The Museum of

       the yiddish world



The members of the Misha Fiszon acting company who performed at the Peoples Theatre in Detroit is listed below (see programs, below, right.)

The house manager was Abraham Littman, pictured above. The company manager and director was Misha Fiszon. The stage manager was Isaac Arco, and the musical director was Abe Grushkoff. The sceneries were painted by Harry Rothberg, artist.

Listed below are the names of much of the company.

"Der Galekh Rasputin"
("The Monk Rasputin")


"Two Fires"

The Company:

Misha Fiszon
David Davidson
Vera Zaslavska
Felix Fogelnest
Sarah Gingold

Harry Jordan
Clara Honigman
Pearl Fogel
Sam Fogel
Sally Vinocur
Celia Pearson
Isaac Arco
Max Kloss
Aaron  Soffe
Mme. Braginskaya


The Yiddish Theatre Houses

Abraham Littman

Detroit, Michigan
cir 1920s-30s

Impresario of the "Peoples Theatre"
8210 12th St
Detroit, Michigan

Abraham Littman opened the Circle Theatre at 2814 Hastings Street in Detroit in August 1924. Admission was seventy-five cents; two dollars was charged for evening performances and from fifty cents to $1.65 for matinees. Paul Muni and Moishe Oysher appeared at Littman's theatre. When Molly Picon appeared, the admission price rose to $2.50!

The new Peoples Theatre was constructed by architect Maurice H. Finkel. It cost cost $250,000 to build and seated slightly more than 1,000 patrons. It opened on September 7, 1927, though eventually it would close its doors for good in 1958. It had undergone a number of name changes--in 1938, the word "Peoples" was dropped from the name. The theatre closed between 1941 and 1944, when it reopened as the "Abington." It closed once more in 1953 and reopened three years later as the "Goldcoast," but only lasted until 1958. The building has since been demolished.

Yiddish actor Herman Yablokoff, in his book "Der Payatz," describes the theatre. "The stage of Littman's Peoples Theatre was not overly large, but adequate enough for any type of production. The theatregoers were very proud of this achievement because the building had been erected solely for Yiddish theatre at the cost of $250,000, a small fortune at the time."

However, Yablokoff also remarks about a certain lacking at the theatre. "The architect, Morris Finkel, had provided every possible comfort and decor for the audience, not to mention the gilt cherubim around the proscenium. There was only one thing he forgot: dressing rooms for the actors! And when was this omission discovered? After the theatre was completed. Well, one could hardly demand that the theatre be rebuilt just for the comfort of the actors! So, we had to make the best of it." So on the third floor several cubicles were partitioned off so that the actors could make their costume changes and do their makeup. Having to run up and down all three flights of a spiral staircase for every change was quite a task!

Yablokoff continues, "Aside from forgetting the actors when blueprinting the plans for the house, the credit for the incentive of building this Yiddish theatre in Detroit was definitely due to one man--Abraham Littman. The title impresario described him to a tee!"



Programs from the Littman's Peoples Theatre Nov-Dec 1934

("Der Galekh Rasputin")
3 Performances

"Two Fires"
3 Performances



Copyright 2007-15 Museum of Family History. All rights reserved. Image Use Policy