across America, and [then]
joined Krim's troupe in Detroit.
In the 1918-19 season he
managed, together with Dina Feinman, the "Grand Opera
House" in Boston, where he engaged Molly Picon, with
whom he married in 1919, and in November 1920 they went
together on a tour across Europe. Taking advantage of
Molly's success in the role of the "youngster" in the
play, "The Polish Jew," K. wrote a play for her in which
he transformed the "nebn" figure from the
youngster into a main figure, and performed the play (in
November 1920) with "tsunifgeshlepter" music in
the Paris theatre, "De l'Ancre" (Director N.
Blumenthal), under the name, "Yankele Goes to School"
(the later-famous operetta, "Yankele") with Molly Picon
in the title role, with K. playing the lover role. In
March 1921 they guest-starred in Vienna's "Yidishe bine
(Jewish Stage)," in May 1921 in Lodz's "Rozmaytoshtshi"
Theatre. Here K. also put on "My Sweet Girl." In July
1921 they turned back to Vienna, where they played,
"Stepchild of the World." In August they performed in a
concert for the benefit of the poor children of Vienna.
In the same month they put on a concert in Karlsbad,
then went on a concert tour across the Czech Republic
and Moravia, and then returned to Vienna, where K. put
on "Suzie bren."
In January 1921 they
continued with a concert tour across Czechoslovakia,
then in Lodz, where K. put on "Tsipke fayer"; "Yankele"
in Warsaw, and across the larger cities of Poland with a
concert program, later in Romania, where K. put on "Hopsasa"
and 'A Sensible Girl," continuing with concerts in Paris
and London, and in November 1923 they returned to
Here K. took part in a
concert in Boston, and on 24 December 1923 he put on, in
his new adaptation, "Yankele," music by Joseph
Rumshinsky in New York's Second Avenue Theatre. During
the same season he put on his new adaptation of "Tsipke,"
per Louie Freiman and S.H. Cohen.
In the 1924-25 season K. put
on his musical plays "Shmendrick's Wedding" per
Goldfaden (music by Rumshinsky and Goldfaden), his
montage of Goldfaden's and Shomer's play, under the name
"The First and Second Haman," and his adaptation of
Joseph Lateiner's "The Gypsy Girl."
There, during the 1925-26
season, K. put on his adaptation of Anshel Schorr's
"Molly Dolly," N. Rakowe's "Katinka," and on 13 April
1926 Gershom Bader's "The Rabbi's Melody."
In the 1926-27 season K. put
on Nager's "The Little Devil," Meyer Schwartz's "Mamele,"
M. Osherowitz's "The Little Czar." In the season K.
became partners with the director of the theatre
(together with Molly Picon, Rumshinsky, Psternak, Seiger
In the 1927-28 season K. put
on Chone Gottesfeld's "Raizele," Kalmanowitz's "Some
Girl" and Joseph Lateiner's "Good Luck."
In the 1928-29 season there
K. staged "The Circus Girl" by the Shomer Sisters,
Sheine Rukhl Simkoff's "Hello, Molly," and his own
musical revue, "Second Avenue Follies."
In the 1929-30 season there
K. staged Freiman's "The Radio Girl," William Siegel's
"The Jolly Orphan," and Joseph Lateiner's and William
Siegel's "The Little Clown."
In all these years, being
associated with the Second Avenue Theatre, K. had, only
in the beginning, acted together, later giving himself
only to the adaptation of plays, which he had staged
with Molly in the main roles, and after staging the play
in New York, with them traveling around, across the
province, of the United States and Canada.
In the summer of 1931 K.,
with Molly, went on a concert tour across the United
States, then across Karlsbad, Romania, Austria and
In January 1932 K. traveled
with Molly to Argentina, where he had, there and in
Uruguay, staged with Molly, and with a local troupe her
repertoire. In the winter of 1932 both went on a concert
tour across the United States. In the beginning of 1933
they visited the Land of Israel, Soviet Russia and
several large cities in Poland.
In the 1934-35 season K.
staged in the Second Avenue Theatre, with Molly, "Here
Runs the Bride," a musical comedy by Ossip Dymow, "One
in a Million" by Anshel Schorr and William Siegel (in
K.'s adaptation), on 28 November 1934 "Motel Peissi, the
Cantor's Kid" by Sholem Aleichem, and then "What Girls
Do" by William Siegel. After performing in concerts and
on radio programs, both in 1937 visited South Africa.
After returning, K. staged in the Public Theatre
(manager William Rolland) "My Malkele" by William
On 21 April 1942 K. put on
in Philadelphia, then in New York, his operetta, "What a
Life!" (a biographical operetta of Molly's life.) In
1943-45 K., together with Molly, traveled around in
concerts to the American military camps, camps,
hospitals and convalescent homes, and performed in
concerts. In 1946 the same was done in the concentration
camps for the Sheerit Hapleitah and in the orphanages in
Poland, the Czech Republic, and Germany, where they gave
free concerts for six months. In 1948 they again visited
Africa and performed with concerts in Johannesburg,
Capetown, Durban. In 1951 he performed for the American
soldiers in Japan, receiving awards from the American
government and the title of Captain in the army.
In 1955 he visited the Land
of Israel as a guest of the "Israel Bonds" to sell bonds
in the sum of 25 million dollars in the United States
and Canada from 1952 to 1955. In 1958 he put on and
played the main male role in his and Kalmanowitz's
operetta, "The Lost Honeymoon."
In 1936 and 1937 the
artistic providence had filmed "Yidl mit'n fidel" and "Mamele"
by Meyer Schwartz, [two Yiddish-language films] in
For one year K. put on the
air a Yiddish radio program in New York under the name,
"Der briv-kastn (The Mail Box?)."
K. also put on two
spectacles in "Madison Square Garden," "Queen Esther (an
Akhashveyresh play in the "Mecca Temple)," with Yiddish
writers as actors (see the "Lexicon," pp. 1733-34), and
a cantorial festival with three hundred cantors in the
In 1959 K. played in English
the main role from the dramatized book "The Education of
Hyman Kaplan" on television, and "The Littlest Little
Leaguer," as well as other television programs.
K. is working now on a
biography of his wife, Molly Picon.
K. was many times an
Executive Member of the Yiddish [Hebrew] Actors' Union,
and also its president.
K. is the treasurer of the
committee of the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre."
K. also composed a series of
Chasidic skits, novels, scenes, travel writings,
articles, songs in "Di varhayt," "Di tsayt," "Der
yidisher kemfer," "Der tog," "Yidishes tagenblat," and
in the provincial press. In "Kunst friend" (under the
direction of Kalman Marmor) he began to publish a series
of "Legends of Jewish People's Zhenien," and in "Teater
shtern" about Yiddish theatre personalities.
K. also wrote a children's
fantasy play, which was translated into Hebrew, Polish,
Romanian, German, Czech and Hungarian.
Z. Reisen-- "Lexicon
of Yiddish Literature," Vol. III, pp. 440-42.
Ab. Cahan-- "Di naye
lustige operetke in kesler's sekond evenyu theater,
"Forward," N.Y., 9 January 1924.
Ab. Cahan-- Moly
pikon als "shmendrik," "Forward," N.Y., 13 November
R. Kristol-- Der
goldener fodem fun yidishn teater, "Fraye arbeter
shtime," N.Y., 21 November 1924.
Ab. Cahan-- "Di
tsigayner meydel," an opeeta in sekond evenyu
theater, "Forward," N.Y., 13 March 1925.
velt-almanakh," New York, 1926.
Moshe Nadir-- fun
nekhtn biz morgn, "Frayhayt," N.Y., 26 April 1926.
M. Osherowitz-- "Dovid
kesler un muni weisenfreund," New York, 1930, pp.
Farvos rumshinsky hot zikh opgeteylt fun moly pikon
in yakov kalich, "Forwards," 12 May 1931.
Mayne akht yor mit moly pikon un yakov kalich,
"Forward," NY., 23 May 1931.
Yosef rumshinsky in shoyn a fuftsik yoriker, "Fraye
arbeter shtime," N.Y., 26 June 1931.
G. Frank-- Moly pikon
in nayem "yankele," "Parizer haynt," 4 January 1932.
Moly pikon als "tsipke fayer" in "ekselsior," "Prese,"
Buenos Aires, 10 July 1932.
"Album of the Yiddish Theatre," New York, 1937, pp.
44, 56, 61, 70, 72, 112.
Hillel Rogoff-- "Azoy
iz dos lebn," "Forward," N.Y., 17 October 1942.
Kh. Gutman-- "Azoy iz
dos lebn" in Moly pikon teater, "Morning Journal,"
N.Y., 16 October 1942.
A. Meyzels-- Moly
pikon un yakob kalich, "Ilustrirter teater shpigl,"
London, July 1946.
Kh.K.-- Moly pikon un
yakob kalich brengen a lebedigen grus fun zid-africa,
"Forward," N.Y., 12 September 1947.
Wolf Mercur-- "Merkoyozn,"
New York, 1948, pp. 116-18.
N. Buchwald-- "Moly
pikon in "abi gezunt," "Morgn frayhayt," N.Y., 14
Shlomo Melnik-- "Moly
pikon, y. kalich-- un sholem aleichems, "Morgn
frayhayt," N.Y., 4 February 1959.
Yakob kalich shpant ariber zayn zibetsigsten
geburstog, "Forward," N.Y., 2 February 1962.
Bibliography of Molly
Picon's Biography, "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre,"
Vol. III, pp. 1814-1824.