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New Yiddish Rep: "Making Stalin Laugh" US Premiere, NYC, 18 May 2015

New Yiddish Rep is presenting the US premiere of “Making Stalin Laugh,” British playwright David Schneider’s dark comedy that details the events leading up to the chilling silencing by Stalin of the revered Yiddish actor Solomon Mikhoels. Directed by Allen Lewis Rickman, the developmental workshop production plays an exclusive two-night engagement:

Sunday and Monday May 17 and 18, both at 7pm
Theatre 80
80 St. Marks Place
East Village, NYC

Tix: $25, visit www.newyiddishrep.org or call 888-596-1027.

The production’s multi-lingual cast includes Israeli television star Gera Sandler (as Mikhoels), and Yelena Shmulenson (“A Serious Man”).

“Making Stalin Laugh” world premiered in London last summer in an English-language production that The Independent called “a fascinating story.” New Yiddish Rep’s revised version will be performed in three languages -- Yiddish and Russian mostly and some English -- in a production that aims for language authenticity in its portrayal of the remarkable theatrical community that thrived (under dubious circumstances of course) as Stalin’s early support of the celebrated Moscow State Yiddish Theatre (GOSET) for propaganda purposes suddenly gave way to something far darker after the defeat of the Nazis and end of World War II.

Dating back to 1921, when the GOSET troupe moved into a theatre a short distance from the Kremlin, Mikhoels and his colorful compatriots shrewdly managed to build a Yiddish theatre that was seen as a jewel of Jewish culture in the Soviet Union. Even though its audiences were mostly gentile, Jews in Russia followed with pride the rising fortunes of GOSET and the growing stature of the internationally acclaimed Mikhoels.

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