Hester Street

Manhattan Theatre Club
February–March 2018

About the Production

Yoni worked as an assistant to the producer on a developmental reading of the new play Hester Street. Sarna Lapine, who directed the 2017 Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park With George, directed the reading. Plans for this stage adaptation, from producers Michael Rabinowitz and Ira Deutchman, were first announced in 2016. Playwright Sharyn Rothstein (By the WaterAll the Days) penned the script. Original music was written by Joel Waggoner.

The 1975 film explores Jewish immigrant life in New York in the late 19th century as a young family navigates assimilation and what it means to balance tradition and modernism. The movie earned Carol Kane an Oscar nomination for her performance as Gitl, a young Jewish woman who travels from Europe to learn that her husband has immediately embraced American culture.

The film of Hester Street was written and directed by Joan Micklin Silver, who was in attendance at the reading, from the 1896 novella “Yekl” by Abraham Cahan. Richard Eder’s review of the film in The New York Times made several references to the film’s play-like quality. “The effect of seeing Hester Street is that of seeing a familiar play,” he wrote, also noting that the movie’s street scenes looked “like a stage set.”

The cast for this reading included: Tovah Feldshuh (Four-time Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk winner. Broadway: Golda’s BalconyIrena’s VowPippinLend Me a TenorYentl, TV: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “The Walking Dead”), Tedra Millan (Broadway: Present Laughter, Off-Broadway: The Wolves), Adam Kantor (Broadway: The Band’s VisitFiddler on the RoofNext to NormalRent), Roe Hartrampf (TV: “Person of Interest,” “Elementary,” “Madam Secretary”), Adam Dannheisser (Broadway: OsloFiddler on the RoofRock of Ages), Heather Lind (TV: “Turn,” Broadway: The Merchant of Venice), Logan Schuyler Smith (TV: “Blindspot,” “Gotham”), Renata Friedman (Off-Broadway: If I Forget), Marilyn Sokol (Emmy winner. Broadway: Grease!, TV: “Sneak Peek”), Steve Vinovich (Broadway: All the WayLost in Yonkers, Film: “The Intern,” Television: “Hannah Montana,” “The Young and the Restless), and Steven Kaplan (Broadway: Act One, TV: “Smash”).

Playbill Article

New York Times Article