Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Julius Levy

Julius Levy was an American lawyer.

In 1886, when Drojavich and Rosengarten brought Mogulesko’s troop to the U.S., a disagreement broke out among Feinman, Kessler, Edelstein and others about where they should perform. The directors wanted the actors to go on tour to smaller cities, like Chicago, but the actors disagreed and wanted to remain in New York.

As B. Gorin wrote, “Although it was unusual for actors to breach their contracts, it was surprising that the ‘green’ American troupe was afraid to do such a thing, when it was hard to find actors.  It was much easier at that time to find people who wanted to be company directors. 

One of them, named Schreiber, who had a cafeteria in the Jewish quarter in New York, brought into Mogulesko’s company the lawyer Levy, the glass handler Roth, and the realtor Goldman. Levy was given the responsibility of finding a suitable theatre and collecting the necessary funds.

With an attorney among the directors, the young company felt confident enough to break its contract with the Chicago directors. However, the Chicago directors did not remain silent, and when Mogulesko and his company refused to go on tour, the directors sought an injunction preventing them from performing in New York.  The company remained idle during the trial, but when the injunction was not granted, the company remained in New York. 

 Levy, Roth, and Goldman began to search for a theatre and soon rented the National Theatre in the Bowery area of New York. They paid $20,000 in rent and changed the name to the Rumanian Opera House.

According to the attorney Sarason, during the six months when Levy led the theatre, he had a huge deficit and therefore, he withdrew from the theatre and returned to being a lawyer.   

M. E. from Adv. Sarason.

B. Gorin -- "Di Geshikhte fun idishn teater (The History of the Yiddish Theatre)", Vol. II, pp. 40-41.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1048.

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