Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Mekhele Glikman


Born circa 1849 in Odessa, Ukraine. A stepbrother of Yakov Glikman. He learned a little. Was with Nisan Belzer in a chorus and then toured with Broder Singer and with the Schwartz Quartet, performing for Goldfaden in small roles, and often used to him often to show.

G. had a beautiful lyrical tenor voice and was a musician and a great joker. In his youth he used to perform in buff comic roles, most of the time with Segalesko's troupe.

He also performed by himself, but he couldn't draw enough income, so he had to also from time to time work with bershtlekh. 

In 1906 he traveled to America, but once he performed in a testimonial evening, which his landsleit had arranged for him, and after a year he returned to Romania, and here he entered into the troupe of Glikman, later with Ashkenazy, but soon after the World War, he used to, from time to time, cast off acting and take to working with bershtlekh.

G. was a nidriker (short man?), and they used to therefore call him "Der klayner mekhele". Actors used to like him very much due to his wit. His popular saying was: "Nu, genug genudet".

His voice was even in his older years very fresh, that in his older years of sixty-some-odd years, he performed with great success,

acting as "Shmendrik", "Alterunyu" in "Dovids fidele", and "Khenukh" in "Ashe re", and he used to entirely imitate youngsters and grays.

His last peformance on the stage was in 1921 in the Jignitsa in Bucharest as "Di bobe yakhne" for Goldfaden.

In the winter of 1923 he passed away in a hospital in Brailia after a chronic, morning illness from drinking a lot.

Characterizations of his humor was the following two episodes:

When we had once asked: "Drinking tea and milk makes me ill, I am a healthy human being -- I drink wine or whiskey".

When his final minutes came at the hospital, he had crossed himself on the second time, and said to the doctors: 'Nu, itst kent ir mikh shoyn (Well, now you may know me[?])"... and with his popular words "Nu, genug genudet", he oysgehoykht his soul.

M. E. from Sarah Ettinger, Chaim Tauber, Itzhak Libresko, Itsikl Goldenberg, Moshe Schorr and Jacob Mestel.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, p. 199.

  • Sholem Perlmutter -- Der onfang fun idishen teater, "Di idishe velt", Philadephia, 7 June 1929.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 488.

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