A Concert with Lorin Sklamberg

Performing with Lorin Sklamberg at the YIVO Heritage Dinner

On April 26th, I had the opportunity to perform at the 9th Annual YIVO Heritage Dinner in New York City.   As always, working with Lorin Sklamberg is just a dream… We sang a wide range of songs, including the Barry Sisters’ “Prost un Pushet” (Plain and Simple) ,  “Regnboygn” (Rainbow) from Kids & Yiddish and The Klezmatics’ version of Chava Alberstein’s “Di Krenitse” (The Well).

After 15 months on the road with Fiddler on the Roof, it was a pleasure to take my day off to sing those beautiful Yiddish words on the stage with one of my favorite collaborators.  Our program, “Harts un Soul” has been patiently waiting for us to put voice to it again, and what better place than the Institute for Jewish research.

And the next day, I was back in Washington, DC at the National Theatre with Fiddler.  Harvey’s back in the show, and as usual, we’re getting rave reviews and selling out.  So what could be bad?

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Lost in Austin

with Mark Rubin and Sasha Luminsky at World Famous Threadgill's Diner!

It’s official: Austin is my new favorite city in Texas!!! There, I said it.  I’ve enjoyed the blue bonnets in many a Texas town before ~ Houston, Dallas, Galvaston, San Antonio ~ but Austin has come as a wonderful surprise. I’ve heard tales of the music scene before, but it’s really better when experienced first hand.

Got shanghai’d on Monday by the Austin’s own, unforgettable Mark Rubin ~ dinner at Threadgill’s, two-steppin’ over at the Continental Club, then onto a giant-sized jam session in a mansion near the “J”… I’m still recovering!

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Arizona Nights…

Sunset over Tucson

Tucson is quite simply… magnificent!!

The majestic mountains… the perfect weather. Visiting with good friends during the day and performing Fiddler at night… It’s weeks like this that make touring worthwhile. A thousand thanks to the Dumas Clan for making my visit feel like I was home sweet home! Didn’t get much of a tan, but did enjoy much of Tucson’s nightlife!!

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Open your Golden Gate…

On the Golden Gate Bridge

Mike and I on the Golden Gate Bridge

What a great town this is…and the San Francisco audiences have been very good to us. Generous and enthusiastic… It’s nice to be on stage when you can really hear and see the crowd. And the city! And the food!! And the weather…! Today is such a gorgeous day. While the rest of the country is getting snow and ice, we’ve got cool breezes and sunshine.

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À bientôt Theodore Bikel … Welcome Back Harvey Fierstein!!

Marquis at the Golden Gate in San Francisco

… and the good old US of A…!  It was a terrific seven weeks in Canada, but it’s great to back where our dollar has some value and using a cell phone won’t send you into bankruptcy…

I haven’t played the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco in over 20 years… July 1989 with Topol in Fiddler, to be exact!  So much looks familiar… like the interior of the theatre (gevalt!!) but just a couple blocks East on Market looks suspiciously like MallTown USA… seriously ~ Lots of chain stores, lots of neon, lots of restaurants and movie theatres!  Of course, the Tenderloin is still the Tenderloin… but some things will never change!

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Did you hear? Did you hear??? We’re a hit in Edmonton…!

Fiddler’s a hit in Edmonton…!  Check out these reviews!!

And Edmonton?  Kind of great!  We had great weather …for Alberta in the middle of January… we enjoyed our digs and ate some really terrific food.

Before leaving Edmonton, I had a chance to visit the “Ice on Whyte”  exhibit with Theo and Tamara .  Everything was made of ICE… sculptures… bridges… a ‘furnished’ house…even an Ice Castle… cue music…   All in all, pretty remarkable!

Au Revoir Theo and Tamara!  See you in Tucson!!!

Ice on Whyte

Inside the Ice House

Ice Phoenix

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A Private Concert at the Fairmont

Theodore Bikel and Tamara Brooks perform for the Fiddler company

Theodore Bikel and Tamara Brooks treated the Cast and Crew of Fiddler to a private concert in the Wedgwood Salon of Edmonton’s historic Fairmont Hotel Macdonald . What an amazing gift! Yes, we’ve all been lucky enough to experience Mr. Bikel as ‘Tevye’, but many hadn’t seen the other musical facets of our Star.

With Tamara at the piano, Theo told stories and sang the songs that have made him an international legend. He started with a favorite Yiddish tune, (A Pintele) and then proceeded to sing folk songs in Russian, English, Hebrew, French, Spanish and Ladino… not bad for an informal gathering after a three hour performance of Fiddler!

Theo, Kaitlin ... and me!

As things were winding down, Mr. Bikel told a story about his experience as the original Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music.” About 48 hours before the show opened on Broadway, Rogers and Hammerstein penned a song for Theo’s character and talents – it would be the last song Oscar Hammerstein ever wrote… his final lyric being, “…forever…” — Then we heard the familiar strumming on his guitar and a most heartfelt version of “Edelweiss.” As the chorus repeated, Tamara gestured for everyone to join in … and the room was filled with the voices of angels…

Finally, he put down the guitar and stood up.  With no introduction, Ms. Brooks began a familiar melody on the piano, and Mr. Bikel began to sing … at first in Hebrew, then moved to English, and they finished the performance with Jacques Brel’s “If We Only Have Love.”

It was an unforgettable evening. Thank you Tamara and Theo…

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