The members of the Misha Fiszon acting company who
performed at the Peoples Theatre in Detroit is listed
below (see programs, below, right.)
The house manager was Abraham Littman, pictured above. The
company manager and director was Misha Fiszon. The stage
manager was Isaac Arco, and the musical director was Abe Grushkoff. The sceneries were painted by Harry Rothberg,
Listed below are the names of much of the company.
"Der Galekh Rasputin"
("The Monk Rasputin")
Yiddish Theatre Houses
Impresario of the "Peoples Theatre"
8210 12th St
Abraham Littman opened the Circle Theatre at 2814
Hastings Street in Detroit in August 1924. Admission
was seventy-five cents; two dollars was charged for evening performances
and from fifty cents to $1.65 for matinees. Paul Muni and Moishe Oysher
appeared at Littman's theatre. When Molly Picon appeared, the admission
price rose to $2.50!
Theatre was constructed by architect Maurice H. Finkel. It cost cost
$250,000 to build and seated slightly more than 1,000 patrons. It opened on September 7, 1927, though eventually it would close its doors
for good in 1958. It had undergone a number of name changes--in 1938, the
word "Peoples" was dropped from the name. The theatre closed between 1941
and 1944, when it reopened as the "Abington." It closed once more in 1953
and reopened three years later as the "Goldcoast," but only lasted until
1958. The building has since been demolished.
Yiddish actor Herman Yablokoff, in his book "Der Payatz," describes the
theatre. "The stage of Littman's Peoples Theatre was not overly large,
but adequate enough for any type of production. The theatregoers were very
proud of this achievement because the building had been erected solely for
Yiddish theatre at the cost of $250,000, a small fortune at the time."
However, Yablokoff also remarks about a certain lacking at the theatre.
"The architect, Morris Finkel, had provided every possible comfort and
decor for the audience, not to mention the gilt cherubim around the
proscenium. There was only one thing he forgot: dressing rooms for the
actors! And when was this omission discovered? After the theatre was
completed. Well, one could hardly demand that the theatre be rebuilt just
for the comfort of the actors! So, we had to make the best of it." So on
the third floor several cubicles were partitioned off so that the actors
could make their costume changes and do their makeup. Having to run up and
down all three flights of a spiral staircase for every change was quite a
Yablokoff continues, "Aside from forgetting the actors when blueprinting
the plans for the house, the credit for the incentive of building this
Yiddish theatre in Detroit was definitely due to one man--Abraham Littman.
The title impresario described him to a tee!"
Programs from the Littman's Peoples Theatre Nov-Dec 1934
("Der Galekh Rasputin")