«Jewish Observer»
November 2001
5762 Kislev

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A good friendly collective has only good traditions. So has now our amateur theatre "Ineinem" which is under the oblast society of Jewish language and culture. This tradition is to stage their premiere shows for the assessment of Kiev audience. It was in Kiev last summer that the first night of "Holiday gifts" by Sholom-Aleikhem was shown in Kiev. The audience liked it very much. The play was timed to coincide with the festival "Wandering Stars" dedicated to the works of Sholom-Aleikhem. Later on the play received an enthusiastic support of the Vinnitsa spectators, small communities from our and Khmelnitsky oblasts.

Here is another premiere, a year afterwards. And again it is held in Kiev. And again it is by immortal Sholom-Aleikhem with his mild humor and kind smile, smile through tears, with grief and meditation over the sad fates of his people.

This time the audience was pleased to see the play "Big prize". Our theatre was invited to participate in the Kiev Jewish Community Days Celebrations held on October 27-28. There were other amateur Jewish troupes from Kiev, Kishinev and Lvov. The design of the holiday was well thought. All plays were played without break. It was a "non-stop" festival. During short intermissions, when scenery was changed and actors were preparing to play, the leaders of the Kiev community and guests spoke with the audience. Extracts from the "Yakhad" program were also shown.

The coordinator of the festival warmly introduced our troupe. Then the curtain swung aside and the play began. It was a funny and at the same time a sad story about a poor tailor Shimel Soroker who was very lucky because his bank ticket won a big prize. Love and cupidity, fraud and human trustfulness entangled in the play. Sasha Kozlov and Tanya Vdovichenko, who played Shimel Soroker and his wife Eli-Meni, managed to reveal the characteristic features of these simple but kind poor people, ever thinking about a piece of bread, who happened to win a big prize.

It is not their guilt that they couldn't distinguish the truth from fraud, swindlers from honest people. This burden happened to be too heavy for them. And it is not a surprise to see Shimel poor again but happy because he returns to his customary trade.

The play is very contemporary though it was written two centuries ago. In our times there are also many such simpletons. Like flies stick to honey, numerous swindlers fly to this crazy money, they become friends with a new rich and immediately disappear when the money is over.

The premier was a real success. It is a result of the friendly work of a big consolidated troupe unified by a common purpose. It was a real luck when the choreographer Irina Bobrovich joined the troupe. She staged splendid colorful dancing compositions. Great tribute should be given to Vita Viter. Not only the audience but actors as well applauded to her beautiful voice. The hole play became possible owing to efforts of the talented producer and "Distinguished educational worker of Ukraine" Alla Korgut who managed to select and consolidate a big friendly troupe and to stage such a big and interesting play. Applause of the audience and excellent opinion of colleagues from other amateur troupes are the best proof of its success. However, the highest recognition of the success came from a very old lady. She appeared after the play behind the wings. She turned to be a former actress. She told the actors that she had played the role of Beiky, Soroker's daughter in this play as far as in 1936. It was in Vinnitsa, in the Jewish people's theatre! She said that our actors had succeeded in rendering the whole color range and the style of Sholom-Aleikhem, though they played in Russian, not Yiddish. The tears appeared in her eyes. No better assessment could one expect.


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© 2001 Jewish Confederation of Ukraine - www.jewukr.org