Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Izidor Aschkenazy


A. was born in 1897 in Pantshe, Rumania. His parents were wine merchants. He learned in a cheder and in a four-class primary school. His parents sent him further to Czernowitz in order to learn, but he hadn't the desire, and he came back home, and from there went to Bucharest where he began to attend the Yiddish theatre. For several years he still attended the productions in the Jignitsa, until he became acquainted with an "amateur" group, and they put together a production each week. His first role was as "Gometz" in "Dr. Almasado". As such he acted for about seven years. Then he traveled to America, where he met his cousin, Dave Samulesco, [who was] acting in a vaudeville house on Eldridge Street with Spivak, but here he didn't find an engagement and [then] traveled to Chicago, where he was taken into the troupe of Frank and M. Brown on 12th Street. Then he became engaged to Elias Glickman, who had a large theatre, where they acted for an entire season. From there he went over to Cleveland to Berenstein, where he began to act with Gabel, Shenkman and Dworkin, and then he went to Boston into the Hub Theatre (Directors Gottlieb, Lateiner, and Silbert), and then into the communities of New York.

From America he returned to Rumania, and after that he performed several times in the Jignitsa (Directors Segalesco and Itzikl Goldenberg), where he organized a troupe under his own direction and acted for a season in Iasi, then a season in Galatz (Galati - ed.), already in partnership with Ebell. From there

 he directed with various troupes across Rumania. In 1912-3 he acted in London's Pavilion Theatre, guest-starring then in Paris, Vienna and Lemberg, and he was brought to Iasi to guest-star with almost the entire London troupe. In 1918-9 he led a troupe in Russia, in partnership with Clara Young. When he then returned to Rumania, he brought to his theatre as guest stars Clara Young, Joseph Kessler and Molly Picon.

In 1926 A. became seriously ill and was operated on. Since then he has withdrawn from the stage, performing only in his testimonial evenings.

Specialty: Character-comical.

Sh. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 111.

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