorded on Deutsche Grammophon XE "Deutsche Grammophon" .  And so was the Oedipus XE "Oedipus:See Also:Stravinsky Oedipus Rex"  XE "Oedipus" .

[B11644]10:56:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Now, tell me, the...

[B11644]10:56:53                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) (unintelligible)

[B11644]10:56:53                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...the script, the script for The Kaddish XE "Kaddish" , we'll get back to the tour in the a minute...

[B11644]10:56:56                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) Sure.

[B11644]10:56:57                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...but the script for the Kaddish XE "Kaddish"  was written with you in mind?

[B11644]10:56:59                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yes, he asked me did I have any ideas 'cause he always felt that it needed a revision.  But Lenny XE "Lenny"  was Lenny, and I suggested certain things and wrote them down and et cetera, et cetera, and he said, very interesting, very interesting, and out they went and it's all his.  I actually was with him the moment he died.  I had offered my services to help him.  I was, I lived two blocks away.  And they said, we sure do need help.  And so I sort of slept in the library for those two weeks.

[B11644]10:57:42                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

I remember that very well because he had, the last day of his life he had developed a, a superficial infection on top of, of the cancer that he had had.  And the doctor said, I'll come and, and give him an antibiotic injection.   And he was sitting in a chair in, in his studio in Dakota XE "Dakota" , and the doctor saw him.  And the doctor said, get him, pick him up and take him to the bed, and sort of like dead weight.  And the doctor said, never mind.  I'll, just hold him and I will give him the injection.  And he gave him the injection and then he said, what is this?  And then just slumped and that was it.

[B11644]10:58:40                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

It's very funny because in the first edition of the biography of Humphrey Burton XE "Humphrey Burton"  said he died in Wagner XE "Wagner" 's arms, misspelling my name, which had been all through the book, anyway.  Newsweek XE "Newsweek"  came out and said it should have been Mahler XE "Mahler" . (laugh)

[B11644]10:59:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That script differs, the one he rewrote for you.

[B11644]10:59:03                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Oh, yes.  Very, very much so.  Very, very much.  This may not be objectively, I mean, I think it's much, much clearer and makes much more sense than the original which, and also, it seems to me that the (stammers) well, this will sound sexist, I suppose, but the readings of women get, get a little hysterical, and I think I tried my best to, to simplify, simplify (stammers), well, I am an actor and I just don't, less is more, really.

[B11644]10:59:50                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And I'll never forget something.  During the recording in Meinz XE "Meinz" , Caballe XE "Caballe:See Also:Montserrat Caballe"  XE "Caballe" , who had never heard the piece, sat there because she only has this one section, the lullaby, which she sang exquisitely, but as Lenny XE "Lenny"  said, she can't count. (laugh) Some rather difficult rhythmic something or other, but I remember the end, as I was going off, she was sitting there with tears streaming down her face and, I did not know it was so beautiful.  You know.  Anyway.

[B11644]11:00:28                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The American XE "American"  premiere of your revised version, was that in Dallas XE "Dallas" ?

[B11644]11:00:34                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

No.

[B11644]11:00:34                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I'm trying to remember.  What was in Dallas XE "Dallas" ?

[B11644]11:00:37                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

No, Dallas XE "Dallas"  was the opera (sounds like) this awful quiet place.

[B11644]11:00:41                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Where was the American XE "American"  premiere of the new version?

[B11644]11:00:43                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

In Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" .

[B11644]11:00:45                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The American XE "American"  premiere, though.  Of the new version.

[B11644]11:00:48                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yes, I know.  I'm trying to remember.  I, I know we did it in New York XE "New York"  and in Washington XE "Washington" .  I think you'd have to look up in the, in Jack XE "Jack"  Gottlieb XE "Jack Gottlieb" 's discography of performance records to find exactly when the first performance was, but I know we've done it all over at, you know, so, so, so many places.

[B11644]11:01:18                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So you saw performances of (sounds like) Vietra XE "Vietra"  on the road.

[B11644]11:01:24                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Ah, well, I not only saw it, I saw every single matinee for its entire rum.  And well, I never will forget these, my feeling at the first scene where Abraham XE "Abraham" , Thomas Chalmers XE "Thomas Chalmers" , raises his hand and you suddenly see it in the back, I have this incredible photo by Steichen XE "Steichen"  about seeing, where you saw the Heavenly Host XE "Heavenly Host"  suddenly appear, and I always felt, Jesus XE "Jesus" , do they have fans?  Why, why do I get these chills all over my body.  And it happened every time.  It was an extraordinary stage picture and dramatic moment.

[B11644]11:02:13                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And there were so many people in that production who later became famous actors.  Mildred Dunnock XE "Mildred Dunnock" , for example, was an extra.  She was the wife in, in Arthur Miller XE "Arthur Miller:See Also:Miller"  XE "Arthur Miller" 's play Death XE "Death"  Of A Salesman XE "Salesman" .  (sounds like) Hoot Kasma XE "Hoot Kasma" , the great comedian, was an Egyptian XE "Egyptian"  slave, or something like that.  And of course, Lotte Lenya XE "Lotte Lenya:See Also:Lenya"  XE "Lotte Lenya"  played the wife of, sister of Moses XE "Moses"  and had this song, my brother is high as the councils of Egypt XE "Egypt" .  And I'll never forget, also, Samuel XE "Samuel"  Goldenberg XE "Samuel Goldenberg:See Also:Goldenberg"  XE "Samuel Goldenberg"  who played Moses.  Great actor of theatre
 (unintelligible) I'm a stranger in a stranger's land, a strange, I wonder if, and then Ruth XE "Ruth"  was played by the wife of Arthur Schwartz XE "Arthur Schwartz:See Also:Schwartz"  XE "Arthur Schwartz" , the composer of, with Howard XE "Howard"  (word?) of so many musicals.

[B11644]11:03:15                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

She played Ruth XE "Ruth"  very beautifully, and Sidney Lumet XE "Sidney Lumet"  played the young boy in the synagogue.  He originally had a smaller part, and then with all the delays, et cetera, et cetera , et cetera, of which there are a million stories, finally outgrew it and then got the leading role in the, in the first production.  And Dickie VanPatten got the part that he played.  But I have very vivid, vivid memories, and at one point in my life could practically sing the score from beginning to end.  And I was invited two years ago to Germany XE "Germany"  for the first performance in German XE "German"  of, of the play.

[B11644]11:04:08                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

Of course, it's a very different experience because they could not reproduce in a small, provincial opera house the kind of setting that Norman Bell Geddes XE "Norman Bell Geddes:See Also:Bell Geddes"  XE "Norman Bell Geddes"  did, which was an immense reconstruction of the old (stammers) of old Oscar XE "Oscar"  Hammerstein XE "Oscar Hammerstein:See Also:Hammerstein"  XE "Oscar Hammerstein" 's Manhattan XE "Manhattan:See Also:Oscar Hammerstein Manhattan Opera House"  XE "Manhattan"  Opera House XE "Manhattan Opera House:See Also:House"  XE "Manhattan Opera House:See Also:Opera"  XE "Manhattan Opera House:See Also:Oscar Hammerstein Manhattan Opera House"  XE "Manhattan Opera House" .  He tore away the proscenium, which, and then as Max XE "Max"  Reinhardt XE "Max Reinhardt:See Also:Reinhardt"  XE "Max Reinhardt" 's son writes in his book about it, he forgot that you had to have a synagogue, and all of a sudden, there went the orchestra pit so that the synagogue, where the rabbi conducts the narrative of the, of the piece, became the (stammers).

[B11644]11:04:56                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

So Kurt Weill XE "Kurt Weill"  came in and said, what about my orchestra?  And it was a very complicated thing.  RCA recorded the score and there were eight musicians in a box that went along with this recording for the music.  So one never heard a full orchestra play that.  I mean, live.  And they are supposed to exist in the archives of RCA, and my father and Lenya XE "Lenya:See Also:Lotte Lenya"  XE "Lenya"  tried for years to find it and it seems nobody can find it.  So I first heard it again in Germany XE "Germany" , and then, of course, the recording that (word?) Archives XE "Archives"  put out (sounds like) because it's stored in a treasure.

[B11644]11:05:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The performance in Kemnitz XE "Kemnitz"  in Germany XE "Germany" , five years ago...

[B11644]11:05:48                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Is it five?

[B11644]11:05:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.  And then did you see the performance in Brooklyn?

[B11644]11:05:55                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

No.

[B11644]11:05:57                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Enough?  It was the same production.

[B11644]11:06:00                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

It was the same production.  My memories of the original were so vivid and, you know, comparisons are odious, but what's the point, you know.  It, it was marvelous to hear the music and (sounds like) Mark Cherry conducted it wonderfully.

[B11644]11:06:19                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Why did you go so many times?  Did you get tired of it?

[B11644]11:06:22                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

No.  No.  I've wanted to be an actor since I was, I don't know, eight years old.  And this was just before I went off to college.  And it was just fascinating.  I had a, a, a, a seat in the first row of the orchestra and it was always an overwhelming experience and...

[B11644]11:06:51                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) I think I asked this, but the opening night you weren't there.

[B11644]11:06:55                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

No.

[B11644]11:06:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Do you remember...

[B11644]11:06:57                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) Oh, I remember a lot of (stammers) .

[B11644]11:06:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...hearing about it?

[B11644]11:07:00                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Oh, all sorts of funny stories about it.  Really, actually, Gottfried Reinhardt  writes a marvelous chapter about that opening night of my father borrowing the shoes of a, a waiter in a hotel.  Things like that.  And, and of course the fact that it didn't open on time because suddenly the fire laws were, they had to get Mayor LaGuardia to agree to let it go on that night for the 12 or 14 or whatever number of firemen in the audience to see because they used fire on the stage, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

[B11644]11:07:35                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And that's one of the reasons that the critics left at the end of the third act to make the deadline for the morning papers, and I don't think the (word?) was ever done again.  I'm not really sure of that.  Somebody else will have to look that up.  But by the time I went to the first Saturday XE "Saturday"  matinee, I just saw what was done after the opening night.

[B11644]11:08:04                                                                        INTERVIEWER

In three acts.

[B11644]11:08:05                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

In three acts, yes.

[B11644]11:08:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That's probably true, but some of the music from the fourth act was, was shoved into the third act...

[B11644]11:08:14                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

[B11644]11:08:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...and some was not.

[B11644]11:08:18                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Another great thing was when the Temple fell, at first it was these huge pillars that ran from the upper stage all the way to the ceiling of the opera house.  And if anybody's been to the Met, they know how high that could be, and this was a great opera house.  Old Hammerstein  had all the great singers, Lilly Noordica, Mary Garden .  I can't tell you.  It was a great competition at the Met.  And, and Bell Geddes  had devised some sort of mechanical structure so that it, these two shoot columns just broke to show the destruction of the Temple.

[B11644]11:09:05                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And at the end, of course, well, the whole thing is about people escaping from the (sounds like) Progrum in some place in Europe  foreshadowing, of course, so much that happened later.  And at the end, all the characters in the play itself joined the characters fro the Bible  that were shown in the upper stages.

[B11644]11:09:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And where did they go?  Verves .

[B11644]11:09:45                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Verves.  Yo.  Like the end of, of A Dolls House, an opening ending.

[B11644]11:09:50                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It's an open interpretation.

[B11644]11:09:51                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yeah.

[B11644]11:09:54                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You mention the Temple XE "Temple" , the first Temple, the destruction of the first Temple scene.

[B11644]11:10:01                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yeah, but you know the other famous story was that when he did the proscenium and took out, that meant the people in the third balcony couldn't see.  And so they could never sell that.  Damn thing sold out for six months, but it cost about $10,000 more than a full house could pay and my father actually had to raise money every week to keep it going.  The other thing is that there was no place to store scenery and Bell Geddes  wanted to cut the back wall of the, of the house.  And my father said said he went into the guy who owned the garage and said, no matter what he says to you, don't let him tear down this wall.

[B11644]11:10:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So at the performances you saw, there was the destruction and falling of the Temple .

[B11644]11:11:05                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yes.  Oh, yes.

[B11644]11:11:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

This confuses maters even more, but I can just now tell you why.

[B11644]11:11:12                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Well, that's part of the musical fourth act,. I guess.

[B11644]11:11:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It is, but that's why I think it must have been made part of the third act...

[B11644]11:11:18                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) Yes, I'm sure it was.

[B11644]11:11:19                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...because it was a (stammers) .  But in, I don't know what you might make of this, just off the cuff, but in Reinhardt XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Max Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Gottfried Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt" 's son's book...

[B11644]11:11:28                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) Yes.

[B11644]11:11:29                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...he describes the scene on opening night after the performance when people went backstage to congratulate, and so forth.  And he says your father was standing there...

[B11644]11:11:39                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

That's at a party someplace, I think it is.

[B11644]11:11:41                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Well, before they even went to the party.  Just backstage.  But he makes the following statement.  He says that there was, I believe it was your father, standing amidst the rubble of the first Temple XE "Temple"  which the audience never had a chance to see.  Which would suggest...

[B11644]11:11:59                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Right.  Exactly.

[B11644]11:12:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...that they cut that opening night, that morning, even though they did the fourth act, even though they did the fourth act, that was still too long, I'm just guessing but thatís the only thing that makes sense, and then by the time you saw the matinee they had put the scene back in, but made it part of the third act.  That's the only thing...

[B11644]11:12:15                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yeah, that's right.  I think that's absolutely correct.

[B11644]11:12:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Because the music of it is there.

[B11644]11:12:21                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yeah.

[B11644]11:12:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And these matinee performances must have started early.

[B11644]11:12:32                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Not quite. (laugh) No, it (stammers) well, you know, I'm a biased viewer.  I never find it too long.  I knew it was Wagner XE "Wagner"  said, what ends rights, if it ends right, (stammers) and it was very thrilling that march into one of the Psalms XE "Psalms"  of David XE "David"  was always thrilling to me.  And the scene with Ruth XE "Ruth" , which is a very beautiful piece of, very lovely melody of Kurt Weill XE "Kurt Weill" , which again is basically a text from the Bible XE "Bible" , I remember it being a very moving scene and the great scene in Egypt XE "Egypt"  with Lena XE "Lena"  sort of knitting a basket downstage and this huge obelisk coming out and all these Egyptian XE "Egyptian"  slaves and blah, blah, blah.

[B11644]11:13:38                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

I mean about 300 people on stage and you, you didn't see that except today at a Zeferelli XE "Zeferelli"  production (laugh) ,La Boheme XE "La Boheme"  or something like that.  It was extraordinary and Reinhardt XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Max Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Gottfried Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt"  was a genius at the use of crowds and choruses.  Genius XE "Genius" .  And the, the, the, the interaction of the synagogue down below and then the fading.  It's almost cinematic to the Biblical XE "Biblical"  story which reflected the situation of the people in the synagogue.  The, the girl who wants to marry a non-Jew XE "Jew:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jew:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jew"  and some of the more orthodox people (stammers) object and the rabbi says, wait, and then tells the story of Ruth XE "Ruth"  who was a Moabite XE "Moabite"  and married Moaz XE "Moaz"  who wasn't.  And so each of the, the stories in the synagogue were paralleled by stories from the Bible XE "Bible" , and that was the, the idea.

[B11644]11:14:42                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Now, this was your father's brainstorm.

[B11644]11:14:54                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Yeah, and it became, I think the germ of the idea came from The Chicago XE "Chicago"  Romance XE "Chicago Romance:See Also:Romance"  XE "Chicago Romance"  which was not original music.  It was sort of a hodgepodge of, you know, but it was a great success in Chicago and it, then it toured from, in '33 and toured Philadelphia XE "Philadelphia"  and many, many cities and ended up, as I said before, at the Roxy XE "Roxy" , the Roxy theatre
 in New York XE "New York" .

[B11644]11:15:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Your father became more deeply, almost in a positive way, obsessed with this...

[B11644]11:15:31                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) Oh, obsessed is...

[B11644]11:15:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...it's an understatement.

[B11644]11:15:33                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

...I don't know what other word you could use, but obsessed seems too little, even.  I mean it was...

[B11644]11:15:42                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) It took over his whole...

[B11644]11:15:43                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) It took over his life.

[B11644]11:15:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...his whole life.

[B11644]11:15:44                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

He was originally a journalist.  He was at the Colombia Graduate School XE "Colombia Graduate School:See Also:School"  XE "Colombia Graduate School"  Of Journalism XE "Journalism"  and edited the first Anglo XE "Anglo" -Jew XE "Jew:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jew:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jew" ish XE "Jewish:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jewish:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jewish" -Zionist XE "Zionist"  newspaper, The New Palestine XE "New Palestine:See Also:Palestine"  XE "New Palestine" , and also the first one in Canada XE "Canada" , in Toronto XE "Toronto" , The Jewish Standard XE "Jewish Standard" . Then we moved to Chicago XE "Chicago"  and then this thing happened and then came back to New York XE "New York"  and that thing happened.

[bars: [B11644]11:16:21]

[end of tape: [B11644]11:17:58]


 

TAPE NUMBER: B11645

[bars and tone: [B11645]11:17:17]

[B11645]11:16:34                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That's why I asked you if you knew Ludwig Lewiston .

[B11645]11:16:40                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) Yes, I did, 'cause he used to do the translation in our living room.  He used to sit there at the piano, with the words in German XE "German" , because obviously, he, he was German.  I mean, and, and translate it from the German, to fit the, the music.

[B11645]11:16:54                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But I think it was a very creative translation.  There was someone who made a stage adaptation of the play, apart from the translation.

[B11645]11:17:13                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Oh really?

[B11645]11:17:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah. I mean, I wrote it in my notes, but I donít remember.

[B11645]11:17:16                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) You learn something every day.  I donít know.

[B11645]11:17:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) I've written 36 booklets, and I can't remember.

[B11645]11:17:19                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) I have a piano vocal score what, which is Lewison.

[B11645]11:17:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Why did you move to Chicago?

[B11645]11:17:27                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

(overlapping) Oh, don't ask me.   (laugh)

[B11645]11:17:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I mean why did the family move to Chicago?

[B11645]11:17:32                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER

Well, because, I donít know, my father had some sort of a job there.  Uh.

[B11645]11:17:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

In those days, Chicago XE "Chicago"  was the headquarters of the ZOA.

[B11645]11:17:42                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Was it really?

[B11645]11:17:43                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11645]11:17:44                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) No.

[B11645]11:17:45                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Of the Midwest XE "Midwest"  region.

[B11645]11:17:45                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yeah, probably, but I donít think that was it.

[B11645]11:17:50                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But that was his job for a while.  He was the Midwest XE "Midwest"  regional director of the ZOA.

[B11645]11:17:54                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Well, you know something that I donít know.  I donít know.  I know that, uh, he, that's where he met my mother, at 111 Fifth Avenue XE "Avenue:See Also:Lenox Avenue"  XE "Avenue" .  She was a secretary at the headquarters of the ZOA.

[B11645]11:18:06                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And did you meet Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman" ? (sp?)

[B11645]11:18:10                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I certainly did.  I, uh, (laugh) it's a funny story, actually.  I didnít meet him then, but, uh, I went to what was still Palestine XE "Palestine:See Also:New Palestine"  XE "Palestine"  in 1947 with a group of American XE "American"  scientists who helped lay the corner of the Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman"  Institute XE "Weitzman Institute" .  And the boat that we went on was supposed to go to Haifa XE "Haifa" , and then the American government said no, and we landed in Alexandria XE "Alexandria" .  And then took a train from Alexandria all through the Negev XE "Negev" , and ended up in Rhovolt XE "Rhovolt" , (sp?) where we were met by Dr Weitzman XE "Dr Weitzman:See Also:Weitzman"  XE "Dr Weitzman"  and his wife, with all these American scientists.

[B11645]11:18:51                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And that was when the cornerstone of the Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman"  Institute XE "Weitzman Institute" .  And that's where, uh, I used to say I get, got my voiceover training, because one of his bodyguards said to me, how would you like to help?  And I said, well, sure, what do you mean?  They said, well, we need somebody to broadcast for (speaks in Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish" ) . The voice of Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" , the voice of the underground resistance.  And, uh, it was like being in a spy movie.  I was working on a kibbutz, and I would take a bus into Tel Aviv XE "Tel Aviv"  on a certain day, sit in a restaurant, and somebody would come.

[B11645]11:19:28                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

I didnít know who it was, (unintelligible) come, we would walk around Tel Aviv XE "Tel Aviv" .  All of a sudden, then walk into an ordinary apartment house.  Uh,  (unintelligible) what was going on.  We'd go, and a nice old Jew XE "Jew:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jew:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jew" ish XE "Jewish:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jewish:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jewish"  lady would open the door, and we would go into a back bedroom, and they would, these guys would pull from under the bed what apparently was one of the most powerful radio transmitters in the Middle East XE "Middle East" .  They would hand me three pages of script in English XE "English" . And I would just read it.  It was mostly anti-British XE "British"  propaganda, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. But I did that for six months.

[B11645]11:20:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You didnít meet Jabotinsky XE "Jabotinsky" . (sp?)

[B11645]11:20:16                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

No.  We're Weitzmanites XE "Weitzmanites"  in our family.  (laugh)

[B11645]11:20:19                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (laugh) I know.  Very different, eh?

[B11645]11:20:21                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Very different.

[B11645]11:20:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Actually, your father was Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman" 's personal representative in the United States XE "United States" .

[B11645]11:20:26                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes, and he was also, uh, the head of the Jew XE "Jew:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jew:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jew" ish XE "Jewish:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jewish:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jewish"  Agency XE "Jewish Agency"  in New York XE "New York"  for a while.  That, he was very close to Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman" .  Very, very close to Weitzman.  Weitzman was his, his hero.

[B11645]11:20:39                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And yet, your father was able to get along with everybody for the sake of the project, because here he is Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman" 's representative and friend, but...

[B11645]11:20:56                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) He got a lot of help from, uh, a lot of important Jews XE "Jews"  in New York XE "New York" .  Uh, who helped sustain the thing financially.  It was, there was one man, Maurice XE "Maurice" , Maurice Eiserman XE "Maurice Eiserman" , (sp?) who was distributing newspapers, I think.  He came every night.

[B11645]11:21:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

He started off with the Eternal Road XE "Eternal Road"  as an idea, but then it went on and on, anyone else would have quit.  What was it that he became more and more caught up in this?

[B11645]11:22:01                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

What did Pascal XE "Pascal"  say?  The heart has reasons that reasons know not of?  I mean, everybody said, youíre crazy.  Uh, and my mother said, donít you dare go to Adam XE "Adam"  and take his stamp collection.  (laugh) His brother in law.  And he did.  He, he, he stopped at nothing.  I mean, there's, uh, another story where, uh, (stammers) a group, I donít remember exactly, were going to present him with an award.  And he said, no, no, no, no, I donít deserve this award.  Put the name of (laugh) the owner of Hearn's Department Store on it and that way, he got another donation to keep the damn thing running.

[B11645]11:22:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, but...

[B11645]11:22:47                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) And all the time, we were living in this two room hotel.

[B11645]11:22:51                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And he got Macy XE "Macy" 's.

[B11645]11:22:53                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) He got not only that, he got Cardinal Hayes XE "Cardinal Hayes"  to allow Catholics XE "Catholics"  to go to the theatre
 during Lent XE "Lent" , which was.  I mean, he was, he was amazing.

[B11645]11:23:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What about Kurt Wile XE "Kurt Wile" ? (sp?) Did you meet him during the run of the show?

[B11645]11:23:11                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yes, I certainly did meet Kurt Wile XE "Kurt Wile" .  Very many times.  Very reticent, very inward.  I met Vehrful XE "Vehrful"  (sp?) only once, with Alma Mala XE "Alma Mala" , (sp?) which was, in hindsight now, tremendously exciting.  She was not the beautiful woman that you see in pictures of her as...

[B11645]11:23:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) I'm delighted to hear you say that, because I never saw what the fuss was.

[B11645]11:23:35                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Well, she was about six foot two.

[B11645]11:23:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Well, that's good, but...

[B11645]11:23:37                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) In black satin.  Oh, God.

[B11645]11:23:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But did Vehrful XE "Vehrful"  hang around here?

[B11645]11:23:43                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Not very much.  Not that I remember.  I, Reinhardt XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Max Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Gottfried Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt" , (sp?) of course, was there all the time.  And actually came up to see me in a play in, in school.  In college at Harvard XE "Harvard" , I, where I was playing.  I was 17 and playing an 82 year old professor.  It was a Russian XE "Russian"  play.  It did come to New York XE "New York" .  Dudley Diggs XE "Dudley Diggs"  (sp?) played the part in New York.  But he came, he says, you can have a career in the theatre
.  Well, my god, that, that was enough for me.

[B11645]11:24:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And your career in the theatre
 has all been in English XE "English" .

[B11645]11:24:21                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yes, yes.

[B11645]11:24:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you grow up speaking other languages at home?

[B11645]11:24:30                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Well, they spoke Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish"  so we wouldnít understand.  You know, and I'm very sorry about that.  But I have a smattering of Yiddish.  But I did pick up Hebrew XE "Hebrew"  in '47.  And I can, uh, carry a conversation, sort of.

[B11645]11:24:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you have any relationships beyond state occasions and so forth with your father's brother?  With (unintelligible) ?

[B11645]11:24:59                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Well, we used to go there for Seders XE "Seders" .   And to hear him sing.  And my father had a beautiful voice.  And then, of course, there's Hugo XE "Hugo" , his son, who wrote these wonderful operas.  And, uh, Freddy XE "Freddy"  Weiskel XE "Freddy Weiskel:See Also:Weiskel"  XE "Freddy Weiskel" , (sp?) his brother, who was a marvelous pianist.  And in our Seders in Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" , he used to come, and then afterwards, we'd sit down at the piano, and we, they were always wonderful, those.

[B11645]11:25:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But your father spoke Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish" .  But his brother I donít think did.  According to Hugo XE "Hugo" .

[B11645]11:25:30                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Abba XE "Abba" ?

[B11645]11:25:31                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Did Abba XE "Abba" ?  I mean...

[B11645]11:25:33                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I, I'm sure he, well, he was, you know, he was...

[B11645]11:25:35                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) He was more German XE "German"  speaking.

[B11645]11:25:36                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes, he was Austrian XE "Austrian"  and Hungarian XE "Hungarian" .

[B11645]11:25:38                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11645]11:25:39                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I mean, he served in the, in, in the German XE "German"  army during the first world war.  And I think...

[B11645]11:25:43                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) The German XE "German"  or the Austrian XE "Austrian" -Hungarian XE "Hungarian" ?

[B11645]11:25:45                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Well, whatever, they're all...

[B11645]11:25:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11645]11:25:47                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

...you know.  And Hugo XE "Hugo"  was born in, uh, in Europe XE "Europe" .

[B11645]11:25:53                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) I can never remember the name of the town, it's in Czechoslovakia XE "Czechoslovakia" .

[B11645]11:25:56                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.  It's like my father, the first line of his biography, Meyer XE "Meyer"  Weiskel XE "Meyer Weiskel:See Also:Weiskel"  XE "Meyer Weiskel"  So Far, uh, where he said, like all Jews XE "Jews" , I was born in (speaks in Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish" ) (laugh) It's a great first line. (unintelligible) (speaks in Yiddish) is a shtetl somewhere in Europe XE "Europe" , you know?  I never could figure out where it was.  I think it was someplace in Russian XE "Russian"  Poland XE "Russian Poland:See Also:Poland"  XE "Russian Poland" .  My mother, on the other hand, was born in, in New York XE "New York" .   And I inherited her face, not my father's. (laugh)

[B11645]11:26:29                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, that's right...

[B11645]11:26:30                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) (speaks in Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish" ) (laugh)

[B11645]11:26:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And you went on from Harvard XE "Harvard"  to?

[B11645]11:26:39                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Literally, uh, Streetcar XE "Streetcar" , and then went on tour with it.  It was with Uda Hagen XE "Uda Hagen"  (sp?) and Anthony Quinn XE "Anthony Quinn" .  They had replaced Brando XE "Brando:See Also:Marlon Brando"  XE "Brando"  and Tandy XE "Tandy"  in New York XE "New York" .  And I joined the company in New York, as the last young collector.  The kid who comes in that she tries to seduce, collecting for the newspapers.  And, uh, then I was in a play with George Kaufman XE "George Kaufman:See Also:Kaufman"  XE "George Kaufman" , (sp?) who directed it.  Which was an extraordinary experience.  Because I was sort of studying acting, and the first thing he said, on the first day, he said, I hear you worked with Stella XE "Stella"  Adler XE "Stella Adler:See Also:Adler"  XE "Stella Adler" .  None of that crap around here.  You know.

[B11645]11:27:22                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And I was really, I remember going to Sandy Meisner XE "Sandy Meisner"  (sp?) and saying, I donít know, you know.  He said, listen.  He's a very canny man in the theatre
.  Take his results, go home and justify them yourself.  Don XE "Don" ít bother him with the method.  And Iíll never forget, he said once to me, (laugh) he said, Mr. Wager XE "Wager:See Also:Michael Wager"  XE "Wager:See Also:Mandy Wager"  XE "Wager" , why do you take such a long pause there?  I said, Mr. Kaufman XE "Kaufman:See Also:George Kaufman"  XE "Kaufman" , eight dots.  He said, make it two.  (laugh)

[B11645]11:27:52                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you ever go to Second Avenue XE "Avenue:See Also:Lenox Avenue"  XE "Avenue" , to the Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish"  Theatre
 XE "Yiddish Theatre
:See Also:Theatre
"  XE "Yiddish Theatre
" ?

[B11645]11:27:58                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes, I did.  By then, it was a little, what is the word?  Watered XE "Watered"  down.  I saw Molly XE "Molly"  Pican XE "Molly Pican" , (sp?) (speaks in Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish" ) from Bell Harbor XE "Bell Harbor" , (unintelligible) the Bell Harbor Chicks XE "Bell Harbor Chicks:See Also:Chicks"  XE "Bell Harbor Chicks" .  I mean, you know, when you think of what the Yiddish Theatre
 XE "Yiddish Theatre
:See Also:Theatre
"  XE "Yiddish Theatre
"  was, just recently, I, I attended the Thomashevsky XE "Thomashevsky:See Also:Bessie Thomashevsky"  XE "Thomashevsky"  (sp?) project.

[B11645]11:28:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I was there, as well.

[B11645]11:28:26                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes, because I've worked with him, too.  We did (speaks in Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish" ) for the Chamber Society XE "Chamber Society" .  And everybody was laughing.  I was weeping from the beginning.  It was like my life was passing in front of my eyes.  Tremendously moving experience.

[B11645]11:28:41                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, it was.

[B11645]11:28:43                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) The one thing that was most interesting, well, for me, at any rate, was Bessie Thomashevsky XE "Bessie Thomashevsky:See Also:Thomashevsky"  XE "Bessie Thomashevsky" , quoted from her diary, talking about genius.  This is the actress who plays it.  Who was a genius?  Eh, Sarah Bernhard XE "Sarah Bernhard:See Also:Bernhard"  XE "Sarah Bernhard"  was a genius.  Ellie XE "Ellie"   (word?) is a genius.  And Mrs. Adler XE "Adler:See Also:Stella Adler"  XE "Adler:See Also:Sarah Adler"  XE "Adler:See Also:Julius Adler"  XE "Adler:See Also:Jacob Adler"  XE "Adler:See Also:Brucie Adler"  XE "Adler:See Also:Bruce Adler"  XE "Adler" .  And I remember meeting Mrs. Adler one night at a party.  Stella XE "Stella"  Adler XE "Stella Adler:See Also:Adler"  XE "Stella Adler" .  With this great figure in a long dress, and actually, Stella  (unintelligible) , for God's sakes. (laugh)  But she was really supposed to be a very, very, very great actress.

[B11645]11:29:29                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Youíre talking about Jacob XE "Jacob:See Also:Thelma Jacobs"  XE "Jacob:See Also:Joe Jacobs"  XE "Jacob:See Also:Irving Jacobson"  XE "Jacob:See Also:Henrietta Jacobson"  XE "Jacob:See Also:Henrietta Jacobsen"  XE "Jacob:See Also:Betty Jacobs"  XE "Jacob"  Adler XE "Jacob Adler:See Also:Adler"  XE "Jacob Adler" 's...

[B11645]11:29:30                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Wife . Sarah Adler.  And this is Bessie Thomashevsky talking.  Bernhard, Dusa, (sp?) and Mrs. Adler.  And Mrs. Adler.  I love that.

[B11645]11:29:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, I thought that Judy Blazer, who played, was brilliant.

[B11645]11:29:48                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Oh, wonderful.

[B11645]11:29:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So by the time you went to a show on Second Avenue, it was the 1940s already?

[B11645]11:30:04                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah, something like that.  Or later, even.

[B11645]11:30:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, of course it's watered down.  English.

[B11645]11:30:10                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yeah, half and half.

[B11645]11:30:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It's more...

[B11645]11:30:11                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) I also saw, uh, Menasha and Bertha, was it Bertha Kalich in, in, in the, uh,  (unintelligible) play about Noah?

[B11645]11:30:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Is it a Broadway?

[B11645]11:30:23                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes.

[B11645]11:30:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Or Second Avenue?

[B11645]11:30:25                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

The Flowering Peach.  By Clifford Odets. (sp?)

[B11645]11:30:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But that's already not...

[B11645]11:30:31                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yes, but that was, yeah, yeah.

[B11645]11:30:31                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Fifties.

[B11645]11:30:33                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

And then, of course, so many of, uh, Paul, Muni Weisenfreund.  You know.  (unintelligible) When it became, great movies.  And the production of Six Characters that we did at, at the Brattle Theatre
 (sp?) in Cambridge, had Joseph Schildkraut  (sp?) .  Was also the son of a great actor, Rudolph Schildkraut.

[B11645]11:30:57                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, Joseph Schidlkraut was in the Diary  Of Anne Frank .

[B11645]11:30:58                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes.  (laugh) oh.  I tell you, you wanna hear another funny story?  I ran into him on the street.  He said, are you coming for the opening?  I said, I donít have tickets.  And he said, I give you tickets.  You pay for them, but I give them to you.  But on certain conditions.  You have to applaud at certain places.  I said, okay, (sounds like) Pappy.  Where?  He said, of course, my entrance, the end of the Hanukah  scene, and at the curtain calls, when I'm fighting a child.  (laugh)

[B11645]11:31:31                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I donít think he had to worry.

[B11645]11:31:34                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

That was, you know, Susan Strausberg. (sp?)

[B11645]11:31:36                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Susan Strasberg.  (unintelligible) .  Quite frankly, he was always the star of the show.

[B11645]11:31:45                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yeah, he was extraordinary, extraordinary.

[B11645]11:31:47                                                                        INTERVIEWER

On the road, Abigail Kellogg (sp?) (unintelligible) replaced Susan Strasberg.

[B11645]11:32:03                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Ah.  Well, of course, I worked with her father at the Actor's Studio.  I was a member of the Actor's Studio, with.  Then I schlepped after Paul   in Exodus, too. (laugh)

[B11645]11:32:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What do you mean?

[B11645]11:32:16                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I was in Exodus.

[B11645]11:32:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(unintelligible) In the film?

[B11645]11:32:19                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) In the movie.  Yeah.

[B11645]11:32:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What was that like?

[B11645]11:32:27                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Uh, Otto Preminger.  (laugh) I once asked him why he gave up acting.  And he said, how many Nazis could I play? (laugh)  He was, uh, difficult, let's put it that way.  Uh, a little bit of a tyrant.  He, uh, well, again, why?  But, uh, that was also (background noise) quite an experience.  (technical)

[B11645]11:34:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

There's a film that nobody would be interested in seeing today, (unintelligible) .

[B11645]11:34:21                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Oh, I want you to know that, uh, every Passover it's on TV.  And I used to get residuals.  And then, during Easter, they would play, uh, there was another film (laugh) I made called the King.   Shot in Spain XE "Spain".  Uh, that they show around Easter time.  I used to get residuals from, not anymore, though.

[B11645]11:34:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But Exodus XE "Exodus"  is still shown.

[B11645]11:34:47                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Oh, sure.

[B11645]11:34:48                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(unintelligible)

[B11645]11:34:49                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

It's on TV all the time.  And I must say, unfortunately, today, I read the death of Ishmael Merchant XE "Ishmael Merchant"  (sp?) .  The last movie that I made was, uh, a movie of, Merchant Ivory, uh, Jane Austen, in Manhattan, with Anne Baxter.  At 68, here I am, going into my eighty first year, (laugh) for God's sakes.

[B11645]11:35:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Seriously?

[B11645]11:35:14                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.  Seriously.  It is serious. (laugh)  So I've seen a lot.  My mother took me to the first opera I ever saw, and it was Mignonat the spring season at the Met.  It was somebody who I got to know many years later, grew very close to (unintelligible) , was Jenny Terrell's (?) debut at the Met in Mignon.  They haven't shown that opera until this year, when Eve Qualer (sp?) conducted a performance at Carnegie Hall.

[B11645]11:35:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, well, I mean, (unintelligible) much done at the Met.

[B11645]11:35:58                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Pellias(sp?) was first done at the Manhattan.  At Oscar's (word?) house.  And my wife was, was the daughter of Dorothy Hammerstein.  And my son and Andy  (unintelligible) writing an opera about (laugh) Oscar the first.  A Jew  from Germany.  And this really, the end of the story is three Jews from Germany do a play at the Manhattan Opera, 60, 80 years later, or something like that.  It's.

[B11645]11:36:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Theyíre working on that opera now.

[B11645]11:36:33                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.

[B11645]11:36:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(unintelligible)

[B11645]11:36:42                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

My son is the composer.  Carries on a tradition in the family, I guess.

[B11645]11:36:47                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did he ever work with Hugo?

[B11645]11:36:50                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

No, no.   No, I think Hugo died before he was even, you know.

[B11645]11:36:57                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Hugo  died in what, '96, I think?

[B11645]11:37:01                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Was it '96?

[B11645]11:37:02                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11645]11:37:05                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

That seems such a short time ago, no.   Lenny did in '90.  I thought Hugo was before Lenny.

[B11645]11:37:13                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Who died in '90?

[B11645]11:37:14                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Lenny XE "Lenny" .

[B11645]11:37:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah. (unintelligible) I was in Hugo office on the day (unintelligible) .

[B11645]11:37:28                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Oh, really?  Yeah, yeah. (technical)

[B11645]11:37:38                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So he didnít (unintelligible) .

[B11645]11:37:51                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) No, no, no, no, no.  But he's named after Mark Blitztein, (sp?) my son.

[B11645]11:37:57                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So Blitztein, you knew.

[B11645]11:37:58                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes, very well.  In fact, I made my so called operatic debut in the New York Opera in, in, uh, The Cradle Will Rock.  When it was revived.  (laugh)  Oh, this, never get rehearsing, and, and the mezzo-sopranos turned to me.  This is not Bellini.  (laugh) I mean, I was.

[B11645]11:38:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You were singing.

[B11645]11:38:28                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes.   Oh, yes.  yes.  Well, if you can call it that, I donít know.  I have a singing lesson this afternoon. (laugh)

[B11645]11:38:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

A coach.

[B11645]11:38:39                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.

[B11645]11:38:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(unintelligible)

[B11645]11:38:41                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Oh, I have a big repertory.  (laugh)

[B11645]11:38:45                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What other operas?

[B11645]11:38:51                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Well, I, of course, saw Regina XE "Regina" .   I never saw any of the others.  But he took me to Hugo's opera.  (word?)  He was a marvelous songwriter, also.  And, uh, well, I'm a big opera fan.  I mean, I.

[B11645]11:39:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(unintelligible)

[B11645]11:39:27                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I'm a Callasite.

[B11645]11:39:29                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What's that got to do with it? (laugh)

[B11645]11:39:32                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Uh, what does that got to do with it?  It's like my father was a Weitzmanite.  I mean, nothing's (unintelligible) Zabotinsky. (laugh)

[B11645]11:39:41                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, but it...

[B11645]11:39:42                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) No, no, no, I mean, I actually made a four CD album about Callas.  And her range and her versatility, and her...

[B11645]11:39:51                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Bagonsi (sp?) actually sang the other night.  He must be about 87.

[B11645]11:39:57                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yeah, yeah.  Well, look at Domingo, he sings at (word?) .   They say it's, he's really not 73, he's 76, but I donít know about that.   But I heard, it must have been '37, I heard Valishav Melchior (sp?) in Trista. (sp?)

[B11645]11:40:18                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Where?

[B11645]11:40:19                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

At the Old House XE "House:See Also:Oscar Hammerstein Manhattan Opera House"  XE "House:See Also:Maxwell House"  XE "House:See Also:Manhattan Opera House"  XE "House:See Also:Dolls House"  XE "House:See Also:Civic Opera House"  XE "House" .  And how did I hear it? Because the wig maker at the Met XE "Met"  was also the wig maker for the Eternal Road XE "Eternal Road" .  And it was a matinee.  Those old Papa Sens XE "Papa Sens" . (sp?) And my father said, go, and he'll get you in.  And of course, it was, like, a sold out performance.  Come to see Mannil XE "Mannil"  (sp?) tonight, it's a much prettier opera.  I said no, I wanna hear Trista XE "Trista" .   (laugh) Well, he, there were no seats, so he took us up to the fourth floor on a girder backstage, and that's where I heard my first Trista.  And now, in Paris XE "Paris" , I hear theyíre doing it with videos on the stage.  (laugh) Ah, yes.

[B11645]11:41:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, I know, I think I read something about that.

[B11645]11:41:12                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.

[B11645]11:41:13                                                                        INTERVIEWER

There was talk that your father was trying to persuade whoever needed persuading in Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel"  to revive the Eternal Road XE "Eternal Road" ?

[B11645]11:41:26                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes.  (clears throat) He and Lenny XE "Lenny"  and several people wanted to do that.  As sort of a, uh, (clears throat) a yearly event.  Actually, I was part of a yearly event, the tenth anniversary of Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" , when we took a play of Christopher Frye XE "Christopher Frye" , the firstborn, about Moses XE "Moses" , to Israel.  We had played on Broadway XE "Broadway" , and after the end of that run, we, in 1958, we, we took it to Israel and played it, uh, in Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem"  and in Tel Aviv XE "Tel Aviv" .  It was Katherine Cornell XE "Katherine Cornell" , Anthony Quail XE "Anthony Quail" , and I, uh, played the, (laugh) the young Jew XE "Jew:See Also:Tremendous Jewish"  XE "Jew:See Also:Hillcrest Jewish Center"  XE "Jew"  in the play called Shendi XE "Shendi" .

[B11645]11:42:10                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And my nickname is Mendi XE "Mendi" , and I still have a copy of the play where Christopher Frye XE "Christopher Frye"  wrote a limerick.  There once was a (laugh) boy called Mendi, who played the part of, blah, blah, blah. (laugh) I've had some interesting experiences, I must say.

[B11645]11:42:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So that was 1958.

[B11645]11:42:27                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) That was the tenth anniversary, and Ben XE "Ben"  Gurion XE "Ben Gurion"  had asked my father to sort of put it together.

[B11645]11:42:39                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And then this idea never got off the ground.

[B11645]11:42:43                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) It never, yeah.  It, again, this demon pursued him to have it, and I'm sorry that he wasn't alive to know that it was, you know, revived.  In (word?) , even in (word?) .

[B11645]11:43:01                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you father go to live in Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel"  later in life?

[B11645]11:43:09                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) He went, lived, he moved to Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel"  in, in, in the late forties, and became the president and the chancellor of the Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman"  Institute XE "Weitzman Institute"  Of Science XE "Science" .  And, uh, he and my mother are buried on the grounds of, and you know, my son's bar mitzvah, my father was already in the last stages of his life.  We had the bar mitzvah here in New York XE "New York" , and then myself and his mother and he went over to, to Israel.  And on the terrace outside my parents' home, my father was in bed.  And Freddy XE "Freddy"  was there, and reconducted the service.   And, uh, if I may say so, all Israel was there. (laugh) From Golda XE "Golda"  Meier XE "Golda Meier" , and Abba XE "Abba"  Ebba XE "Abba Ebba" , (sp?) and to Anne Bancroft XE "Anne Bancroft:See Also:Ba"  XE "Anne Bancroft" , who was studying to play Gold Meier XE "Gold Meier" .  This was a, a really. (laugh)

[B11645]11:44:06                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, there was talk at one time about even bigger political office for your father.

[B11645]11:44:12                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I donít know, because again, I donít know this apocryphal story.  Apparently, uh, Golda XE "Golda" , Golda, used to, (laugh) as Meyer XE "Meyer"  would say at this point, and use some not quite proper word, but it was always as Meyer would say.

[B11645]11:44:33                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11645]11:44:37                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.  I, I mean, I met Ben XE "Ben"  Gurion XE "Ben Gurion" , of course, I'll never forget that.  Because (laugh), uh, Paul XE "Paul"  and Joanne XE "Joanne" , when we were doing Exodus XE "Exodus" , and myself and Sal Mineo XE "Sal Mineo"  were all taken to meet the Ben Gurions XE "Ben Gurions" .  And I remember Paul, (laugh) Paul and Ben Gurion taking one look at Paul Newman XE "Paul Newman:See Also:Newman"  XE "Paul Newman" , then turning to me and he says, (speaks in Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish" ) , he's not so handsome. (laugh)   Oh, gosh.

[B11645]11:45:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Exodus XE "Exodus"  came out in '60?

[B11645]11:45:11                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Sixty XE "Sixty" .

[B11645]11:45:12                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Sixty XE "Sixty" , yeah.

[B11645]11:45:11                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Or maybe '61, I donít, I donít, you know.

[B11645]11:45:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Something like that.

[B11645]11:45:17                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

You see, in the original, uh, the original screenplay, which was then changed, and Dalton Trumble XE "Dalton Trumble"  rewrote it, I had one of the leading roles.  And then when it was rewritten, it came down to phooey.  So as I say, I schlepped after Newman XE "Newman:See Also:Paul Newman"  XE "Newman" . (laugh) Anyway.

[B11645]11:45:41                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What's the last film youíve done so far?

[B11645]11:45:43                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Well, the, uh, Merchant Ivory XE "Merchant Ivory"  film.

[B11645]11:45:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) That's the last one?

[B11645]11:45:47                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.  And, uh, I donít know if it's a film, but this year, on, uh, on Independence Day for Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" , and Remembrance XE "Remembrance"  Day for the dead, they had a screening of Hill XE "Hill:See Also:Beth Hillel"  XE "Hill"  24 Does Not Answer.  Uh, sponsored by (word?) .    And I thought, who's gonna show, and the house was packed.  And, and for me, it was very funny, because I was rather scared about seeing it again.  I sort of, I guess, funny reaction, but 40 years ago, I didnít feel, it has a different resonance now, and my sister came from Israel for my birthday, but was here for this.

[B11645]11:46:34                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And a big lefty, and she said, you know, it was funny seeing this.  It made you remember that once upon a time, Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" 's, meant something very different.  That was very touching.  And, and Vera Stern XE "Vera Stern:See Also:Stern"  XE "Vera Stern" , Isaac XE "Isaac" ís wife, bent over and came all the way down.  Because, of course, she was an interpreter in Israel at the time.

[end of tape: [B11645]11:47:02]


 

TAPE NUMBER: b11646

[bars and tone: [B11646]11:47:40]

[B11646]11:47:54                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So what are you working on now?

[B11646]11:47:56                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Well, I still work, I am the, uh, voice of Great Performances XE "Performances"  on PBS, I introduce them all.  They say they keep me only because I'm the only one who can pronounce all those damn names.  (laugh)  Like Horostovsky XE "Horostovsky" , (sp?) and Leif XE "Leif"  (word?) , etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  So I keep myself busy that way.

[B11646]11:48:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

This is for radio?

[B11646]11:48:21                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

TV.

[B11646]11:48:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Or TV or both?

[B11646]11:48:21                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

No, I donít appear, it's just the golden voice.

[B11646]11:48:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) It's the voiceover.

[B11646]11:48:26                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Oh, I made a lot of very famous commercials.  Promise XE "Promise"  her anything, but give her Arpege XE "Arpege" .

[B11646]11:48:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That was you?

[B11646]11:48:32                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes.  Or, for Chemical XE "Chemical"  Bank XE "Chemical Bank:See Also:Ba"  XE "Chemical Bank" , it was the New York XE "New York"  woman, when her needs are financial, her reaction is Chemical.  And of course, Drain XE "Drain" -O, (unintelligible) .  It was while I was playing in Three Sisters XE "Sisters:See Also:Andrew Sisters"  XE "Sisters" , the Actor's Studio production.  And, uh, Barbara XE "Barbara" , I was playing (word?) , and Barbara Baxter XE "Barbara Baxter"  was playing my wife.  And I found out, she's always been complaining about how little we were paid by the Actor's Studio, and I found out that she had been the voice of Betty XE "Betty"  Crocker XE "Betty Crocker" .  And, uh, I went into her dressing, I said, Barbara, you know.

[B11646]11:49:10                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

She said, well, the difference between you and me is youíre not ashamed to be doing voiceovers. (laugh)   In those days, I guess, you know, I donít know.  But anyway.

[B11646]11:49:26                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Do you still do them?

[B11646]11:49:27                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

No, not anymore.  After a certain age, they donít want you anymore, you know that. (laugh)

[B11646]11:49:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Well, I donít know.

[B11646]11:49:33                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

But, PBS keeps me on, so that's fine.

[B11646]11:49:39                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So you do mostly classical things?

[B11646]11:49:41                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Well, whatever theyíre doing on, on Great Performances XE "Performances" .  Every, uh, from soup to nuts, actually.  And, uh, I've been on soap operas, and a lot of television shows, and stuff.  Like in the old days.  When it was still live and stuff like that.

[B11646]11:50:02                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you see either of the two other pageants that Kurt Wile XE "Kurt Wile"  did after the Eternal Road XE "Eternal Road" ?

[B11646]11:50:09                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

It wasn't Kurt Wile XE "Kurt Wile" , I donít think.

[B11646]11:50:10                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11646]11:50:11                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Did he do (unintelligible) ?

[B11646]11:50:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

There were two, '43 was We Shall Never Die XE "Die" , right in the middle of the war.  And '47, I guess, was A Flag XE "Flag"  Is Born XE "Born" .

[B11646]11:50:30                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.  Marlon Brando XE "Marlon Brando:See Also:Brando"  XE "Marlon Brando"  was in that.

[B11646]11:50:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Right.  Marlon Brando XE "Marlon Brando:See Also:Brando"  XE "Marlon Brando"  went on speaking tours promoting.

[B11646]11:50:40                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yes, well, he was a student of Stella XE "Stella"  Adler XE "Stella Adler:See Also:Adler"  XE "Stella Adler" , and they were all (laugh) on the other side, so to speak.

[B11646]11:50:50                                                                        INTERVIEWER

On the other side of?

[B11646]11:50:51                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Well, I mean, they were Jabotinskyites XE "Jabotinskyites" .

[B11646]11:50:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Oh, right, right, yeah.  But that's funny that (unintelligible) associate Marlon Brando XE "Marlon Brando:See Also:Brando"  XE "Marlon Brando" .

[B11646]11:51:00                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) No, it was because of Stella XE "Stella" .

[B11646]11:51:01                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Was that what it was?

[B11646]11:51:04                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.  And he, she was his only teacher, really.

[B11646]11:51:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And she was caught up in the.

[B11646]11:51:10                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.  And she used to fight with my father about it.

[B11646]11:51:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Betar XE "Betar" . (sp?)

[B11646]11:51:14                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.

[B11646]11:51:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

How would your father defend it?

[B11646]11:51:20                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Who knows? They, they would scream at each other, that's all.  There's a famous story, uh, actually, about that, it's really funny.  Uh, (laugh) SN Berman (sp?) writes a lovely piece in a book about my father, about, uh, Stella XE "Stella"  going to Europe XE "Europe"  on the, uh, um, on this French XE "French"  boat, and, uh, she's looking down the passenger list, and she sees the baron, and the baroness, and the, this and that and the other.  And she says, oh, it's going to be marvelous.  (word?) for me. And then she sees, oh my god, Meyer XE "Meyer" 's on this boat. (laugh)

[B11646]11:51:54                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

She says, well, it ended up, I couldnít get to either the baroness or the baron or this or that, they were all talking Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish"  with Meyer XE "Meyer" . (laugh)  He was a great personality, and he was a great raconteur.  I mean, great storyteller.

[B11646]11:52:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Now, he wasn't a musician, was he?

[B11646]11:52:16                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

No, but he had a beautiful voice, and he loved opera.  He took his father, who was also a canter...

[B11646]11:52:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) That's right, your grandfather.

[B11646]11:52:26                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes.

[B11646]11:52:26                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11646]11:52:26                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Uh, whom I never knew.  Uh, I knew my grandmother, because, uh, he married a second time, when my father's mother died.  Uh, but he took his, his father to hear Caruso XE "Caruso"  sing.   And the old man's reaction was, all canters should hang up their hats and give up, after hearing Caruso sing.  And Abba XE "Abba"  used to, uh, according to my father, uh, insert, in certain prayers, operatic tunes.  (singing) (makes noise) From Pearl Fishers XE "Pearl Fishers" , and stuff like that, into the liturgy.  I also have a, uh, a score of either Abba or his father's liturgical melodies someplace, up in my country place.

[B11646]11:53:26                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Well, there is a published book of Abba XE "Abba"  Josef XE "Abba Josef" 's (sp?) , which is (unintelligible) , of his...

[B11646]11:53:38                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) And then I, there is a disk of, of Hugo XE "Hugo" 's arrangements for choir music, I think it is.

[B11646]11:53:43                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Right.

[B11646]11:53:44                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.

[B11646]11:53:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

We were planning to do another disk.   I have to talk to Jonathan XE "Jonathan"  about it.

[B11646]11:53:55                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

We call him Johnny XE "Johnny"  Two L's.  Why Hugo XE "Hugo"  added another L to the name is still a mystery.  Uh, I would love to know.  It, it, I think it had something to do about where his placement would be (laugh) in a, in a reference book. I donít, I really donít know.

[B11646]11:54:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Who added...

[B11646]11:54:16                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Hugo XE "Hugo" .

[B11646]11:54:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) His father?  But the...

[B11646]11:54:17                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) No, no.

[B11646]11:54:19                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) No?

[B11646]11:54:19                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

No, no. Abba XE "Abba"  is Weiskel XE "Weiskel:See Also:Meyer Weiskel"  XE "Weiskel:See Also:Freddy Weiskel"  XE "Weiskel"  with one L, and we call Johnny XE "Johnny"  in our family Johnny Two L's.  Just to. (laugh)

[B11646]11:54:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Huh.

[B11646]11:54:28                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(stammers) I really donít know.

[B11646]11:54:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So it was Hugo XE "Hugo"  who did it completely on his own?

[B11646]11:54:31                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Hugo XE "Hugo"  did it completely on his own.  Uh, inter-family, uh, whatever. (laugh)

[B11646]11:54:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, well.  No, that never came up.  We interviewed Hugo XE "Hugo"  for a whole day.  Then, of course, there's Debbie's Book.

[B11646]11:54:58                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes.

[B11646]11:54:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Which came out. (laugh)

[B11646]11:55:00                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Mm hmm.

[B11646]11:55:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11646]11:55:02                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Again.

[B11646]11:55:02                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Is Natalie XE "Natalie"  still alive?

[B11646]11:55:05                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes, Natalie XE "Natalie" 's still.

[B11646]11:55:05                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Where's she live?

[B11646]11:55:09                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Uh, someplace in Maine XE "Maine" , I think. Or someplace up there.

[B11646]11:55:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I think they sold the place.

[B11646]11:55:12                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yes, they sold the, their old place, but I think she's living up there. I'm not...

[B11646]11:55:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Well, you know what she said when the book came out?  Quote, unquote, she said, couldn't she have waited until I died?

[B11646]11:55:29                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.  How sharper than a serpent's tooth, etcetera, (interviewer laughs) etcetera.  (laugh)  Oh, gosh.

[B11646]11:55:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you hear Hugo XE "Hugo" 's other operas?

[B11646]11:55:40                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Atalie XE "Atalie" , (sp?) no.  The only opera I ever heard was Six Characters XE "Characters" , which was, I think, his best work.

[B11646]11:55:48                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I think that was his magnum opus as an opera, with the possible exception of the last one, of Esther XE "Esther" .

[B11646]11:55:54                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Esther XE "Esther" .  Lauren Flanagan (sp?), you know, is a great admirer of his operas, and there was a, uh, a, uh, a poll by critics, and, about American XE "American"  operas.  And I think more of them mentioned Six Characters XE "Characters"  than almost any other American opera.  I remember seeing, uh, at the old Met XE "Met" , actually, with Sidney Lumet XE "Sidney Lumet" .  We were both 12 years old.  Uh, Man Without A Country XE "Country" , Walter XE "Walter" , it was, yeah, it was (unintelligible) 's opera.  And, uh, Helen Traubell XE "Helen Traubell"  (sp?) was making her debut at the, oh, gosh. (laugh)  I date myself when I tell you all these damn stories.

[B11646]11:56:39                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) No, I mean, I heard Helen Traubell XE "Helen Traubell"  sing, too, but I was five, six.

[B11646]11:56:45                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah, well, I was a little older. (laugh)

[B11646]11:56:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I didnít appreciate it because it was in Italian XE "Italian" .  It was pretty soon after the war to be doing Wagner XE "Wagner" , even in concert form.

[B11646]11:57:03                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.

[B11646]11:57:04                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And so, it didnít appeal to a five or six year old as maybe a Traviata XE "Traviata"  aria would have been.  But now, did you ever hear the Helen Traubell XE "Helen Traubell"  live recording?

[B11646]11:57:16                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) (unintelligible)

[B11646]11:57:19                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) The live thing at Madison Square Garden XE "Madison Square Garden:See Also:Garden"  XE "Madison Square Garden" ?

[B11646]11:57:20                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I donít think I've heard that, but I have many, many of her records. (technical)

[B11646]11:57:33                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It was a Victory Bond XE "Victory Bond"  rally.

[B11646]11:57:35                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Oh, really?

[B11646]11:57:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

At Madison Square Garden XE "Madison Square Garden:See Also:Garden"  XE "Madison Square Garden" .   So nobody took a penny, not even the orchestra.  I think it was the last act or the third act of Valkyrie XE "Valkyrie" .

[B11646]11:57:53                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Oh, yeah.

[B11646]11:57:54                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) It's extraordinary, yeah.

[B11646]11:57:58                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Uh, uh, while he was the chancellor and the president of the Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman"  Institute XE "Weitzman Institute" , uh, each year, there was a dinner at the Waldorf Astoria XE "Waldorf Astoria"  to raise money.  And, uh, the first time, he brought down the entire Boston XE "Boston"  Symphony XE "Boston Symphony"  with Glusovitzky XE "Glusovitzky"  (sp?) to play.  Can you imagine?  I first heard Danny Barrenbaum XE "Danny Barrenbaum:See Also:Ba"  XE "Danny Barrenbaum" , (sp?) 12 years old, play the piano at one of those dinners.  And I have a picture at home of the young Bernstein XE "Bernstein"  and Yasha XE "Yasha"  Heifitz XE "Yasha Heifitz"  (sp?) .  He brought them and the Boston Symphony for a concert at the Waldorf Astoria.   (laugh) I mean, uh, it's like having a symphony (unintelligible) dinner music. I mean, my father was.

[B11646]11:58:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

He had grandiose ideas that he pulled off.   The amazing thing is that people didnít say no, we're not gonna pay that kind of money.

[B11646]11:58:56                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Well, it was always for a cause.  And I think that's one of the reasons that he, he really never made any money in his whole life.

[B11646]11:59:08                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Does the name William Novak XE "William Novak"  (sp?) mean anything to you?  I only mention it because he was big with fundraising here for the Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman"  Institute XE "Weitzman Institute" .

[B11646]11:59:17                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Ah, no. (technical)

[B11646]11:59:35                                                                        INTERVIEWER

How big a blow was it to the family when the Eternal Road XE "Eternal Road"  closed in New York XE "New York"  and they couldnít pay the bills anymore?

[B11646]11:59:52                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

By then, uh, it's really a funny sort of a business.  Because I think a year after we'd moved out of this fleabag, back to a (laugh) decent apartment, I think it was then that he began his very close association with Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman" .  And represented him at different conferences, and, uh, I remember on in, uh, in Paris XE "Paris" , which he just happened to be coming back from a visit to Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" .  Uh, so that his life was then filled with the institute, and representing, uh, there's a very, very famous, (laugh) another funny story.  Uh, Weitzman, when he was in London XE "London" , used to stay at the Dorchester XE "Dorchester" .

[B11646]12:00:47                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

And, uh, again, it was this story, but Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman"  is in one room, uh, talking with Abba XE "Abba"  Eben XE "Abba Eben" .  In those days, it was still Aubrey Eben XE "Aubrey Eben" .  And, uh, and Weitzman said, where's my, he's yelling.  (laugh) (unintelligible) said, he's talking to, uh, Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" .  And Weitzman says, why doesnít he use the telephone?  (laugh)  I remember my wife being very upset at, the first time she came to meet the family.  And we all screamed at each other, you know.  (laugh) Ah, well.  I mean, you know, political discussion.  I, I didn't mean anger.  I just.

[B11646]12:01:31                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11646]12:01:35                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Like they say, two Jews XE "Jews" , three arguments. (laugh)

[B11646]12:01:38                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And after the state, he continued to be associated with Weitzman XE "Weitzman:See Also:Dr Weitzman"  XE "Weitzman" ?

[B11646]12:01:53                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Well, yes, he, he lived there.  My whole family lives there.

[B11646]12:01:57                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And, now?

[B11646]12:01:56                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) I'm the, I'm the only, yes.

[B11646]12:01:59                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Oh, uh huh.

[B11646]12:02:01                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

My, uh, my nephews, uh, one of them practically runs the TV industry over there.  And my godson, Asaf XE "Asaf" , (sp?) won the first prize, I think last year or the year before, at the Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem"  Festival XE "Jerusalem Festival" .  A film called Broken Wings XE "Broken Wings" .  So, uh, yes, they came over for my birthday two weeks ago.  And my daughter came in from Paris XE "Paris" , it was very nice.

[B11646]12:02:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You obviously met Reinhardt XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Max Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Gottfried Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt" . (sp?)

[B11646]12:02:35                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes.

[B11646]12:02:36                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What was he like?  Intimidating XE "Intimidating" ?

[B11646]12:02:41                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

No, not in the same way like, uh, no, no, no.  But he was very precise about what he wanted, and would tell actors, I want you to, almost, you know, like, constantly would say something like, to me, if you turn your head this way, you will get your laugh.  And if you turn it this way, you won't.  And that just amazed me.  And Reinhardt XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Max Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Gottfried Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt"  was sort of like that.  He would tell an actor to, you know, today, actors won't let directors do that to them. (laugh) You know.

[B11646]12:03:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You never worked under Reinhardt XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Max Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt:See Also:Gottfried Reinhardt"  XE "Reinhardt" .

[B11646]12:03:23                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

No.  No, no.  No, no.  I was, come on, I was just...

[B11646]12:03:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) You weren't a child actor.

[B11646]12:03:26                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah, no.   My daughter was a child actress.  At, uh, age, uh, seven or nine, she appeared, uh, on the Turn Of The Screw XE "Screw" , playing the little girl with a blonde wig, in which Ingrid Bergman XE "Ingrid Bergman"  made her TV debut on American XE "American"  television.  And I remember, uh, watching the performance at Lee Strasbourg XE "Lee Strasbourg" 's home with David XE "David"  Selznick XE "David Selznick" . (sp?) And they said, oh, she's brilliant.  And I said, yeah, if you like acting like that. (interviewer laughs)

[B11646]12:04:03                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you ever see Habima XE "Habima" ? (sp?)

[B11646]12:04:06                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes.  Oh, something I will never forget.  I will never forget Hannah XE "Hannah"  Rovina XE "Hannah Rovina" . (sp?) Great actress.  Her entrance.  Her entrance, I donít know (unintelligible) .  But I remember the first words I heard her speak.  Shalom XE "Shalom" , Hannah.  (makes noise)  Really.  And when we did Caddish XE "Caddish"  in Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel" , and I was doing it, she came backstage (laugh), but this is my part.

[B11646]12:04:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But she did it in Hebrew XE "Hebrew" , didnít she?

[B11646]12:04:48                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

She did it in Hebrew XE "Hebrew" , yes.

[B11646]12:04:48                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Who translated it to Hebrew XE "Hebrew" ?

[B11646]12:04:53                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I saw my first Rigoletto XE "Rigoletto"  in Hebrew XE "Hebrew" .

[B11646]12:04:54                                                                        INTERVIEWER

In Tel Aviv XE "Tel Aviv" ?

[B11646]12:04:57                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

In Tel Aviv XE "Tel Aviv" .  And my first Hamlet XE "Hamlet"  in Hebrew XE "Hebrew" .  (speaks in Hebrew)

[B11646]12:05:05                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, it's in Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish"  too.  (speaks in Yiddish)

[B11646]12:05:09                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yes, oh, well, I did that too.

[B11646]12:05:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (speaks in Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish" )

[B11646]12:05:10                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

With, uh, we did a program, I did a program with Michael XE "Michael"  Tilson Thomas XE "Michael Tilson Thomas"  (sp?) in Carnegie Hall XE "Carnegie Hall:See Also:Hall"  XE "Carnegie Hall:See Also:Hal"  XE "Carnegie Hall"  about melodrama.  Uh, a practice in the nineteenth century.  You know, and it was, uh, (speaks in Hebrew XE "Hebrew" ) to a piece of Bach XE "Bach"  and, uh, the blind singer to music by Liszt XE "Liszt" .  And another poem to music by, uh, Schumann XE "Schumann" , I think it was.  Very interesting.  I did them in German XE "German" , too, by the way.  And a German friend of mine said, you, your accent was pretty good, except for the word father.  Which came out a little bit in Yiddish XE "Yiddish:See Also:English Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish:See Also:Avenue Yiddish"  XE "Yiddish" .  (laugh)

[B11646]12:05:52                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The Rigoletto XE "Rigoletto"  was...

[B11646]12:05:53                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(speaks in Hebrew XE "Hebrew" )   (interviewer laughs) You know, the duet? (laugh) Very funny.

[B11646]12:05:57                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But it was all in Hebrew XE "Hebrew" , or some of it in Italian XE "Italian" ?

[B11646]12:05:59                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) All in Hebrew XE "Hebrew" .

[B11646]12:06:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Remember what year that was?

[B11646]12:06:04                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Oh, '47, something like that.

[B11646]12:06:05                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Because (unintelligible) .

[B11646]12:06:07                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yeah, this, this is a...

[B11646]12:06:08                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) So it was before the state.

[B11646]12:06:08                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes.

[B11646]12:06:10                                                                        INTERVIEWER

'Cause later...

[B11646]12:06:11                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yeah, there's the new Israeli XE "Israeli"  opera, that was...

[B11646]12:06:12                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Who is the woman that was Madame Edda Stephilippe XE "Madame Edda Stephilippe:See Also:Edda Stephilippe"  XE "Madame Edda Stephilippe" ? (sp?)

[B11646]12:06:16                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Edda Stephilippe XE "Edda Stephilippe:See Also:Madame Edda Stephilippe"  XE "Edda Stephilippe" , absolutely.   Another crazy lady, like my old man.

[B11646]12:06:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

They used to have the chorus would sing the small parts in Hebrew XE "Hebrew" , but the stars would sing in Italian XE "Italian" ?

[B11646]12:06:36                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Well, that was common even at the Met XE "Met" , when Schalyapin XE "Schalyapin"  (sp?) played, he sang (word?) in Russian XE "Russian" , some sang in Italian XE "Italian" , some sang in whatever, I donít know.  But, uh, that doesnít happen anymore.  Now, you hear, never mind, I won't say. (laugh)

[B11646]12:06:53                                                                        INTERVIEWER

There's a new company now, it's called the New Israel Opera XE "New Israel Opera:See Also:Opera"  XE "New Israel Opera:See Also:Israel"  XE "New Israel Opera" .

[B11646]12:07:00                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) No, new, new, yeah, very good, by the way.

[B11646]12:07:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Have you heard it?

[B11646]12:07:01                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Very, yes.  Wonderful production of (word?) .  And, uh, I've seen it many times.  I haven't been to Israel XE "Israel:See Also:New Israel Opera"  XE "Israel"  in quite some, some years now, only 'cause traveling is such a mess.   But, uh, the Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem"  Festival XE "Jerusalem Festival"  is supposed to have, uh, a fiftieth anniversary screening of Hill XE "Hill:See Also:Beth Hillel"  XE "Hill"  24.  And I received a call saying would I come?  And I said yes, send me a ticket. (laugh)  And I'll come.  But, uh, that has not been finalized.  (stammers) I donít know what's going to happen.  That's supposed to happen.

[B11646]12:07:41                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) The festival in the summer?

[B11646]12:07:43                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) In Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem" , yes.  Yeah.

[B11646]12:07:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Oh, in Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem" .

[B11646]12:07:45                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.  (technical)

[B11646]12:07:50                                                      MICHAEL WAGER (CONTINUED)

No, the film festival is in Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem" .  It's run by Leia Van Leer XE "Leia Van Leer" . (sp?)

[B11646]12:07:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

There was some discussion of doing the Eternal Road XE "Eternal Road"  there one time.

[B11646]12:08:01                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) In Cesaria XE "Cesaria" . (sp?)

[B11646]12:08:01                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11646]12:08:02                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yes, that's where it would have been done.  Which would have been a, a great site to do it, because, uh, everything about the place would have helped.  You know?

[B11646]12:08:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11646]12:08:18                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Ah, well.

[B11646]12:08:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The matinees that you went to, do you remember Reliability XE "Reliability" ?  Would you say it's a?

[B11646]12:08:50                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I would say so.  I mean, uh, the part about the Eternal Road XE "Eternal Road"  is really very funny.  I mean, because he was a young man, it, it was, I mean, a crazy business.  I mean, it was four years, I think, two or three certainly, when it was first announced, before it was able to get on the stage.  And it shut down for a year.  I mean, in the midst of rehearsals, when they couldnít raise the money.  And it was a tremendously difficult thing, you know, for this demon of a fanatacist, my old man, you know, to keep at it, and keep at it, and keep at it.

[B11646]12:09:36                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You sat in the front row, which means you looked right into the synagogue scene.

[B11646]12:09:43                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yeah, but, because the stage was raised after that, in I think five or six different levels, an extraordinary set of Norman Belgetti's, (sp?), uh, it was a great seat, because there you heard the music, and then you, it was very easy to see the rest, because it was all higher.

[B11646]12:10:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And the music came out on loudspeakers, obviously.

[B11646]12:10:08                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yes, yes.  Yes.  I, all of this, I obviously found out later, you know?  I didnít know all the details.

[B11646]12:10:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11646]12:10:18                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

You know, at the time.  But as I, as I said before, I do remember Leinia XE "Leinia" , (sp?) (word?) wife, and my father really making extraordinary searches, uh, to the archives.

[B11646]12:10:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, it's considered lost.  Who knows?

[B11646]12:10:34                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yeah, who knows?  Somebody, but I mean, today, all of a sudden, somebody discovers, uh, someplace or other in a little trunk, uh, a new whatever.

[B11646]12:10:43                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah, even the vaults, there's always the hope.

[B11646]12:10:52                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

But look at, do you remember the story when somebody found a box of Gershwin XE "Gershwin"  music in a, in a warehouse in New Jersey XE "New Jersey:See Also:Jersey"  XE "New Jersey" ?

[B11646]12:10:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah, yeah.

[B11646]12:10:58                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Who knows where they put them?

[B11646]12:10:59                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Or the Jackie XE "Jackie"  Gleason XE "Jackie Gleason" ...

[B11646]12:11:01                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yeah, all those things.  So, I guess hope springs eternal in the human breast XE "breast" . (laugh)

[B11646]12:11:06                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Do you remember, obviously, there was no amplification of the scene.

[B11646]12:11:17                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) No.

[B11646]12:11:19                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And yet, that carried, and they were in the pit.

[B11646]12:11:26                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yes.

[B11646]12:11:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And the...

[B11646]12:11:26                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) (stammers) The six or eight people who were live were in I guess what was a box of the old opera house, but it was enclosed.  And Isaac XE "Isaac"  Van Grove XE "Isaac Van Grove:See Also:Van Grove"  XE "Isaac Van Grove" , I think, conducted the orchestra, and he was the conductor and the musical director also of The Romance XE "Romance:See Also:Chicago Romance"  XE "Romance"  Of The People.

[B11646]12:11:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Well, he was in Chicago XE "Chicago" , connected with the Chicago Opera Company XE "Chicago Opera Company:See Also:Opera"  XE "Chicago Opera Company" , which Mary Garden XE "Mary Garden:See Also:Garden"  XE "Mary Garden"  was directing.

[B11646]12:11:56                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Well, Mary Garden XE "Mary Garden:See Also:Garden"  XE "Mary Garden"  was also in, uh, Oscar XE "Oscar"  Hammerstein XE "Oscar Hammerstein:See Also:Hammerstein"  XE "Oscar Hammerstein" 's opera, as was Lillian XE "Lillian:See Also:Isidore Lillian"  XE "Lillian:See Also:Isadore Lillian"  XE "Lillian"  Nordica XE "Lillian Nordica" , and Maggie Tate XE "Maggie Tate" .

[B11646]12:12:02                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Right.

[B11646]12:12:03                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I tell you, it was something.

[B11646]12:12:06                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So Van Grove XE "Van Grove:See Also:Isaac Van Grove"  XE "Van Grove" , (sp?) and he did the coaching and the rehearsals, and things like that.

[B11646]12:12:10                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) That's right, that's right.

[B11646]12:12:12                                                                        INTERVIEWER

There was a conductor, even though there was no orchestra.

[B11646]12:12:21                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Yeah, he conducted the, the...

[B11646]12:12:21                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Conducted XE "Conducted" .

[B11646]12:12:22                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

...the, these eight people.   Or whatever it was.  I mean, you know.

[B11646]12:12:27                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11646]12:12:28                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

As I say, most of the facts that I've been talking about, I found out after those six or eight months of sitting there every Saturday XE "Saturday"  afternoon, and being thrilled. (laugh)  I mean that, too.

[B11646]12:12:48                                                                        INTERVIEWER

How often do you do the things you do for PBS now?

[B11646]12:12:56                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

(overlapping) Well, whenever they need me.  It's usually once a week, or maybe sometimes twice.  And just, I'm available, and, uh, I have a marvelous arrangement, because my, my son, the musician, has a recording studio, so that, uh, even if I'm not in New York XE "New York"  City, I can, with the, all these incredible technical innovations, we can record, they can send the script up, you know, by email, and...

[B11646]12:13:26                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Is he going to write you a part?

[B11646]12:13:30                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

I doubt it. (laugh)  Fathers XE "Fathers"  and sons.  It was very funny, but Lenny XE "Lenny" 's eldest daughter, Jamie XE "Jamie" , said, I have a surprise birthday present for you.  She came to the apartment, took out a tape, and put it on the TV.  And, uh, it was from 1954, '55?

[B11646]12:13:54                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Mm hmm.

[B11646]12:13:55                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

And it was a play by James Barrie XE "James Barrie:See Also:Barrie"  XE "James Barrie:See Also:Ba"  XE "James Barrie" , the author of Peter XE "Peter"  Pan XE "Peter Pan" .

[B11646]12:13:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Mm hmm.

[B11646]12:14:00                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

And, uh, first scene, a father and mother talking about their son, who was going off to war the next day.  And I sat there and sort of said, um, why, why is she giving me this as a birthday present? (background noise)  All of a sudden, a young 19 year old, supposedly British XE "British"  second lieutenant walks in.  And, and I sit there and say, who's that?  (makes noise) My God, it's me.  (laugh)  I, and I donít remember ever doing it.  It was on Omnibus XE "Omnibus" .

[B11646]12:14:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The television show.

[B11646]12:14:31                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah.

[B11646]12:14:31                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Which was live.

[B11646]12:14:33                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Well, absolutely live.

[B11646]12:14:34                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So it's all kinescopes.

[B11646]12:14:34                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Yeah, this was a kinescope...

[B11646]12:14:35                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11646]12:14:37                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

...that they got from the archives of the Library XE "Library"  Of Congress XE "Congress" .  A wonderful birthday present.  Uh, but scary, in a way, 'cause I just, I donít remember, I can remember almost everything else.  I donít, still can't...

[B11646]12:14:51                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Even now.

[B11646]12:14:51                                                                    MICHAEL WAGER
 

Even now, I cannot remember when I did that. (laugh)  It's a very sweet, sentimental piece by Barrie XE "Barrie:See Also:James Barrie"  XE "Barrie" .  About a, well, as we've been talking, it's about a father and a son, trying to make contact with each other, with all the reticence of Englishmen XE "Englishmen" .  And one of the very nicest, it was my son who said, all right, I'm ready to look at it.  And he sat and watched.  I just played the last scene.  And.  (interviewer laughs) It was a big experience for me, I can tell you.  He's been nice to me for three days. (laugh)

[end of tape: [B11646]12:15:46]


 
 

TAPE NUMBER: B11647

[B11647]12:47:05                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The Civic Opera House  was in 1941, two, three, something like that.

[B11647]12:47:11                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Two, I believe.

[B11647]12:47:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Forty two.

[B11647]12:47:12                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Or three, three.

[B11647]12:47:12                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Was that Maurice Schwartz?

[B11647]12:47:19                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Maurice Schwartz.  We were doing the (speaks in Yiddish ) .  And it was amazing.  We only were there for a weekend, totally sold out at the Civic Opera House.  You know, the capacity (unintelligible) .  It was amazing.

[B11647]12:47:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That show had incidental music.

[B11647]12:47:43                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yes.  And, uh, the conductor was Joseph Merschinzky (sp: Cherniavsky). (sp?) He came along with us.

[B11647]12:47:48                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That's like art theatre
.

[B11647]12:47:53                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Kunst (sp?)

[B11647]12:47:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

How did you get into the Yiddish theatre?
 

[B11647]12:48:04                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah.  There was a company rehearsing at the Liberty Theatre in Brooklyn.  And the company consisted of some of the (speaks in Yiddish) Yiddish.... Frances and her husband, Joseph Schoengold. And my father had five other brothers that were in the theatre in the technical end.  My father was backstage while the rehearsal was going on, and, uh, he was painting a set.  'Cause he, that's what he did.  And the company suddenly stopped rehearsal, and they said now, what are we going to do?  They said, we have to have a child.

[B11647]12:48:46                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

The child is of utmost importance to be in this play.  What are we gonna do ? We need a child.  So my father (unintelligible) (speaks in Yiddish)  translated, I have.  And he brought me to the theatre and I never left.  For seventy-five years after that.  My second experience at the same Liberty Theatre was with Bessie Thomashefsky, Boris Thomashefsky's wife.  And what happened, she loved to have a change of costume, and they didnít know how to work it.  So she sang the song, and then she went offstage.

[B11647]12:49:30                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

While she was offstage changing her costume, they put me into the box, like Lincoln.  Except I was not shot.  And I sang the same chorus that she just sang, which gave her adequate time to change her costume.  That was (speaks in Yiddish ).  I get so many things I can't remember.  I worked with the biggest of them.  Bertha Kalich, who was really the most talented, and her throat was like an orchestra.  She absolutely was fantastic.  I worked with Lobel. I worked with Jenny Valier.  I worked with Menasha Skulnik, Molly Picon and, and endlessly. I'd go on and on and on....

[B11647]12:50:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What was the show at the Liberty?

[B11647]12:50:22                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

At the Liberty?

[B11647]12:50:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11647]12:50:25                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No, I donít recall.

[B11647]12:50:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) And you were just a little girl, you had no training?

[B11647]12:50:29                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

None.  None whatsoever.  We never had training.  The people in the Yiddish Theatre didnít have training.  It was like on the, on the job training. Because I remember very distinctly, they said to me, can you sing? I didnít have the vaguest idea of whether I could sing or not.  So I sang.  From then on, I was singing.  They said, can you dance?  I'll tell you how I got into dancing, that's a little bit later on.  But the singing, apparently they said I had a very good voice.  I had no knowledge of anything.  They used to take me to, uh, homes of very, very affluent people.  And they would bring a lot of people there.

[B11647]12:51:11                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

And they were doing charity work for orphanages.  And they had me sing sad songs.  Which I did.  And then they accumulated a lot of money, and then I went to the next one.  And that's how I kept going and going and going.

[B11647]12:51:28                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You were born in New York?

[B11647]12:51:32                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Boston.  Boston, Massachusetts.

[B11647]12:51:34                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Your father and mother came from Europe?

[B11647]12:51:38                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yes.

[B11647]12:51:38                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What's the background there?

[B11647]12:51:40                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I donít know much about it.  They came from Pinsk  My father studied in Moscow, uh, being an artist.  And he wound up being the technical end of the theatre.  My father and brothers did a lot of sets for Radio City Music Hall.  And my uncle was very, very talented, and he built a, uh, electric board for the lights in the theatre. It was such a miraculous thing that he did that they came from Broadway to look at that, and they did this likewise, they did the same thing, but ten times enlarged for the Radio City Music Hall. I had a very talented family.

[B11647]12:52:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And Yiddish was the language at home?

[B11647]12:52:27                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

At home, that's how I learned Yiddish.  And I could read and write, but I never studied.  My father wrote the alef-bet, the alphabet, and that's how I studied, and I got the part in Yiddish.  The script.  And then I rewrote it in (speaks in Yiddish) , we called it (speaks in Yiddish), in English, so I could read it faster.  Because my reading of the Yiddish was slow.  And I had a fantastic memory.  I memorized overnight, verbatim.

[B11647]12:53:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

How did being a child actress mix with your schoolwork and going to school?

[B11647]12:53:23                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Oh, you had to get permission from the Gary Society(sp?). The mayor had to give you permission, if I had to leave to be at a theatre, they let me go home before.  And my mother always had to accompany me, naturally.  But, uh, it, that was no problem.  It got to a point where I used to just go and, and my mother would sign a paper, and I went.  That was it.  But it had to go through the, uh, government, more or less.

[B11647]12:53:50                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Tell me about some of the shows that you were in as a young adult.

[B11647]12:54:10                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

It got to a point where I became too adult for children's parts, and not enough for an adult part.  So I joined a chorus.  And I joined the chorus, I believe it was the Siegel Theatre
 (sp?) in Williamsburg.  No, the Lyric Theatre in Williamsburg, and I learned how to dance.   I, I followed the other girls, what they were doing, and I did likewise.  I, I was very quick at learning.  And, uh, that's how I got my singing and dancing career started in the chorus.  And as soon as I got older enough, I did my tests for the union, the members of all the union.

[B11647]12:54:58                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

And they passed me, with honors.  And then they put me into a show, I don't remember the name.  I was so naive at the time that it didnít faze me one way or another.  I worked with Michal Michalesko, Anne Thomashefsky, Rebecca Weintraub. These were, these were legends, really.  And I was on with, on stage with these stars, you know.  And that's how it all started.  Then I, then I became, um, mostly musical comedy.  I went into that.  And I worked with Menasha Skolnik for years and years.

[B11647]12:55:38                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

I worked with Molly Picon  for very many years, and we became very close friends.  I worked with Herman Yablokoff,  I worked with Aaron Lebedeff. You name them, as we called them, the (speaks in Yiddish) .  The big shots of the theatre.  And I worked with all of them, and I was very privileged.

[B11647]12:55:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Youíre a big shot too, I see your name on all kinds of cast lists.

[B11647]12:56:03                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Yeah.  I donít recall the names of the plays, or anything.

[B11647]12:56:05                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) How many shows were you in in your lifetime?

[B11647]12:56:12                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Oh my goodness, hundreds.

[B11647]12:56:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Hundreds .

[B11647]12:56:14                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Hundreds.  Absolutely.  In fact, I went into Chicago for a season.  They employed me there.  And you know who else was employed?  Uh, an English  actor, but he never made it, because while he was rehearsing there, he received a telegram that Hollywood wanted him.  I can't think of his name right now. (technical)

[B11647]12:56:43                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

(overlapping) Tony Curtis. Tony Curtis, yeah.  He was gorgeous, he really was.  And they got a letter, so he left the company.

[B11647]12:56:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) His name was Schwartz.

[B11647]12:56:51                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Schwartz originally, yes, yes.

[B11647]12:56:51                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) He was originally playing in the Yiddish theatre?

[B11647]12:56:55                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) He, they, supposed to, but he never made it.

[B11647]12:56:57                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That was in Douglas Park, probably.

[B11647]12:56:59                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Douglas Park Theatre.
 

[B11647]12:57:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Lawndale .

[B11647]12:57:01                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Lawndale, absolutely.  No, the, Douglas Park. (technical)

[B11647]12:57:11                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

So that's where it, and I stayed there for, um, six months.  I must tell you that I think one of the critics, I think he was in love with me.  'Cause he, he referred to me as Miss Sparkle.  And I got the most fantastic reviews, which I never saved.  I never thought of it in that sense.  And, uh, Jenny Goldstein opened there, with Michal Michalesko.  And every time, we called it (speaks in Yiddish).  They brought a star from New York for the company in Chicago.  I cannot begin to tell you how many plays we did there, because we were a repertory theatre.

[B11647]12:57:52                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

Mid week, we could do a different show for four nights. Different shows.  Weekends the same thing.  And if the play was there (unintelligible) weekend, maybe, maybe we would do it for three weekends.  And I'll never forget when I returned from Chicago.  I got off the plane, I kept all my parts.  This high.  My mother said to me, in Yiddish, she said, if you would have studied like this in college, you would have been a professor. And it's so true.  I used to memorize, I, my, I'm, my memory was incredible. It really was.

[B11647]12:58:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

This was in the forties?

[B11647]12:58:37                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Um, forties.

[B11647]12:58:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11647]12:58:38                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah.  Uh, no.  Yes, youíre right, in the forties.

[B11647]12:58:42                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Douglas Park was finished by the fifties, and the Jews moved out.
 

[B11647]12:58:47                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Oscar Ostroff was the manager.

[B11647]12:58:48                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Where did they put you up?

[B11647]12:59:02                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

What do you mean?

[B11647]12:59:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

In hotels?

[B11647]12:59:03                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) No, I lived with a family.

[B11647]12:59:06                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11647]12:59:07                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

They, the, this family happened to be a little bit affluent, so they invested in the theatre.  That's where I stayed.

[B11647]12:59:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What would you say were a couple of your favorite parts?

[B11647]12:59:29                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Well, actually, I did, I did comedy.  I loved the part I did with Molly in (speaks in Yiddish)" ....... Honeymoon".  It was very successful.  I had a number there, I did a duet with another actor.  And I was, uh, playing a pregnant woman.  I didnít put a pillow in or anything, but my posture showed the audience that I was pregnant.  And then we sang a song.  I donít recall the song.  And then we did a little bit of a dance.  Very gently, lightly. But I was not that way.  So I started to dance, crazy, crazy, crazy.  Tore the house down.  That was it. It was wonderful.

[B11647]13:00:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (speaks in Yiddish) Honeymoon".

[B11647]13:00:13                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(speaks in Yiddish ).  Yeah.  That was that show.  I did a lot of shows with Molly . I did "Circus Girl" with her.  "Kosher Widow " with her.  Uh, I can't even remember all the shows.

[B11647]13:00:26                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And with Skulnik.

[B11647]13:00:28                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Skulnik.  For many, many years.  Many years.

[B11647]13:00:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Was he funny off stage, too?

[B11647]13:00:36                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No.  Not at all.  Not at all.  Totally different.  Dual  personality.

[B11647]13:00:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What other roles did you love?

[B11647]13:00:54                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

You know, I never thought of, I have to admit to something.  I never thought of myself as being an actress or a dancer or a singer, whatever.  And a friend of mine who's an actress said to me, you were never dedicated.  I said, the truth of the matter is, I never was dedicated.  All I knew was I had to get salary and bring it home to Mama .  Thatís all I was interested in.  But nevertheless, if there were four theatres going on Second Avenue, I happened to have four offers.  So I took inventory of myself one night.  I said, I must have something if I get offered from all the theatres, and I had to make a choice for which.

[B11647]13:01:37                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

And I always chose the right one, fortunately.  But the experience with Maurice Schwartz was very interesting.  He always liked tall women, and I'm certainly not tall.  At that time, I was, like, five two and a half.  Since then, I'm shorter, naturally.  And, uh, he was very upset, because he wanted me to do the play, and, but he was very disappointed that I was so short.  So, we were doing a dress rehearsal of (speaks in Yiddish ). And his wife came running up to him and said, "Maurice, Maurice, she looks very tall.  When I wear, well, I'll tell you the truth, I do."

[B11647]13:02:22                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

When I'm on stage with a long gown, I give a very tall, not very tall, but five six, which was a nice height.  So she said, sheís, she looks tall, she looks tall.  So he was a little bit satisfied that I looked tall.  Whatever.  But that was a, quite an experience.  I got very good noticed for that show, too.  They said that I could be a very, very splendid dramatic actress.  I put no emotion into it. (laugh) It didnít faze me one way or another. I was never into it that much.

[B11647]13:03:01                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

Then I'm going to relate this story to you that I did a silent movie.  And they called the Hebrew Actor's Union to get all the children that they could get.  The car was crowded, it was like a Keystone comedy.  We were about ten children in one car.  And it so, I, by that time, I was an actress, and my mother bought me, 'cause to be an actress, I have to wear special clothes, a white rabbit coat.  And it so happens that I had to sit on Seymour's lap.  And my coat shed.  He wanted to kill me, 'cause he had the white fur all over his navy blue suit.

[B11647]13:03:41                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

Anyway, I was selected to do the movie.  A silent movie, donít remember the name of it.  We tried to look it up, my friend Carrie tried to look it up for me.

[B11647]13:03:51                                                                        INTERVIEWER

"Salome of the Tenements" .

[B11647]13:03:55                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Salome of the (word?) , yeah.  But it's not, it doesnít exist.

[B11647]13:03:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What do you mean, it doesnít exist?  It's lost?

[B11647]13:04:00                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

It, it was, yes.  It's so old, and they, the, I think they, they lost all the movies that they did there.  In that, from that time on.  It's a long time ago.  It's gotta be eighty-some-odd years.

[B11647]13:04:19                                                                        INTERVIEWER

These are silent movies with, um.

[B11647]13:04:20                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I was at the Lasky Studio. (technical)

[B11647]13:04:25                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

(overlapping) English, but silent.  With, uh, English subtitles. Jetta Goudal was the star, if you ever heard of her.  And the leading man, there were two brothers, I donít remember which one, Conway or Godfrey Tearle.  Those were the two stars.  So, the director, after, Friday, I ate in the commissary.  My mother, of course, at a box lunch.  Oh, incidentally, my mother was an extra in that, she got paid, too. 'Cause they needed people around pushcarts.  So my mother was purchasing tomatoes, or whatever.  And, uh, the director came to us after the day's work and he said, it's Friday.

[B11647]13:05:10                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

I know we generally donít work on Saturday , but you have to work on Saturday. So my mother, in her broken English, said to him, she can't do it.  He said, what do you mean, she can't do it?  Well, she said, she has another commitment.  What do you mean?  She has a matinee to do tomorrow afternoon with Malvina Lobel. A fabulous actress.  And I had a contract.  You donít break contracts.  He said to me, what are you trying to tell me, I have to cancel everything here because she has a matinee?  My mother said, a contract's a contract.  A commitment's a commitment.

[B11647]13:05:48                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

He said, we'll manage somehow.  I went to work Saturday.  He gave me police escort up to the Lenox Theatre. Those are little things that remain with me, you know.  Theyíre indelibly in my mind.

[B11647]13:06:04                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) So you were in big demand.

[B11647]13:06:08                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I wanna tell you, I wish I made that much money now, that I did then.  And for the movie, my family bought a seven passenger Studebaker sedan. For the money that I earned in the movie.  Everything is relative, you know.

[B11647]13:06:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

In some shows, you did more singing?

[B11647]13:06:34                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Comedy, singing, and dancing.  Comedy, singing, and dancing.

[B11647]13:06:36                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Do you remember any of the songs that you particularly loved?

[B11647]13:06:44                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(speaks in Yiddish) .  It was a song that Olshanetsky wrote.  We had a lot of wonderful music.  In fact, uh, Danny Kaye's agent said to my late husband, if you can try, we used to do an act in the Catskill Mountains the Borscht Belt.  So he came to see us, 'cause Danny Kaye was working in another place in the Catskill Mountains.  And he said to my husband, if you can translate these songs that you do here, I will sign you to a contract.  Can't translate those things.  Where I would sing, in one song, I was what they call a (speaks in Yiddish) .

[B11647]13:07:25                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

Deaf and dumb.  So you did it with motions.  You got to the, the storyline.  It was very funny.  And then, and in another he did, he was, um, what they called a (speaks in Yiddish ).  One that stutters.  Um, so you couldnít translate those, it loses itself.

[B11647]13:07:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah, of course.

[B11647]13:07:45                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah, so unfortunately, we couldnít do it. Otherwise, we, we would still be working.  (laugh) But we were very flattered that he made us that offer.

[B11647]13:07:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So you were in the theatre during the whole arc of its days.

[B11647]13:08:02                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Yes, yeah.

[B11647]13:08:02                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And so to you...

[B11647]13:08:03                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I worked with Jenny Goldstein in the People's Theatre.  And [I] loved that job.  Because in between the scenes that I had with her, I played a little boy, newspaper boy, her brother.  Uh, there was a stable, with horses, in back of the theatre. So I used to play, play with the horses in between scenes.  I loved to go there.  I said, when am I going back to the stable?  Not to the theatre.  When are we going to the stable? (laugh) Ah, that's it.

[B11647]13:08:31                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Was your husband involved in the theatre?

[B11647]13:08:33                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yes, he was.  We were, we were a team for a while.  Yeah.

[B11647]13:08:38                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And his name was?

[B11647]13:08:38                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Lubritsky. And he had two sisters.

[B11647]13:08:42                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Fanny Lubritsky?

[B11647]13:08:43                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Fanny Lubritsky and Golda, that were in the theatres.  Yes.  And he was Dave Lubritsky.

[B11647]13:08:52                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So you were on stage together...

[B11647]13:08:54                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) For many years.

[B11647]13:08:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

For shows, and in?

[B11647]13:08:56                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Yeah, many, many shows, yeah.  It was interesting.  We had a lot of fun, we had a lot of heartache.  We had, it was interesting.  As long as I could get the money to Mama.

[B11647]13:09:13                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You say you didnít put much into it, but obviously, this was a way of life.

[B11647]13:09:26                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Yes, absolutely.  I had no other profession.  I didnít know what to do.  I had very little, uh, education.  In those years, going to high school or college, that was a luxury item.  Couldnít afford that.  Yeah.

[B11647]13:09:43                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But you found a whole life in the Yiddish Theatre.
 

[B11647]13:09:45                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Yes, I did.

[B11647]13:09:45                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Was it that way for most people in the theatre?

[B11647]13:09:50                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I have no idea.  I can't speak for the, for others.  Some of them were very, we had some very, very talented people in the Yiddish theatre. Very talented.  Extremely so.  And some (unintelligible) were not that great, but they got along.  And so be it.

[B11647]13:10:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You could be in a bunch of shows in one year.

[B11647]13:10:12                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Not on Second Avenue.  On Second Avenue, we used to [do] shtick during the week; we also had some repertory. But weekends, if the show was a hit, we could do twenty-six weeks of a show for weekends.  And then when that was finished, we went to the Borscht Belt to work.  I never remember not working.  Never remember not working.

[B11647]13:10:35                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What about vaudeville?

[B11647]13:10:36                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Did Vaudeville too.  Clinton Theatre.  That's where we, all the vaudeville was, mm hmm.

[B11647]13:10:43                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Wasn't there an outdoor roof garden or something?

[B11647]13:10:46                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Oh, that's the National Roof Garden.  We were doing vaudeville at the National Theatre. Zero Mostel  was doing "Ulysses"  at the Roof Garden at the same time.

[B11647]13:10:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

In Yiddish?

[B11647]13:10:57                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No, he did English.

[B11647]13:10:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I meant in Yiddish theatre, skits?

[B11647]13:11:04                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Yiddish, vaudeville, yes, of course.  Richard Tucker started with us.  And, uh, Robert Merrill  started with us, in the Yiddish vaudeville , yeah.

[B11647]13:11:14                                                                        INTERVIEWER

How did you see the theatre change?

[B11647]13:11:29                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Well, because of the immigration, that stopped, you know, that's what really did it, did us in.  Um, there's only one Yiddish Theatre now.  It's, uh, the Folksbiene, as you well know.  Um, and they do it now with English subtitles.  But you know, I spoke to Lily (word? Lux?) today, and I know that Michael Burstin came in from California.  He received a Drama Desk Award for doing it on Second Avenue.

[B11647]13:12:04                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

He was wonderful in it, I went to see it, at the Yiddish Folksbiene.

[B11647]13:12:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Now?

[B11647]13:12:11                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

A couple weeks ago, yeah.

[B11647]13:12:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Mm hmm.

[B11647]13:12:14                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

And, uh, and then there's Brucie Adler, that came from not the Adler family, not Jacob.  His father's name was Julius Adler , and his mother's name was Henrietta Jacobson.  She was the sister of Irving Jacobson, who did the "Man Of La Mancha" originally with Richard Kiley.  You, you remember Irving Jacobson?

[B11647]13:12:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Wasn't he involved in Second Avenue before that?

[B11647]13:12:39                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Irving?  Sure, he was my boss for many years, too.

[B11647]13:12:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11647]13:12:46                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yes, he was a producer.

[B11647]13:12:47                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You probably did a lot of musicals by Olshanetsky.

[B11647]13:13:06                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Oh yes.

[B11647]13:13:06                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Was he?

[B11647]13:13:07                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

And Rumshinsky.

[B11647]13:13:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) And Rumshinsky.

[B11647]13:13:10                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

And Rumshinsky, Olshanetsky.

[B11647]13:13:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (unintelligible)

[B11647]13:13:12                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) It was a Jack  Kreitzberg . Jack.

[B11647]13:13:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yes, there was, I know the name.

[B11647]13:13:20                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Uh, and lyrics by Isadore Lillian.

[B11647]13:13:22                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Lillian.

[B11647]13:13:23                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Fabulous people, the best.  The best in the business.

[B11647]13:13:26                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Herman Wohl , do you remember him?

[B11647]13:13:29                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Vaguely, but I know the name.

[B11647]13:13:31                                                                        INTERVIEWER

He wrote (speaks in Yiddish) . That's older.

[B11647]13:13:33                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Yeah, (speaks in Yiddish), right.

[B11647]13:13:34                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Youíre too young for that.

[B11647]13:13:35                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Right.  Well, there is something before my time, (interviewer laughs) you know. (laugh)  Not too much, but there is.

[B11647]13:13:39                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Ellstein, of course.

[B11647]13:13:44                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Oh, I know him very well.  'Cause he did a lot of things for Molly, yeah.

[B11647]13:13:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) You must have been in a lot of Ellstein shows.

[B11647]13:13:53                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I was, yeah.

[B11647]13:13:54                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Singing songs.

[B11647]13:13:55                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yes, I was.

[B11647]13:13:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

How much rehearsal did you have before big shows?

[B11647]13:14:03                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Two, two and a half weeks, three weeks, tops.  That was it.

[B11647]13:14:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Tops.

[B11647]13:14:07                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Tops. Yeah.

[B11647]13:14:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Which is not a lot for a show.

[B11647]13:14:12                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Not a lot, (interviewer laughs) but we, we did it.  We had that training.  We could do it.

[B11647]13:14:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And the dialogue came from handwritten scripts?

[B11647]13:14:24                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No, no, we used the same dialogue in the Yiddish theatre.  It was very peculiar, because when I used to be on stage, let's say my father was working backstage, technically.  And I, I used the Yiddish that they used in the theatre.  And then I came off, and I wrote, spoke Yiddish to my father, but with a (speaks in Yiddish) .  It was so peculiar, how automatically, I went from that to this.  It was so, the, the actors used to think it was, uh, the funniest thing they ever heard.

[B11647]13:14:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You mean you went from...

[B11647]13:14:56                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) From the regular Yiddish that they used in the theatre
.

[B11647]13:14:59                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Which is like a (speaks in Yiddish).

[B11647]13:15:02                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Right.  And my, and my parents were (speaks in Yiddish) .  So, that's what I spoke.

[B11647]13:15:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

So you didnít say (speaks in Yiddish) .

[B11647]13:15:11                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Right.  Right, exactly.  Exactly.

[B11647]13:15:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And you just switched automatically.

[B11647]13:15:17                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Automatically, without giving it a thought.

[B11647]13:15:21                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(unintelligible)

[B11647]13:15:22                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Gut.

[B11647]13:15:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

From git became gut.  Which is the correct way.

[B11647]13:15:26                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Exactly, exactly.

[B11647]13:15:27                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah, I mean...

[B11647]13:15:28                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) But if you had to do a part with a Galitzianer accent, you did it.  (unintelligible)

[B11647]13:15:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) But everybody spoke that way in the theatre, didnít they?

[B11647]13:15:34                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) We, we could do everything. The Yiddish, the performers were very versatile. Versatile . Very.  And a lot of them were extremely talented.

[B11647]13:15:43                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you memorize your scripts quickly?

[B11647]13:15:46                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Overnight.  Overnight.

[B11647]13:15:48                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And then what, you threw it away?

[B11647]13:15:50                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

That's it.  Now I donít recall any of them.  And then, uh, in latter years, uh, I was get, becoming disillusioned with the theatre.  It wasn't, it wasnít to my liking.  So I did a one woman show, written by Murray Rumshinsky.  Not a one.  Yeah.  Murray wrote six or eight numbers for me, and I did a one woman show.  I did for an hour, an hour and a half, on stage.

[B11647]13:16:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

In New York?

[B11647]13:16:23                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Mostly in the Borscht Belt, and then I.....

[end of tape: [B11647]13:16:26]


 

TAPE NUMBER: B11648

[B11648]13:16:51                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The show by Murray Rumshinsky  (sp?) said you went to California ...

[B11648]13:16:53                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) No, he, he wrote special material for me. Songs. And he was very funny. Murray was a very funny fellow. And, uh,  I did very well with the one woman show. I made a living for myself. I raised my son by myself. It was great.

[B11648]13:17:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Was this show done in Los Angeles  and New York?

[B11648]13:17:14                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I did, I, no. The show, the show that he wrote for me, I started, I wanted to sort of break it in. I did it in the Borscht Belt, which is a wonderful place. And I did that. Then I worked in a nightclub in Philadelphia.

[B11648]13:17:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Mm hm.

[B11648]13:17:31                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I went in there for a weekend and stayed seven.  Um, and, and Montreal, too. I did a lot of that. Yeah.

[B11648]13:17:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Was it in Los Angeles?

[B11648]13:17:43                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Los Angeles, we did plays when we came, like we did for (sounds like) lunch at the honeymoon, in, in Los Angeles.

[B11648]13:17:48                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The whole production?

[B11648]13:17:50                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

The whole thing.

[B11648]13:17:52                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But with Murray...

[B11648]13:17:54                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

With Murray, just a one woman show. Just (unintelligible) ...

[B11648]13:17:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) This was before he moved out there?

[B11648]13:17:58                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Oh, yes. Way before, yeah.

[B11648]13:17:59                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11648]13:18:01                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I would say that was in, already in the '60s, '70s. Yeah.

[B11648]13:18:05                                                                        INTERVIEWER

He did it in a theatre?

[B11648]13:18:08                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I did it in, in a theatre, in, uh, in a social hall...

[B11648]13:18:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11648]13:18:11                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

...wherever.
 

[B11648]13:18:13                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did he play in it?
 

[B11648]13:18:14                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No.

[B11648]13:18:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

He was a very good pianist.

[B11648]13:18:16                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

He was fabulous.

[B11648]13:18:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Wonderful piano player.

[B11648]13:18:17                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) He used to be our pianist when (word?) did the shows.

[B11648]13:18:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:18:20                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

He worked with his father. You (word?) the story.

[B11648]13:18:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Everybody knows the famous story.

[B11648]13:18:24                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) We're not gonna tell that story.

[B11648]13:18:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

... Did you ever hear of a show that he wrote called Chicks And Boychicks?

[B11648]13:18:44                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

That was his, wasnít...

[B11648]13:18:45                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah, yeah.

[B11648]13:18:45                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

...it? Yeah, Murrays. I heard of, but I never...

[B11648]13:18:47                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) "Go Fight City Hall"?

[B11648]13:18:55                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No, I never, heard that.

[B11648]13:18:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Did you do shows by his father?

[B11648]13:19:03                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Oh, of course.

[B11648]13:19:03                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Sure.

[B11648]13:19:04                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

A lot of them. Of course, Rummy wrote for Molly. And I did a lot of shows with him. And I can't remember the titles of them. I did a lot with her.

[B11648]13:19:13                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:19:21                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I was in that with her.

[B11648]13:19:22                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:19:28                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

That I donít know.

[B11648]13:19:29                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The (speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:19:33                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) The (speaks in yiddish) I think had Paul Muni's wife was in that.

[B11648]13:19:36                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Louis Gilrad (sp?) wrote it.

[B11648]13:19:41                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

He wrote the lyrics, I think.

[B11648]13:19:42                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:19:47                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

That I did with her.

[B11648]13:19:48                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish) With Jacob [Kalich].

[B11648]13:19:55                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I worked with him for years, too. For years. He headed the Parkway Theatre.
 

[B11648]13:19:59                                                                        INTERVIEWER

His wife...

[B11648]13:20:01                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Betty Jacobs, Malvina Lobel's sister.

[B11648]13:20:06                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Really?

[B11648]13:20:07                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Rosie Greenfield's sister.

[B11648]13:20:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Again...

[B11648]13:20:10                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:20:10                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...this is one big family.

[B11648]13:20:15                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Exactly. And then some.

[B11648]13:20:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It was a world.

[B11648]13:20:24                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

It was. It certainly was. A little world of our own. Yeah. She had, uh, um, I'm trying to, no, uh, Nathan Goldberg  was Jacobs' partner at the Parkway Theatre. And he has, his wife was an actress, Rosie Goldberg. And her sister was Hannah Hollander. She was also a Yiddish actress.

[B11648]13:20:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Jacob has a duet with his wife, Betty.

[B11648]13:20:54                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Betty Jacobs, of course.

[B11648]13:20:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What's it called?

[B11648]13:20:58                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yenta (speaks in yiddish) .

[B11648]13:21:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

There was Uptown, Downtown, (speaks in yiddish) ...

[B11648]13:21:14                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

A couple of those things are before my time.

[B11648]13:21:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The (speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:21:22                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I remember the titles, but I donít...

[B11648]13:21:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (speaks in Yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:21:27                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah, the big secret that was...

[B11648]13:21:28                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11648]13:21:28                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

...Jennie Goldstein, wasnít it?

[B11648]13:21:29                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yes.

[B11648]13:21:33                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

How do you like that? (interviewer laughs)

[B11648]13:21:35                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I have to look it up.

[B11648]13:21:36                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

You're, you're really digging it out of the trunk. (interviewer laughs)  Way, way at the bottom of the trunk.

[B11648]13:21:39                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) It's with Jennie Goldstein.

[B11648]13:21:41                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Jennie Goldstein, right.

[B11648]13:21:42                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:21:48                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) No. (word?) ...

[B11648]13:21:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Thatís...

[B11648]13:21:49                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

... I know the name, but never...

[B11648]13:21:51                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Were you in (speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:22:00                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yes, I was.

[B11648]13:22:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) The show.

[B11648]13:22:01                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Of course. I worked for (sounds like) Yeherbin Yabica (Herman Yablokoff?). That was the show, (speaks in yiddish) .

[B11648]13:22:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And he sang...

[B11648]13:22:09                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

And then he brought Leo Fuchs, and I worked with him. Extremely talented young man.

[B11648]13:22:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Shmendrik's (word?) ?

[B11648]13:22:32                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Something rings a bell, a bell about it, but I can't recall.

[B11648]13:22:34                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Me too.

[B11648]13:22:35                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I can't recall what.

[B11648]13:22:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:22:51                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(speaks in yiddish) ...

[B11648]13:22:52                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Um...

[B11648]13:22:52                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

... that was with (unintelligible) , no?

[B11648]13:22:54                                                                        INTERVIEWER

She sang the gypsy woman.

[B11648]13:23:01                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

She sang...

[B11648]13:23:01                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:23:01                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish)  What a beautiful song.

[B11648]13:23:05                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11648]13:23:05                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

That was all Shanesky  (Olshanetsky?) (sp?) .

[B11648]13:23:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:23:09                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Beautiful.

[B11648]13:23:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

She had him rewrite the scene to make more sense.

[B11648]13:23:23                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Well, because she, she wasnít a singer.

[B11648]13:23:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It was her first one.

[B11648]13:23:27                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Exactly, exactly.  Exactly.

[B11648]13:23:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:23:45                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yes, I was in that.

[B11648]13:23:45                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You were in that?

[B11648]13:23:46                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah.

[B11648]13:23:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That was the famous...

[B11648]13:23:48                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I'm trying to remember what it was about. I know the title, and I know I was...

[B11648]13:23:52                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) They were all about nothing...

[B11648]13:23:56                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Really. They're entertaining.

[B11648]13:23:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

... They're all love stories, and mysteries...

[B11648]13:24:00                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) And drama.

[B11648]13:24:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

... and lost relatives...

[B11648]13:24:05                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

And illegitimate children.

[B11648]13:24:06                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Under the (word?) .

[B11648]13:24:11                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Under the (word?) . Yeah.

[B11648]13:24:13                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in Yiddish)

[B11648]13:24:15                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) (speaks in Yiddish)

[B11648]13:24:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That's by (unintelligible) .

[B11648]13:24:20                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I was in that too. I told you. That was in the Parkway Theatre.
 

[B11648]13:24:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Thatís right.

[B11648]13:24:24                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Originally.

[B11648]13:24:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I donít remember the story.

[B11648]13:24:31                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) It was a love story. And, I think... (technical)

[B11648]13:25:08                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish) ...

[B11648]13:25:11                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) That was with Goldenburg, I think. Samuel (interviewer laughs) Goldenburg.

[B11648]13:25:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You're right.

[B11648]13:25:18                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Some time, yeah. right. That was at the National Theatre.
 

[B11648]13:25:22                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping)  It says Goldberg, but it's Goldenburg?

[B11648]13:25:23                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Goldenburg.

[B11648]13:25:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Thatís a mistake.

[B11648]13:25:25                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Samuel.

[B11648]13:25:26                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) And Bella Meisel (sp?) was there...

[B11648]13:25:27                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Bella Meisel , you know, his (unintelligible) first wife.

[B11648]13:25:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) With the famous song.

[B11648]13:25:35                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) (singing) (speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:25:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Thatís correct.

[B11648]13:25:37                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

... mazeltov, mazeltov. Oh my goodness.

[B11648]13:25:42                                                                        INTERVIEWER

See?

[B11648]13:25:43                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I'm on a roll. (laugh)

[B11648]13:25:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:25:48                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

A happy family.

[B11648]13:25:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:25:50                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I, that rings a bell, but I'm not sure.

[B11648]13:25:53                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It's not such a...

[B11648]13:25:53                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I did so many that I really can't recall.

[B11648]13:25:54                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) It's got Willie Siegel .

[B11648]13:26:00                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Willie Siegel's play, yeah. And (word?) music.

[B11648]13:26:03                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) With Isaac Feld.  (sp?) ...

[B11648]13:26:07                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I never worked with Isaac.

[B11648]13:26:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yetta Zwerling (sp?) .

[B11648]13:26:10                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I worked with her a lot.

[B11648]13:26:11                                                                        INTERVIEWER

What was she like?

[B11648]13:26:13                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

She was, Phyllis Diller could take lessons from her. (interviewer laughs) Thatís how she was.

[B11648]13:26:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The song there was...

[B11648]13:26:21                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) She was amazing.

[B11648]13:26:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish) Is a good show.

[B11648]13:26:27                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(speaks in yiddish) ...

[B11648]13:26:29                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish) ...

[B11648]13:26:56                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

That song was written by Secunda (sp?) .

[B11648]13:26:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yes.

[B11648]13:26:59                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

And my late sister was the (speaks in yiddish) . She had to walk on stage with a little babushka. My sister was so graceful. She was in the chorus. But Secunda  selected her as the (speaks in yiddish) .  And she walked on stage, and thatís when they sang the song. That she was the (speaks in yiddish) . She had nothing to do with the play. She, he just selected her. (interviewer laughs) And I always said to myÖ

[B11648]13:27:27                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) I can't remember how the song goes.

[B11648]13:27:29                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) (sounds like) My (speaks in yiddish) ...

[B11648]13:27:31                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Thatís correct.

[B11648]13:27:32                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(sounds like) (speaks in yiddish) My (speaks in yiddish) . I can't recall. (interviewer laughs) But, thatís the song.

[B11648]13:27:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

We just published the CD.

[B11648]13:27:55                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) It's a beautiful song.

[B11648]13:27:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Dora Weissman  was in that.

[B11648]13:28:19                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Dora Weissman.

[B11648]13:28:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You mentioned Joseph Shoengold, who was married to...

[B11648]13:28:32                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) One of the (sounds like) Adler girls.

[B11648]13:28:33                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:28:34                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Frances.

[B11648]13:28:35                                                                        INTERVIEWER

He was in a show in Philadelphia called (speaks in yiddish) . I donít know if it played in New York or not.

[B11648]13:28:41                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No.

[B11648]13:28:42                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Secunda was living in Philadelphia  then.

[B11648]13:28:45                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) No, no.

[B11648]13:28:46                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That show opened on Rosh Hashanah.

[B11648]13:28:55                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah. Is that so?

[B11648]13:28:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) They announced in the paper that it would start an hour later for people who like to go to (speaks in yiddish) .

[B11648]13:29:02                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Well, we used to open new shows and new seasons right after Yom Kippur.

[B11648]13:29:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

But this...

[B11648]13:29:08                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Right, an hour after. We started, yeah.

[B11648]13:29:08                                                                        INTERVIEWER

... actually opened on Rosh Hashanah.

[B11648]13:29:12                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

That's surprising.

[B11648]13:29:12                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) It said in the paper that it would start an hour later than usual.

[B11648]13:29:16                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Thatís, is that amazing.

[B11648]13:29:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:29:22                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(speaks in yiddish) Of course.

[B11648]13:29:23                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:29:31                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish) Something. I, yeah.

[B11648]13:29:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Bella was in that with Skulnik .

[B11648]13:29:35                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah.

[B11648]13:29:35                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:29:44                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish) I did that.

[B11648]13:29:45                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you?

[B11648]13:29:46                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

That was with, uh, Jennie Goldstein.

[B11648]13:29:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yes.

[B11648]13:29:55                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Okay.

[B11648]13:29:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish) Has that weird song (speaks in yiddish) in it.

[B11648]13:30:01                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Silk  and satin. Right.

[B11648]13:30:03                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:30:04                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:30:04                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) They mistranslated in the published version as velvet and satin.

[B11648]13:30:09                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish) I think is silk and satin.

[B11648]13:30:10                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) I think they did it deliberately because it sounded better.

[B11648]13:30:13                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Alright, whatever. Okay.

[B11648]13:30:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) You were in the show?

[B11648]13:30:30                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I think so.

[B11648]13:30:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It was a Herman Wohl song.

[B11648]13:30:37                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I think I was in that show. I was still a child.

[B11648]13:30:41                                                                        INTERVIEWER

That would have been...

[B11648]13:30:42                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Yes.

[B11648]13:30:42                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...a long time ago. They advertised for people to bring their daughters so they'd know what happens to a girl thatís gone bad.

[B11648]13:30:55                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I'll tell you what, I, I remember vividly, she had a scene with William Epstein. And...

[B11648]13:31:01                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11648]13:31:01                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

... she wanted to hit him with a bottle. And she struck this with a big, big thing on Yiddish theatre
. She struck the mirror. And every performance they had to replace the mirror. And the audience, oh, they gasped. We never had such a thing happen. That was that show.

[B11648]13:31:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah, because...

[B11648]13:31:20                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:31:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

... she comes under the spell of a no goodster.

[B11648]13:31:25                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Exactly. (interviewer laughs) Exactly.

[B11648]13:31:26                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Then he leaves her.

[B11648]13:31:29                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Exactly.

[B11648]13:31:30                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) But he gets her into drugs.

[B11648]13:31:31                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Right.

[B11648]13:31:32                                                                        INTERVIEWER

And they bring her to a hospital in the middle of the night.

[B11648]13:31:38                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) If, if I remember correctly, yeah.

[B11648]13:31:39                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) And she sings donít sell yourself for satin and silk.

[B11648]13:31:43                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Right.

[B11648]13:31:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(unintelligible)

[B11648]13:31:45                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Right.

[B11648]13:31:45                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You were in that show?

[B11648]13:31:48                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) I remember, I remember it vividly, because of the mirror scene.

[B11648]13:31:50                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:31:51                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I was a child. I was very impressed.

[B11648]13:31:52                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I donít think they revived it, so you must have been in it.

[B11648]13:31:56                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No,  was in it.

[B11648]13:31:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Although they said to bring your daughters so it would be a lesson.

[B11648]13:32:01                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(interviewer laughs) I was in it.

[B11648]13:32:02                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:32:03                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yes.

[B11648]13:32:03                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It was a very eerie song.

[B11648]13:32:10                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) It was a nice song, I remember. But I can't recall...

[B11648]13:32:12                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) It was a little waltz kind of.

[B11648]13:32:14                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Yeah. More like (word?) ...

[B11648]13:32:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

They all do.

[B11648]13:32:15                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) His, his type.

[B11648]13:32:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It goes something like this.

[B11648]13:32:29                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

The verse.

[B11648]13:32:29                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I can't remember the words.

[B11648]13:32:40                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Very interesting. (laugh)

[B11648]13:32:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

There were a lot of gypsies on stage for (speaks in yiddish) .

[B11648]13:32:55                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah.

[B11648]13:32:56                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Thatís what the review says.

[B11648]13:32:57                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Thatís what the review said.

[B11648]13:32:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:32:59                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

They mustíve had the entire stage mirrored. (interviewer laughs) No way.

[B11648]13:33:03                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:33:04                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) They used to have a lot of chorus. They had fourteen, sixteen girls.

[B11648]13:33:07                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) I donít mean literally hundreds.

[B11648]13:33:09                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Yeah. And, and male chorus. The male, men, they...

[B11648]13:33:13                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11648]13:33:13                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

...had the fantastic voices. The male chorus men.

[B11648]13:33:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah, they would.

[B11648]13:33:16                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Fantastic XE "Fantastic" .

[B11648]13:33:19                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:33:23                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

What girls do, yeah.

[B11648]13:33:24                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) That was with Molly  and Muni  (sp?) .

[B11648]13:33:29                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(unintelligible)

[B11648]13:33:29                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Muni Serebrov"  (sp?) .

[B11648]13:33:33                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Is that the one that became Paul Muni?

[B11648]13:33:36                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No.

[B11648]13:33:37                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I almost made that mistake.

[B11648]13:33:40                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I got it. (technical)

[B11648]13:33:49                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:34:00                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Don" ít recall.

[B11648]13:34:00                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) You said you worked with Lebedeff  (sp?) .

[B11648]13:34:08                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Not too much. Not as much as with Molly or Menasha (sp?).  Not...

[B11648]13:34:12                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) They'd record songs like "Shouldnít Happen To A Dog.".

[B11648]13:34:27                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

That was just a number that he did in a play.

[B11648]13:34:28                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Just a number.

[B11648]13:34:29                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Had nothing to do with anything.

[B11648]13:34:29                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Not from a play.

[B11648]13:34:31                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah.

[B11648]13:34:31                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:34:38                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:34:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

You did so many (sounds like) Skulnik....

[B11648]13:34:44                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

A lot, yeah. He was very talented, Ben. I always remember, I was a little girl, (cough) excuse me, and, uh, there was a song, I think Isidore Lillian wrote it. Didnít remember the melody, but I was so impressed with what he said in the lyrics. And I remembered that line. It's from way, way back when. He said, he finally married this woman. He's been asking her to marry him for the longest time. She kept refusing, refusing. She finally agreed, and she married him.

[B11648]13:35:20                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

And this was a song about, I got married, (speaks in yiddish) , what do I see now, (speaks in yiddish) . That impressed me so. Never forgot those lines. Half of her was in the bed, and half of her was on the dresser. (interviewer laughs) The teeth were in the dresser (interviewer laughs) , an eye was in (laugh) , I thought it was so funny.

[B11648]13:35:45                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I may have that song on an old 78...

[B11648]13:35:49                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Really? Could be, could be.

[B11648]13:35:48                                                                        INTERVIEWER

...record.

[B11648]13:35:52                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) (interviewer laughs) I thought it was so funny. I always remembered that. Stuck in, indelibly in my mind.

[B11648]13:35:55                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) That's not the one (speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:35:57                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No. I donít think so.

[B11648]13:35:58                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish)

[B11648]13:36:02                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No.

[B11648]13:36:02                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Did you see him on Broadway?

[B11648]13:36:08                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yes, of course I saw him on Broadway .

[B11648]13:36:09                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) He did a play with no music called "Uncle Willie" .

[B11648]13:36:14                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No, not, that wasnít the first one he did on Broadway.

[B11648]13:36:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) I saw that.

[B11648]13:36:19                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Oh, I see.

[B11648]13:36:19                                                                        INTERVIEWER

"Uncle Willie"  was...

[B11648]13:36:20                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) Were you impressed?

[B11648]13:36:21                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It was fantastic.

[B11648]13:36:25                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah. He had the same kind of timing, (cough) excuse me, that the fellow on Broadway now, doing the one man show, "700 Sundays"?

[B11648]13:36:36                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Billy Crystal.

[B11648]13:36:38                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Yeah. The timing. I, I saw him recently, this young man. I never met a comic that had such timing. Such an artist. And some of the material that he, it's all about his life. Some of it didnít even make sense, but funny. The timing, his timing. And Menasha had that timing.

[B11648]13:36:59                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11648]13:37:00                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Was incredible.

[B11648]13:37:02                                                                        INTERVIEWER

The last one was (speaks in yiddish) .

[B11648]13:37:09                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I think Molly  was supposed to be in that one. Both of them were supposed to be in one play.

[B11648]13:37:12                                                                        INTERVIEWER

She wasnít in it.

[B11648]13:37:14                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

She left.

[B11648]13:37:15                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:37:15                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

She did, never went...

[B11648]13:37:16                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Yeah.

[B11648]13:37:16                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

... into it.

[B11648]13:37:17                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Yeah.

[B11648]13:37:18                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

They started in Philadelphia.

[B11648]13:37:20                                                                        INTERVIEWER

Which did you like better, singing or acting?

[B11648]13:37:30                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I didnít care about singing. I thought my, my best, my, to my way of thinking, my dancing was the best of whatever talent I possessed. Dancing, and then I love drama. I love drama. I worked with Bertha when I was a little girl. And, um, unfortunately she went blind towards the very end of her life. But they gave her a benefit performance at the Parkway Theatre. And she was doing (speaks in yiddish) . And they said, who do you want, Madame Kalich?

[B11648]13:38:12                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

She said, bring me the Saltzman girl. I was a grown up already, but I played (speaks in yiddish) with her. The last performance she ever did. Bertha. You didnít know her, of course.

[B11648]13:38:25                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) No.

[B11648]13:38:25                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Way before your time.

[B11648]13:38:26                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (speaks in yiddish) Was already a serious play.

[B11648]13:38:38                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

Oh, yes, it was.

[B11648]13:38:39                                                                        INTERVIEWER

I'm trying to...

[B11648]13:38:39                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

(overlapping) She only did serious plays.

[B11648]13:38:40                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) She didnít do musicals.

[B11648]13:38:42                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No. No. But...

[B11648]13:38:44                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) (word?)

[B11648]13:38:44                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

... she had an instrument in her throat. What a voice.

[B11648]13:38:47                                                                        INTERVIEWER

(overlapping) Who were the (speaks in yiddish) ?

[B11648]13:38:49                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

I donít remember. (technical)

[B11648]13:39:05                                                      ESTA SALTZMAN (CONTINUED)

I donít recall.

[B11648]13:39:06                                                                        INTERVIEWER

It wasnít the Goldfaden one.

[B11648]13:39:08                                                                    ESTA SALTZMAN
 

No.

[B11648]13:39:08