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Joel Grey & Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish Cast To Release "God Bless America" Video in Yiddish on Tuesday at 10 AM
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 01:21 pm EST 01/18/21

CAST OF OFF-BROADWAY'S FIDDLER ON THE ROOF IN YIDDISH TO RELEASE VIDEO PERFORMING "GOD BLESS AMERICA" IN YIDDISH ON EVE OF PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION.

The cast of the award-winning, Off-Broadway show, Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish originally produced by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, along with director and Academy and Tony Award-winning actor, Joel Grey, will release a video performance of "God Bless America" sung in Yiddish on TUESDAY, JANUARY 19th at 10 AM EST at www.NYTF.org. The performance celebrates and honors the ideals of the United States of America and offers a prayer for peace on the eve of the upcoming Presidential Inauguration.

Featured Performers

The video will feature Steven Skybell, the award-winning actor who played Tevye in the hit production of Fiddler in Yiddish, along with Jennifer Babiak (Golde), Rachel Zatcoff (Tsaytl), Ben Liebert (Motl), Stephanie Lynne Mason (Hodl), Drew Seigla (Perchik), Rosie Jo Neddy (Khave.), Raquel Nobile (Shprintze), and Samantha Hahn (Beylke).
The production also includes a special message by the show's director, Academy and Tony Award-winning actor/director, Joel Grey.

A Prayer and Message of Peace

Lisa Fishman, a singer, songwriter, and actress who played Bobe Tsaytl in Fiddler, came up with the idea while researching songs written by Irving Berlin.
As Fishman explains, "Berlin, a Jewish immigrant whose family came to America in the early 1900s, released 'God Bless America' as a 'solemn prayer' and song of peace during a time of rising fascism in Europe."

Fishman continued, "As we emerge from this dark chapter of division and strife and welcome in a new Presidential administration, singing this iconic anthem in Yiddish - the author's native tongue, is a unique way for the Fiddler family to honor our incoming leaders, to celebrate the ideals and values of our country, and to pray for this beautiful and fragile - yet enduring - democracy."

The Production

The video was co-produced by Fiddler cast members Lisa Fishman (Bobe Tsaytl) and Ben Liebert (Motl), and is mixed and edited by Liebert.
"Got Bentsh Amerike" (the song's title in Yiddish) features an original musical arrangement and piano accompaniment by Fiddler orchestra first chair clarinetist, D. Zisl Slepovitch, and showcases Lauren Jeanne Thomas on violin, who played the titular role of The Fiddler.

About God Bless America

"God Bless America" was originally written in 1918 for a musical revue by Irving Berlin, a Jewish immigrant born Israel Beilin, while Berlin was in the U.S. Army. Deciding the song didn't fit the tone of the revue, the song was set aside. Twenty years later in 1938 with the rise of Adolf Hitler and fascism, Berlin revisited and revised the song and released it as a prayer for the country and a patriotic song of peace. "God Bless America" was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938, sung by Kate Smith.
The Yiddish version of the song being presented by the cast, entitled "Got Bentsh Amerike," was originally translated by producer, musicologist, performer and Yiddish Radio Project co-creator, Henry Sapoznik, who worked on Yiddish translations for Mandy Patinkin's album, Mamaloshen.
Date, Time and Place:

The video will premiere on TUESDAY, JANUARY 19th at 10 am at:

www.NYTF.org
and
www.LisaFishman.com

Additional Cast Members

Additional Fiddler cast members appearing in the video (from both the Museum of Jewish Heritage production along with the Off-Broadway, Stage 42 production) include: Joanne Borts, Josh Dunn, Michael Einav, Lisa Fishman, Kirk Geritano, John Giesige, Lydia Gladstone, Abby Goldfarb, Mary Illes, Josh Kohane, Maya Jacobson, Moshe Lobel, Evan Mayer, Jonathan Quigley, Nick Raynor, Bruce Sabath, Kayleen Seidl, Adam B. Shapiro, Jodi Snyder, James Monroe Stevko, Ron Tal, Bobby Underwood, and Mikhl Yashinsky.
About Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish

Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (aka: Fidler afn Dakh) was originally produced by New York's National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF), the longest continually producing Yiddish theatre company in the world, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. NYTF's production of Fiddler transferred to the Off-Broadway Stage 42 theater with Hal Luftig and Jana Robbins as lead producers.

The production was directed by Joel Grey - with assistant direction by NYTF's Associate Artistic Director, Motl Didner, and musical direction and conducting by NYTF's Artistic Director, Zalmen Mlotek. Dominick Balletta serves as Executive Director of the NYTF.
Link http://www.NYTF.org
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