Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


David Medoff

Born 22 January 1888 in Yelisavetgrad, Ukraine.

When M. was twelve years of age, his parents moved over to Kremenchug where he sang as a choir boy [in a synagogue] and as a soloist with Chonan Avramele Orenstein.

Later his parents moved into a new house in Bobruisk where his father became a manager for a ship on the Berioza River.

Here M. had in 1907 began his theatrical career with a substitute Ukrainian troupe, and so until the World War, he performed with the Russian-Ukrainian troupes with A. S-Slov, D. Heidenmaku, Chernov and M. Suchodolsky.

From the time of the World War, M. had together with his wife Raisa Solovyova, performed in concerts and moved to Harbin, and from there through Japan and China, arriving in America in 1915 where he debuted on the Yiddish stage in Chicago (Empire Theatre et al, for Joseph Kessler and Sara Adler) in the Goldfaden operetta "Shulamis" and "Bar kokhba".

Hereupon M. was engaged in 1916 by Boris Thomashefsky at New York's National Theatre where he performed in the operetta "Der tsebrokhene fidler (The Broken Violin)," in which he excelled with the song "Oykh breng eykh a gros fun der haim" (Music: Joseph Rumshinsky) and since then has remained on the Yiddish stage.


He also was named a member of the Yiddish Actors Union.

M. had, for a period of eight years, sung for the phonograph firm "Columbia", and seven years for the "Victor Corp."

Acting on the Yiddish stage, M. had from time to time taken a break in which he had alone organized or co-performed for other tsoyfgeshtete productions.

Mtsd Ukrainian kolegen, he had put on in New York's "Bronx Art Theatre" in their ...sang in the Ukrainian operetta "Natalka poltavka" by Y.Kotlyarevsky.

At various times he was a manager of members of the Yiddish Artists Union.

M.'s wife often participated together with her husband in Yiddish productions.

M. E. and Sh. E.

  • [Led pensil] B. Botvinik - A Yiddish Actor in the chazzan far toyzender rusian poyeris in America?, "Forward"., N.Y., 1 July 1923.

  • "Rumshinksy-Buch", N.Y., 1930, pg. 30.






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Translated from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1339.

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