Yiddish actor Jacob Katzman. There R. became
engaged as "the youth with the golden voice." He
became behongen with flowery medals, and
it was said that he had sung "for the Russian
Tsar, the Austrian mushl Franz Josef, and
the English King George, and he performed as a
soloist in specially put-together
The outbreak of war
with the burn shtert ober every
theatre event, and R. "made a living" from this,
[in] which he breaks out windows, which the
unemployed actor Katzman put back in. R. did
various jobs until in 1903, when through Adler,
hd was called out to America, where he had the
opportunity to sing a solo in the song, "God and
his Judgment is Just" in Libin's play, "Broken
Hearts," and then he played in small episodic
R. was with Adler
for nine years, who wanted to hand over to him
the position of stage director. For that epoch
there is known an entire range of episodes of "Gburh,"
[in] which R. and his friend, then a "beginner,"
and later the famous actor Izidore Casher, had
appeared. However R. was not content with
Adler's intentions, and as he described in his
autobiography: "Myself and my friend, the late,
great actor, at night used to stay after the
productions in the theatre, and on the state we
used to act, oysnveynik, for the empty
seats, even making as if we were mimics, the
scenes and the positions of the great artists
Adler, Kessler, Mogulesco, Blank, Moskowitz,
Feinman, Berta Kalich and Sarah Adler.
Not seeing any
purpose in New York, R. decided (as other young
actors also used to do then), he played in the
province, and his first performance was in
Buffalo as "Arentshe" in Gordin's "The Jewish
Priest" (with Aba Schoengold.) In the same year,
R. was engaged for Toronto (under the direction
of Abraham Littman), where he played (for the
span of nine dollars a week) important roles,
and the second season, with the same director,
with an additional four dollars a week. Then, in
Toronto (director Morris Krohner), having the
opportunity to play with every prominent
guest-star from New York, and also with Morris
Morrison in the province, later three seasons in
Detroit, where he attracted the attention of the
guest-starring Maurice Schwartz, who recommended
him for Chicago to the director Paley and
Hershel Zuckerberg, where he played for two
seasons in Empire Theatre, having the
opportunity to play with Sarah Adler in her
repertoire. Then R. went over to the local
theatre under the direction of Elias Glickman,
where he was for four seasons, and he had an
opportunity to play with David Kessler, Jennie
Valiere, Rudolph Schildkraut, Jacob Ben Ami,
Maurice Schwartz, Berta Kalich, Joseph
Schoengold, and in 1920-- thirteen weeks with
Boris Thomashefsky, with whom he also played
with Greta Meyer and Bessie Thomashefsky, Jennie
Goldstein and Max Gabel. In 1923 he had the
opportunity twice to play (in Yiddish) the role
of "Cardinal" in the opera, "The Jews," which
the singer Dubow of London had brought over to
Chicago ("Eliezer"-- Dubow, "Rukhl"-- Parker,"
"Leopold"-- Leon Gold, "Yevdokya"-- Mrs. Dubow.)
In 1924 R. returned back to New York and became
engaged to the Hopkinson Theatre (manager--
Oscar Green), where he played a part of the
first season with the Silberts, and twelve weeks
with Berta Kalich, and the other two seasons
with Lucy and Misha German, became a member in
the Yiddish Actors' Union, and traveled back to
Chicago, where he joined Glickman's troupe (with
Michalesko as the star), then several seasons
(in the Lawndale Theatre with Nelson) with
Lebedeff, Samuel Goldinburg and Julius Nathanson
(in the Douglas Park Theatre, manager-- Ostroff)
with Menasha Skulnik, and after he returned to
New York in the Hopkinson Theatre (directors
Misha Fiszon, Max Wilner and Isidore Hollander),
and a few productions with Dr. Baratoff and
Joseph Buloff in the play, "He, She and the Ox,"
and with Sarah Adler.
In 1929 he played in
the province for twelve weeks with Molly Picon
in "Circus Girl," and then in the McKinley
Square Theatre with Leon Schechter.
In 1930 he
participated as "Chn gdul" in Izik Vu Grass and
Meyer Weisglass production of "The Romance of
the People" in "The Armory."
During the 1932-33
season R. was engaged to the Yiddish Art Theatre
(director Maurice Schwartz), where he
participated in Singer's "Yoshe Kalb," in
"Josephus Plavius" by Feuchtwanger, and
Zeitlin's "The Wise Men of Chelm."
For a certain time
R. also was the Jewish manager of the acrobat
Benny Faks (sp), the "star" of the World's Fair
in New York and in the provinces.
R. was recommended
by Luther Adler to the famous American regisseur
Stromberg, but on the way to him he became sick,
was taken to a hospital, where he laid for two
years and made it through a lung operation, and
after his health returned he joined the
"Fatherland Service," which for several years
took him on dangerous missions across the
country, and [it] took him abroad to Murmansk
In 1948 [1946-ed.]
R. became engaged to play the role of "Gromiko"
[a Russian statesman] in Ben Hecht's "pageant"
"A Flag is Born," and he later became the
"entrepreneur" across the province, but due to
the conflict among the Zionists with the "Irgun,"
the production was boycotted, and R. lost all
his accumulated wealth. In 1949 he became
engaged to play the role of "Reporter" in Rivkin
Broder's play, "Tey shuld stud in bet"
(regisseur-- Luther Adler) in the 44th Street
Theatre, Ne York, and then as "Father" in the
English production of the play, "Anna Lucasta,"
then returned to Chicago, where colleagues,
including Dr. A. Margolis and Dinah Halpern,
organized for him a large, separate event, and
he then went to Los Angeles, where he settled
and there was a manager for eleven years for a
large magazine, which sold army "supplies." In
1954-55 he participated in English with Rose
Wallerstein, in the play, "A Letter to Mother,"
and preparing his memoirs about Yiddish theatre.
R. also has
participated in a series of silent films, such
as, "East and West" (regisseur-- Carl Laemmle),
and "Othello" (with Morris Morrison) et al.
Adler-- Meshus fun der yidisher teater-velt,
"M"f," N.Y., 24 July, 28 August, 21
September, 18 December, 1949.