Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Julius (Khanina) Nathanson


Born on 17 July 1890 in Pavalitch (Pavoloch), Kiev Gubernia, Ukraine. Father -- a grain trader. Until age ten he learned in a cheder and sang with a cantor, later becoming a lace worker in Kiev, which is where his family moved to. Here N. sang for several years in a chorus in Brodsky's synagogue, and during this time, he also was an employee in a haberdashery store, later in a hotel, and in the evening he learned in the "handverker (trade) school".

1905 -- N. arrived with his family in Chicago (America), where he worked for two years in a tailor's shop, learning in an evening school and Yiddish with a teacher, then he entered into Glickman's Theatre as a wardrober, was a ticket taker at Relkin's, wrote roles and held placards. fulfilling a desire to act. He founded together with others the "Young Men's Dramatic Club", where he became the business manager, but due to economic conditions, he went to St. Louis, where he joined as a singer in a Yiddish moving picture house. He then became in Cincinnati a prompter in a troupe (with Simon and wife, Kroner, et al.), with whom he toured for two years across the province, until he entered into Cleveland as a prompter and English song singer in Bernstein's Yiddish vaudeville.

One-and-a-half years later, N. toured for several months as a prompter with the troupe of Fannie Reinhardt and Benny Shoengold, and when he performed in Washington, an actor who was to play "Yoshke Yashkevitsh" in Sharkansky's "Khfni un pinkhas" became sick, and N. became a replacement singer in New York's Eldridge Street Music Hall.

However he was prevented from acting by the union, and then he toured for a year's time with English songs across English movie houses. With the intention of acting in Yiddish, N. became interested in that time with the entrepreneur Skolnick in the building of a Yiddish theatre stage in New Haven, but, not taken into the troupe that began to act there, N. became manager of a Yiddish troupe that the restaurateur Wally Brider brought in each Sunday in Haven's Grand Opera House, but with the second production with N. acting as "Semke Lts", and went afterwards with the troupe (Clara Young et al.) to Chicago, where he entered into a Yiddish vaudeville house. Later N. acted in legitimate Yiddish theatre with Meyerovitsh in Denver's Lyric Theatre, then in Gertner's troupe in Chicago, and with Grossman in Winnipeg, two years directed a motion picture house in Denver, then sang for a time in English cabarets and English burlesque troupes, also performing with his wife Anna in an English vaudeville act across the province and later became manager of English vaudeville troupes. He was engaged in New York's Liberty Theatre by Charles Groll, and G went over in the middle of a season to the People's Theatre, where he acted in "Susie bren", together with Bessie Thomashefsky, and in the coming season was put into the Union to act, later N. acting for two seasons in the National Theatre, together with Jacob Kalich a season as director and actor in Boston, then a season there alone as director, directed vaudeville for a season in New York's Grand Theatre, and for four years was director and main actor in Boston's Yiddish theatre.

1927-8 -- N. acted in the Second Avenue Theatre, 1928-9 -- was director in Philadelphia, 1930 -- guest-starred in Argentina, then across the United States of America. 1930-31 -- acted in Chicago's Lawndale Theatre, and then across the American province.

N. also later was a member in the Executive [Committee] of the Yiddish Actors Union.

N. was a member of the Publishing Committee of the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre".

Specialty: fat-lover.

M. E.

  • B. Botwinick -- Yunge talentn oyf der idisher bihne, "Forward", N. Y., 25 October 1918.

  • Nun-tsadik [Tsuker] -- Di derfolgreykhe debut-forshtlung fun ana un yulius natanzon, "Argentiner tog", Buenos Aires, 21 June 1929.

  • Sh. R. [Rozhansky] -- Der ern-ovnt fun y. natanson, "Zeyn ershte nakht" fun l. freiman, "Id. tsayt", Buenos Aires, 18 August 1929.

  • G. Tsuker -- Di gast-shpiln fun yulius natanzon in guenos aires, "Argentiner tog", Buenos Aires, 22 August 1929.

  • [--] -- Der nayer star fun glikmans palas-teater, julius natanzon shtamt fun shikago, "Forward", Chicago, 11 October 1929.

  • Y. Sigel -- "Frehlikhe teg" mith julius natzon in londeyl theater, "Forward", Chicago, 30 September 1930.

  • Kritikus -- Julius natanzon, "Di tsayt", London, 7 May 1931.

  • Kritikus -- Julius natanzon als "galitsianer khasun", "Di tsayt", London, 18 May 1931.

  • Sh. Pan [Y. Shayak] -- A por verter vegen ludvig zats un julius natanson, "Di post", London, 1 January 1932.

  • Julius Nathanson -- Vegn di amerikaner gastroliorn in eyrope, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, N' 23, 1932.

  • Zishe Katz -- Vegn di amerikaner gastroliorn in eyropa, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, N' 24, 1932.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1400.

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