New Yiddish Rep Revives 'God of Vengeance' to Return Off-Broadway
The astonishing revival of Sholem Asch's "God of Vengeance" is all set to return Off-Broadway at St. Clement's Theatre. The production will run from March 14 to 27. Presented in Yiddish with English subtitles, the show already concluded its first Off-Broadway engagement at La MaMa in January and this will be the second run.
Re-staged and adapted by director Aaron Beall, the notorious "God of Vengeance" which debuted on Broadway in 1923, created headlines for featuring the first lesbian kiss at the prestigious arena. PlayBill elaborates that "God of Vengeance" revolves around a brothel owner's struggle to marry off his daughter. However, though the father wants to create a more religious life for her daughter, she ends up attracted to the hidden world.
The cast of "God of Vengeance" will have Shane Baker and David Mandlebaum reprising their roles as brothel owner Yankl Tchaftchovitch and Reb Eli respectively. The supporting cast includes Shayna Schmidt and Melissa Weisz as the lesbian lovers, Luzer Twersky, Eli Rosen, Caraid O'Brien, Amy Coleman, and Mira Kessler playing other key roles. The original revival of the show at La MaMa was directed by Eleanor Reissa.
Huffington Post opined that "God of Vengeance" perfectly captures the mood inside a modest-looking Jewish household in an indeterminable time period. When the original play debuted in 1923, it created quite a stir due to its take on religious hypocrisy, gender roles, and forbidden sexuality. Eventually, many of its cast and crew members were arrested for obscenity charges. The report recalled the scandalous lesbian kiss between Rifkele and Manke creating uproar in the 20s.
However, the new versions have retained all those controversial scenes without losing its potency. Despite the language barrier, this Yiddish play has triumphed over time with its story, timeless themes, and intense sense of drama.© 2019 The Classical Arts, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.