Kids & Yiddish!!

The Cast of Happy Birthday Kids & Yiddish! A Perfect Tsen!

2009 marked the 10th Anniversary of my labor of love, Kids & Yiddish:  A Musical Adventure – at our new off Broadway home – the Baruch Performing Arts Center.

It featured a company of 6 talented performers, including award-winning puppeteer, Jenny Romaine (Circus Amok, Great Small Works),  newcomers Amy Erlanger and Stav Meisar and K&Y veteran performers Aaron Mayer, Sarah Mlotek and Rachel Yucht.  Oh, and a cyber Joanne Borts, appearing from somewhere Lost -farblondzhet!- in Space…

K&Y 2003 - Elisha Mlotek and I singing "I Got You Beyz" as 'Zunik un Sher'

The Drama Desk Award-winning National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene turned cartwheels as its cherished holiday tradition celebrated its tenth birthday.  Packed with all-time favorites and a slew of new bits, “Happy Birthday Kids & Yiddish! A Perfect Tsen” began performances on Sunday November 22 at 11am, and played a total of five shows on four consecutive Sundays through December 13.

This year’s edition of Kids & Yiddish, featured two new cast members and performed at the Folksbiene’s new permanent home, the Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (25th Street, entrance between Lexington and 3rd Avenues).

Farmisht and Farfetched!! Can you hear me now??

Renewing what has become a cherished holiday tradition, this year the musical funfest for families explores the themes of growing up and learning how to make things add up.  As is always the case, Kids & Yiddish gleefully mixes Jewish folk traditions with popular culture, and satirizes some of the latest fads on TV, all the while cleverly weaving in Yiddish words and phrases.  Some of the show’s greatest hits and familiar characters, drawn from a 10-year-old treasure trove of mirth, will pop up for encores.

a cyber me... lost -farblondzhet!- in Space!!

Happy Birthday Kids & Yiddish! is written and directed by Ms. Borts with co-collaborators, Michael Fox and Zalmen Mlotek, and music direction by Mr. Mlotek, the world-recognized Yiddish music expert and conductor.  Penny Ayn Maas is responsible for the choreography and musical staging.

A million cultural references from high and low and near and far combine into a richly amusing and informative hot pot of fun.  Where else can you mix rock, rap, klezmer, calypso and references to Molly Picon, Zero Mostel and Howie Mandel?  With “Kids and Yiddish,” which is 90% English and 10% Yiddish, Jewish folk traditions meet popular culture.  The results – favorites like the Sounds of Lamed, Silly Vov Songs, Dos Naye Lid and We Will Hock You and new versions of American Aydl Didl Daydl, Der Ayzerner Chef and So, You Wanna Be a Milyontchik? – will nachas your socks off.

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends!

A brief history of Kids & Yiddish:

Kids & Yiddish!! It really works!!

  • 1999:      “Kids & Yiddish – A Musical Adventure”
  • 2000:      “Kids & Yiddish 2000”
  • 2001:      “Kids & Yiddish 2001: A Space Mishegas”
  • 2002:      “Kids & Yiddish – The Mazldike Mystery Tour”
  • 2003:      “Kids & Yiddish – Farmisht and Farfetched”
  • 2004:      “Kids & Yiddish – The Mishegas Continues…”
  • 2005:      “Kids & Yiddish – Unplucked”
  • 2006:      “Kids & Yiddish – Bagels and Yux”
  • 2007:      “Kids & Yiddish – An Ode to Oy!”
  • 2008:      “Kids & Yiddish – Puttin’ on the Shmaltz”
  • 2009:      “Happy Birthday Kids & Yiddish:  A Perfect Tsen!”

Kids and Yiddish is “hilarious!  …the show is like a wacky borscht belt-style revue, but much hipper than anything your grandmother might have enjoyed.” Laurel Graber, The New York Times