Lives in the Yiddish
SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE INVOLVED IN
THE Yiddish THEATRE
aS DESCRIBED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"
Adolph (Naftali-Yehoshue) Shrage
S. was born on 1 January
1871 in Brody, Galicia. His father was a Hebrew
teacher, a very [gelernter: learned person?]. His mother
passed away soon after he was born. He became enamored
through his father with Yiddish and Hebrew. He also
learned in a beginner's school, but due to poverty at
home he couldn't continue his studies, and he took a job
as a writer as a governmental employee, but since the
rentals were too few, he better became a folk singer and
owned a narrow, but sweet lyrical voice. He previously
went into the "Broder Singers", and a little later
crossed over into the professional theatre with Yaakov Ber Gimpel. Here he became known to Kalmen Juvelier, and
he acted with him across Rumania, and afterwards came
with him and his entire troupe to America.
Here Sh. for a certain time
acted in important roles in the operetta in drama. As
such he was the first to act in the role of "Abnimus
Hgrdi" in Gordin's "Elisha ben abuyah" (1906), "A
Gordin's "Der fremder" (1906), and "Peltsner" in
Gordin's "Galut galitsye" (1907).
Sh. was one of the founders
and active members of the Yiddish Actor's Union in
America. Except for his acting, he was also known for
his [glekhvertlekh] and pranks. As such it is told of
him the following anecdote: One time he also had the
union mail a season in a troupe, where the director
wasn't needed. The director expressed resistance. Sh.
confident in the strength of the union. The director
is [but once "out of the vessels" and posed a
question: "Mister Shrage, what will this season do
for my money?", and Shrage answered "[Ikh vel aykh
ton tsu lhkheys]".
Sh. also became sick
with gallstones. He had an operation, and there were
complications and he was stricken with a lung
inflammation, and on 10 February 1924 he passed away
in New York.
Sh.'s wife, Matilda,
also acts on the Yiddish stage. Their son, Benjamin
L. Shrage, M. D., was the doctor for the Yiddish
E. from Moshe Schorr.
Necrology "Forward", N. Y., 15 February 1924.
Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the "Lexicon
of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig,
Volume 6, page 4938.
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