Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Rubin Perkoff


Born in the beginning of the eighties [?] of the nineteenth century, in Warsaw, Poland, to Chasidic parents of means. He received an Orthodox education., learning with prominent Warsaw tutors and privately -- secular studies.

Owning a magnificent alto voice, he used to sing in various Chasidic shtibls (small synagogues) as a choir boy, and when the famous Apt cantor Romberg heard him sing, he went to his parents, that he should enter into the band, where "he would make a practice out of it (?)". Wandering for several years with the cantor across Poland, Lithuania and Russia, he returned to Warsaw, and although his parents wanted him only to go into business, he became a chorister in the Tlomazke Synagogue.

During the guest appearance of Jacob P. Adler in Warsaw (circa 1890-1891), in the "Eldorado Theatre", he acted in "Uriel Acosta", in which to chorus from the Tlomazke Synagogue also participated. So then P. for the first time was in contact with the Yiddish theatre. Adler became excited with his voice and took him with him to Lodz. [Afterwards] he returned to Warsaw and put together a troupe with Shliferstein, Oskar, Mr. and Mrs. Pyurnik, and when the troupe disbanded, he went over to act with Veysfeld in Moscow's 59 (together with the Berman brothers), Shvartsbard, Kalina, Libert and Rappel). After the ban on acting in Yiddish theatre in Warsaw, he left with other Yiddish actors across the small towns and villages, where he acted in "Yiddish-German" theatre. From there he traveled to Lemberg, where he acted for Gimpel, afterwards wandering off to London, and in 1903 came to America, where he acted in various variety theatres and with small troupes across the southern and southwestern United States.

At the same time he took up with real estate commerce and lost in Yiddish theatre the earnings that he hade made in his trade.

Sh. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 1849.

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