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The Habima in New York

The Cast of Characters of "The Golem"
 

B. Tchemerinsky ......................
E. Winiar-Katchur .....................
T.  Robins  ................................
Ben Ari .....................................
A. Meskin .................................
G. Tchechik-Efrati ....................
A. Rovina .................................
B. Bertonoff ..............................
E. Winyar .................................
S. Brook ...................................
E. Galland ................................
A. Baratz ..................................
L. Warshawer ..........................
B. Zemach ................................
T. Yudelevitch ..........................
A.  Paduit..................................
M. Eidelman .............................
E. Winiar-Katchur......................
Ch. Edelman.............................
L. Pudaloff ................................
E. Factorowitch .......................
Maharal
His mother
Deborah
Tanchum
The Golem
An old man (Elijah)
A young man (the Messiah)
Tadeush
A monk
The Shamess
Boruch
A ruddy man
A tall man
A sick man
A blind woman
An old woman
A pale girl
A woman with a child
A young woman
An insane woman
A red-headed girl
"THE GOLEM, a dramatic poem in prologue and three acts. Presented in Hebrew by the Moscow Theatre Habima Players. At the Irving Place Theatre."


From the NY Times review,
"'Habima Players Win Success in 'The Golem'"
February 5, 1927


"Only a Talmudist, Kabbalist or Professor of Semitic Languages could appreciate the finer points of this strange and moving drama of medieval Prague. Certainly the audience last night, racially  qualified as they were to apprehend the language in which 'The Golem' was written, concentrated their attention upon the unusual qualities of the action...

...They were enthusiastic, they rushed down the  aisles at the conclusion of the performance and gave the Habima Players repeated curtain calls, but one felt that their endorsement was entirely a tribute to the artistry of the players rather than to the substance of the play...

The scene is laid in Prague in the sixteenth century. The Jews are being persecuted  by the Inquisition. the prophet Elijah frees the bonds of the Messiah, preparatory to delivering the Jews from their persecutors. At the same time the rabbi Maharal, skilled in Kabbalist lore, resolves to create a temporal instrument to defend his people. He molds out of clay a monster, half man and half beast, in human form and of enormous strength. This monster, the Golem, thus becomes the symbol for all temporal powers molded by religion for the physical advancement of religious  purposes...

...No one who has seen the acting of the Habima troupe can be in two minds as to the quality of their performance. Action, word and gesture are welded into a unity which combines the vividness of accomplished pantomime to the sonority of dramatic speech.

B. Tchemerinsky as Maharal, A. Meskin as the Golem, and Ben Ari as  Tahchum, the Lunatic, were outstanding in their interpretations of extraordinarily difficult roles. Meskin's grotesque and clumsy movements, his enormous physique and his simple expressions reeked of the clay from which the Golem was molded. As he groveled at the rabbi's feet, making convulsive efforts to escape the words of  power which were to return him to the dust, panting and sobbing, he conveyed a sense of bestial and pathetic helplessness that stirred one curiously. It was superb acting..."

 

 

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