The critically acclaimed Off-Broadway musical "The Golden Land," which vividly evokes Jewish immigrant life in New York from the 1880's to the 1940's, ends its brief but storied run Off-Broadway today, January 6, 2013. The beat-the-odds hit from the National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene, now in its historic 98th consecutive season, added an additional three weeks after it original truncated run concluded on December 2. It will have played 41 performances, including three previews.
The mostly English-language show, which has proven highly captivating with young audiences, in large part due to its lively klezmer score, began performances on October 28 and was scheduled to open on November 4. After its first preview, the show was forced to cancel the next nine performances because of Hurricane Sandy. It postponed its opening from November 4 to Thursday November 8. According to A.R.T. NY "The Golden Land" suffered the second greatest storm-related losses among non-profits after The Roundabout.
With a cast consisting of Bob Ader, Cooper Grodin, Stacey Harris, Andrew Keltz, Daniella Rabbani and Sandy Rosenberg, "The Golden Land" was golden with the critics. In her review in The New York Times, Catherine Rampell called "The Golden Land" "a love letter to America, and particularly, New York, for all the opportunities they have given immigrants of all faiths." "Simply a rapturous musical," declared Curt Schlier for The Forward. Frank Scheck judged the score to be "sung with delicious gusto."
Created by Teaneck resident Zalmen Mlotek and Moishe Rosenfeld, and directed by Bryna Wasserman, "The Golden Land" uses period music and other source material to create a richly textured evocation of New York as it absorbed wave upon wave of Jewish immigrants from the 1880's into the 1910s, and again, in a second starkly different phase immediately before and after World War II.
"Our show chronicles precise moments in history, and it captures a distinctly Jewish milieu," says Wasserman, who is her second season serving as Folksbiene's executive director. "This is the journey of all immigrants to find a place in the larger American community. The story is universal, broadly appealing to all immigrant groups, and really all Americans."
There are still some tickets available for the last performance at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue at 25th Street. For tickets, which are $55, call 866/811-4111, or visit www.nationalyiddishtheatre.org.