Jackie Hoff­man to play Yente – in Yid­dish ‘Fid­dler on the Roof ’

Amer­i­can TV vet­eran cast in Folks­bi­ene adap­ta­tion

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By AMY SPIRO

You’ve seen her in Dif­fi­cult Peo­ple, Curb Your En­thu­si­asm and Strangers with Candy. Now Jackie Hoff­man is tak­ing on a new role, this time in Yid­dish.

Hoff­man, a vet­eran of film, tele­vi­sion and stage, was re­cently cast in the iconic role of Yente in an up­com­ing Yid­dish adap­ta­tion of Fid­dler on the Roof.

The mu­si­cal will be­gan its eight-week run at the Mu­seum of Jewish Her­itage in New York City in July as a pro­duc­tion of the Na­tional Yid­dish The­atre Folks­bi­ene.

It will be di­rected by Joel Grey, win­ner of an Os­car, a Tony and a Golden Globe Award dur­ing his long ca­reer.

The two lead roles, Tevye and Golde, will be played by two alumni of the re­cent Broad­way stag­ing of Fid­dler on the Roof – Steven Sky­bell and Jill Abramovitz. Sky­bell played Lazar Wolf and Abramowitz had the role of Grandma Tzei­tel.

“This is a historic mo­ment for the Na­tional Yid­dish The­atre Folks­bi­ene,” said the the­ater’s CEO, Christo­pher Mas­simine, in a state­ment ear­lier this week. “With the com­ple­tion of the cast­ing, and com­mence­ment of re­hearsals, we be­gin to vis­i­bly breathe life into this vi­brant Yid­dish trans­la­tion that has not graced the stage in over 50 years .... its mes­sages of sur­vival and hope are as timely and res­o­nant as ever.”

The orig­i­nal Broad­way pro­duc­tion, which pre­miered in 1964, was in English, but based on the Yid­dish sto­ries writ­ten by Sholem Ale­ichem. Long be­fore the Broad­way show and sub­se­quent film, Ale­ichem’s sto­ries were staged in Yid­dish the­ater.

The only pre­vi­ous Yid­dish adap­ta­tion of the Broad­way ver­sion of the show – which dif­fers con­sid­er­ably from Ale­ichem’s tales – was in Tel Aviv in the 1960s.

The Folks­bi­ene stag­ing will be ac­com­pa­nied by sub­ti­tles in English and Rus­sian.


AC­TRESS JACKIE HOFF­MAN will play Yente at the Na­tional Yid­dish The­atre Folks­bi­ene in New York.

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