Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Herman Weinberg


Born in 1863 in Lemberg, Galicia. Descended from a Vibranavker tsadik. From age seven until age twelve he sang with cantors and in Lemberg's temple with Cantor Bachman. After leaving the shul in 1878, W. entered into the "Broder Singers" and as a soprano he sang and acted in young women's roles. The productions were not presented in a permanent place, but each evening in another pub. In the productions, which were attended only by men, Kopke-Dubiski, Efrim Broder, Yitkhok Khanet, Chone Zkhkh, Yerachum Pitsele, David Shtepler and Khaim Bendl participating. The repertoire was led by the song "Khasidimelekh", "Der toytn-greber", "Der matsevah-shleger", and ""Der blinder betler", and by the comedies "Feytl nar", "Sabele mitn krakever", "Dos farzorgte bel-hbitl", "Di shlimmzlnitse mitn man" and "Khaim Shaye Kater". Later the repertoire was enriched with Goldfaden's "Shmendrik". During the productions in Lemberg, there came to guest-star Velvl Zbarzher, Hersh Leyb Sigeter, then David Sabsey, Aaron Lager, Khayim Abramovitsh, Alter Melitser, Itsikl Goldenberg, Hersh Zalitshiker and Herman Vild.

The productions did not occur on any stage, but in pubs near the kukh, or in other corners where there was a side of a house zikh ibertsuton.

The stage devices: a small table with two lights, and a plate or a tray, with which the actor would, after each number, go around among the audience "collecting". The song numbers did not used


to occur under musical supervision, but the singer had to stand in the middle, and every other actor around him -- the singer had announced that he will sing and the those standing around him had sung the "ritunel", and after each strof -- the "postlude (nokhshpil)".

The productions occurred in the winter. In the summer the "foreigners" went away and there used to remain only those from Lemberg, who used to put together a group of four to six persons and tour across the varmbreder, such as Shtshavnitz, Krenitse, Stry et al.

After the productions of Horowitz's troupe in Lemberg (1880), the "Broder Singers" "modified" the play; they struck four boards, which they carried around as a decoration and stage to pubs and a tsimbler to perform the ritenel and postlude.

When Juvelier's troupe toured from Lemberg to guest-star across the province, W. became the prompter and episode role player and directed in "Shulamis" in the bar for Adolf Lipshits, acting by himself in the role of "Shulamis". Soon W. entered into Edward Margulies' trope in Stry and acted there in "Absalom" and "Bar Kochba".

In 1886  W. received a concession in Yiddish theatre and acted for several years with a troupe in a garden of Yashe Hand. Then W. toured across cities and towns as a singer, later together with Yonah Reyzman, and when Joseph Eskreyz studied once with them German-Yiddish comical duets, they both performed in German cabarets. 1901 -- W. acted in Vienna (together with Sarah and Leopold Kaner, Mr. and Mrs. Klug, Sol Brandes, Frida Zibl, Yonah Reyzman and Sholem Podzamtshe), and when the troupe disbanded in 1905, W. became director and brought into Vienna Ziegler et al. Since then W. can be found in Vienna, where he acts or prompts from time to time.

Sh. E.






Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links

Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 681.

Copyright Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.