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Kleynkunst!, NYC, Apr 19

Rebecca Joy Fletcher's Kleynkunst
Rebecca Joy Fletcher and Stephen Mo Hanan in
KLEYNKUNST! Warsaw's Brave and Brilliant Yiddish Cabaret

Tuesday, April 19, 7:00pm
169 Eighth Avenue (at 18th Street)
(212) 206-0609

Tickets: $22
(plus $15 food/drink min.)
Tickets: $15
(plus food and drink menu: no min.)

In the 1920s and 1930s Warsaw's Yiddish cabarets drew from hugely varied influences: Weimar kabarett, Hassidic chant, vaudeville, Russian folk songs, jazz, tango and traditional cantorial music. The atmosphere was charged with contradiction: anti-religious sentiment and devotion; sexual bawdiness and naivete; political infighting and camaraderie.

KLEYNKUNST! reflects the spirit, bravado, and optimism of Jewish Warsaw between the Wars. This show brings to life the kleynkunst teater's songs, sketches, and spirit, in Yiddish and English translations. We pay homage to a world of brilliance and bite which no longer exists.

Researched and written by Rebecca Joy Fletcher
Musical Director, pianist and arrangements: Bob Goldstone
Director: Michael Montel
English lyrics: Jeremy Lawrence

Rebecca Joy Fletcher is an ordained cantor and performer of Yiddish, German, French, and Israeli cabaret. Degenerate!, her original show exploring German cabaret, from Weimar through the Holocaust, which was developed under the auspices of the Makor/Steinhardst Center of the 92nd St Y Artists-in-Residence program, premiered at Makor (NYC) in 2005. The international cabaret show, The New Jew Cabaret, was first performed at Hebrew Tabernacle Congregation (NYC), in 2005. In 2004 and 2005, she was headlined as The Cabaret Artist in the Washington Heights Arts Stroll, a festival for the arts in upper Manhattan, performing the first year, together with the Sephardic music ensemble, Alhambra, in Pearls and Rubies, and the second year, in Grit and Glamour Cabaret. Rebecca's newest work includes the one woman show, HOME, first performed in workshop production at Hebrew Union College and Ripley Greere Studios (2003), and slated for a limited run at the Connelley Theater (NYC) in September, 2007. Ms. Fletcher also serves as the cantor of Temple Israel, in Staten Island.

Stephen Mo Hanan recently played Der Groyse General in Folksbiene's Yiddish adaptation of The Pirates of Penzance. Years before, he got a Tony Nomination for his role in Cats, a show whose creation he documented in his book A Cat's Diary. He was Captain Hook in Cathy Rigby's Peter Pan, and Al Jolson in Jolson & Company, which he co-authored. Also Pseudolus, Thenardier, Peer Gynt and Voltaire.

Bob Goldstone On Broadway, Bob was orchestral pianist for Evita and assistant conductor for Charlie and Algernon. Off Broadway, he was musical director and arranger for Asylum: The Strange Case of Mary Lincoln, Tallulah Hallelujah (with Tovah Feldshuh), Bubbe Meises, Das Lusitania Songspiel (with Sigourney Weaver and Christopher Durang), Guilt Without Sex (with Marilyn Sokol), and The Coolest Cat in Town. Among the top cabaret and concert artists Bob has worked with are: Eileen Fulton, Tovah Feldshuh, Karen Akers, Bruce Adler, Marni Nixon, Marilyn Sokol, Liliane Montevecchi, Eddie Fisher, and Dick Shawn. Bob did the musical arrangements for the feature film High Stakes and composed the score for the indie film, The Skip. Bob's many show orchestrations include: The Little Rascals, Hannah 1939, Michel Legrand's A Christmas Carol, The Housewives' Cantata, Dragons, and The Phantom Tollbooth. In the classical world, he was accompanist for the New Haven Opera, has participated in chamber music recitals at the Manes School, and has played orchestral piano for concerts by the 92nd Street Y Symphonic Workshop Orchestra and the Center Symphony.

Michael Montel includes, among his proudest achievements, his years spent with Hal Prince, Stephen Porter, and T. Edward Hambleton as Artistic Director of the Phoenix Theatre. Other Broadway credits include Inge's Summer Brave and revivals of The Member of the Wedding and Holiday. For the York Theater's Musicals in Mufti series Montel has directed stellar casts in such shows as Me and Juliet, Johnny Jonson, The Girl Who Came to Supper, and Wish You Were Here. Internationally, his work has been seen in Israel at Tel Aviv's Cameri Theater. For opera, Montel has directed the world premieres of Balseros by Robert Ashley and Maria Irene Fornes, P.D.Q. Bach's (Peter Schickele) The Abduction of Figaro, Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti (available on CD), Holst's Savitri, and Copland's The Tender Land, with the composer conducting.

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