Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Adolf Gertner


G. was born on 24 March 1879 in Bucharest, Rumania. He completed the four-class Yiddish-Rumanian school of Dr. Beck, and he learned Yiddish with a teacher Lichtenstein. He sang the temple choir, then with Segalesco in the children's chorus of "Moshiakhs tseytn", that Goldfaden staged in Zhignitsa. As his parents were against it, G. fled to Constantinople in Yosef Weinstock's troupe, where he sang solos and acted in children's roles. G. traveled around with the troupe across Turkey, Serbia and Bulgaria until Rumania, where the troupe disbanded. Here G. entered into Treitler's troupe, which acted for a short time in Rumania, then in Czernowitz, where G. performed for the first time out in a responsible role ("Yenkele" in Lateiner's "Dovid's fidele"). From there Axelrad took him in for Budapest, where  he acted for a short time in Wertheimer's cabaret, and he went over to the direction of Chona Valfstal at first in Budapest, then in Berlin, not having there any further possibilities to act in Yiddish theatre, G.  became a soloist for small parties in Krall's German theatre. In 1903 G. became engaged by Henry Konrad for New York with several actors as a German troupe for America, where he acted for three months, and when the other German went back, G. remained in America, and acted in Boston with the Silberts, then with Adler in the Hub Theatre, where G. also had the opportunity to act with Morisson. Then in Cleveland with Simon, and five years with Glickman in Chicago, where G. performed in Strauss' "Tsigeyner baron". Ten G. founded together with Zolotarevsky an itinerant troupe (Schwartz, Samuilov, Schwartzberg et al) with whom he traveled around across the


United States and Canada; then G. came back to Chicago, and he brought in Kessler as a guest-star, later he united with the Philip Weisenfreund troupe, then he staged for two years with a Yiddish theatre in Milwaukee, and he returned to Chicago, taking over Weisenfreund's troupe, and he acted for three years in the theatre, until he went over to Gertner's independent theatre on 17th Street (there Muni Weisenfreund for several years was the comic of the group), where he acted until 1928, also bringing in as guest-stars Thomashefsky and Regina Zuckerberg.

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 499.

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