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The Sorceress (Di Kishefmakherin)

From 57 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Great singing, Delightful, Enchanting, Clever

About the show

NYTF presents one of the earliest works of modern Yiddish theater, an 1878 musical fantasy starring an innocent young heroine and her dashing fiancé. Performed in Yiddish with English and Russian subtitles. More…

From the show:

A magical, musical fantasy starring an innocent young heroine and her dashing fiancé, a devious stepmother, and a scheming wicked witch. “The Sorceress takes its audience into a world of illusion, intrigue, and not least of all, suspense: will Good trump Evil?

Written in 1878, The Sorceress (Di Kishefmakherin) is one of the earliest works by Avrom Goldfaden, the acknowledged father of modern Yiddish theatre. It was brought to America in 1882 by a 14-year old Boris Thomashefsky, who would go on to become one of Yiddish theatre’s biggest stars.


Member Reviews (57)

MEMBERS SAY:

Entertaining, Great singing, Delightful, Enchanting, Clever
83
Avg Score

79
Dizzying, Quirky, Slow, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Breezy, enjoyable cartoon bright staging of Yiddish folk tale Well sung/performed by ensemble esp Botchan & Yashinsky as the female villains

Don't see it if Supertitles can distract from spirited antics of cast (best to glance up for plot devices) but the Yiddish soon becomes easily acceptable

92
Refreshing, Entertaining, Great staging, Delightful, Ambitious

See it if charming, colorful, delightful theatricals with dramatic arch villains amuse you. Don't miss this! The singing is wonderful too.

Don't see it if Reading supertitles bothers you. Or if you require even a suggestion of realistic plotting.

84
Old fashioned, Great singing, Great staging, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you like a very old fashioned Yiddish musical from 1878. Nice singing and staging. Some very funny scenes. Great costumes.

Don't see it if you like a sophisticated comedy or musical. This show is delightful but it is not Noel Coward.

Also I am glad this musical was preserved. Very entertaining and nice moral... Read more Read less

74
Fluffy, Great singing, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if This is a wonderful children's show, if not for the need to read. Fluffy and cute, good conquers evil. Great singing and staging.

Don't see it if You don't want to have to read the subtitles. The story was very simplistic and silly, so it's not a deep night of theater.

80
Dated, Great staging, Delightful, Clever, Charming

See it if you have enjoyed previous productions by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene or if you want to see a Yiddish version of a fairy tale.

Don't see it if you don’t like reading surtitles or if you are not interested in the Yiddish musical theater. It makes up in charm what it lacks in depth.

81
Romantic, Refreshing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you want to experience the history of Yiddish theater. Loved the show and now can understand why it was so popular.

Don't see it if you don't like reading super titles and don't like simple, fairy tale plots - although this was more intelligent than most.

95
Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Funny, Delightful

See it if A wonderful night of theater. Fantastic. Not to be missed. Bring everyone with you.

Don't see it if If you have trouble with reading subtitles.

93
Energetic, Charming, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you are ready for something joyful that's well sung and well staged. You'll laugh.

Don't see it if you don't like melodramas or opererttas.

Also Cinderella meets MacBeth meets Rocky Horror, exuberant and all in Yidd... Read more Read less

70
Fun, Old-fashioned, Kid-friendly, Joyful, Great set design

See it if You want to see something that is both a very well-performed piece of theatre and simultaneously a piece of Jewish history.

Don't see it if You are going in expecting that NYTF has updated the piece to make it more palatable to modern theatre-going audiences.

Also "Those who dig a grave for someone else, fall in it themselves." -The ... Read more Read less

89
Great singing, Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you want to enjoy a wonderful musical that has a moral ending.

Don't see it if you want a play that leaves you guessing at the end as to the outcome.

80
Resonant, Relevant, Great singing, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if you want a musical that tackles the age old story of good winning out over evil.

Don't see it if you do not like reading subtitles; however the story is relatively straightforward making it easy to understand.

85
Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you enjoy a fun unique fairy tale musical in yiddish

Don't see it if you dislike shows not in english

80
Great staging, Great singing, Cliched, Enchanting, Clever

See it if you'd like to see a fairy tale with great staging and singing - and in Yiddish!

Don't see it if you don't like reading super titles or want a deep drama.

Also It's a little silly and contrived, but how many chances do you get to ... Read more Read less

86
Dated, Funny, Enchanting

See it if you are interested in Yiddish theatre, or theatre history; you’re interested in seeing a restoration of a classic Yiddish comedy/melodrama.

Don't see it if You don’t like subtitles; don’t like operetta; prefer modern theatre.

Also This recreation of the first Yiddish Theatre production in America is ... Read more Read less

78
Great acting, Fluffy, Romantic, Great writing, Great singing

See it if If you like melodramas from 1880, tale of good and evil, a historical experience but needed a few laughs , very traditional caricatures.

Don't see it if If you want a modern piece exploring serious issues this is not for you. A good recreation of a Yiddish play , the first in the US, so so.

75
Great staging, Dated, Entertaining, Great singing, Slow

See it if you like fairy tales; old-fashioned Yiddish musicals with subtitles; enjoyable music from that time period; simple plot with lots of energy

Don't see it if you don't like reading subtitles above the stage which requires looking up and down to understand what's happening; slow moving, simple plot

95
Romantic, Great singing, Funny, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if You want a feel good fairy tale like play/musical. It was all in Yiddish but there is translation and it was not distracting.

Don't see it if I don't know why you would not want to see this fun play. Kids would like it too.

87
Escapist humor, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if you're happy to take yourself back to simpler times with a classic binary of good and evil, you appreciate the historical work

Don't see it if you're looking for a more complex storyline, you want a direct translation in the supertitles

92
Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if This is a very lively production with great music, costumes and acting. The story is engaging

Don't see it if You don't like supertitles

76
Dated, Slow, Great singing, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if you love operetta and some excellent legit singers!

Don't see it if dislike subtitles and/or are easily annoyed by subtle racism and sexism <- not the productions fault, it's the script.

85
Refreshing, Fluffy, Clever

See it if You enjoy good singing and dont mind reading sub titles

Don't see it if You don't like reading sub titles

82
Indulgent, Great singing, Funny, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if You like Yiddish theater, want something fun and light, want to hear catchy songs

Don't see it if You’re looking for something serious or complex

85
Fun, beautiful costumes, live orchestra, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if What was the 1st Yiddish musical on the LES in 1883? This researched, beautifully sung, richly staged and orchestrated piece can show you!

Don't see it if You wouldn’t enjoy English subtitles and a sentimental storyline.

Also All of the parts are beautifully cast.... Read more Read less

77
Formulaic, Clever, Enchanting, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if colorful, interesting costumes, lots of action

Don't see it if not much emotion, shallow characters

90
Refreshing, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if you want something that's charming, with spirited, melodic music in the vein of traditional 19th-century operetta, and brazen sentimentality

Don't see it if you can't read surtitles or aren't looking for something that won't tax your brain.

Also For an extended review, check mine out at TheaterLife.com. http://thea... Read more Read less


December 18th, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK. "'The Sorceress’ Casts a Charming Spell in Yiddish: Now playing at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the 19th-century operetta is a fairy tale confection you can feel right down to your kishkes."
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December 8th, 2019
"The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene...has reached even further back in the tradition of Jewish-themed theater in New York City, to 1878, presenting Avrom Goldfaden's 'The Sorceress,' the first piece of Yiddish theater to appear on an American stage..."
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Cast & Creatives (3)