Arts Watch: Target Margin Brings Yiddish Theater Back to the LES
How appropriate for Target Margin Theater to bring Peretz Hirschbein’s classic 1912 tale of Yiddish life, The ( * ) Inn, back to life here on the LES. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the Lower East Side was New York City’s epicenter for Yiddish life and theater. The (*) Inn, (*usually translated as “haunted”) which opens this week and runs through March 30th at Abrons Arts Center, is one of more than a dozen plays about the lives and loves of rural Jews written by Yiddish-language playwright, novelist, journalist, travel writer, and theater director Hirschbein. But don’t expect a sweet Little House on the Prairie story. Hirschbein’s Inn, as re-staged by Director David Herskovits, is a lustful tale full of symbolism. According to Target Margin Theater, this production is “Tevya on Drugs.”
The ( * ) Inn was a sensation when it opened in Vilna, played in London, and was staged in a 1917 New York production (no doubt somewhere on Second Avenue). Experimentation is nothing new when it comes to playwriting. The ( * ) Inn proves that Yiddish drama is as innovative and challenging as any theater in the world.
The ( * ) Inn // Target Margin Theater at Abrons Arts Center // March 7 – 30, Thurs – Sat at 8pm, Sun at 7pm, added perf Mon 3/11 at 7pm *Special Thurs 3/14 Benefit Performance at 7pm // $20 until 3/11, $25 thereafter