Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sam Blumstein\

Born in 1900 in Pietrkow, Poland, to well-to-do parents. His father had, as a musician, played in the orchestra of Zandberg's Yiddish theatre in Lodz. As a young student B. studied music with the well-known musician Ignatz Gruzhnitskovitsh, and concentrated on playing the piano. 1919 he joined the Polish army, and two years later deserted and fled to Galicia, where in Peremyšl (then a free city) entered into the local Yiddish theatre as a pianist, which was under the direction of Ebell. There he found himself with the late well-known comic Max Bozyk (also a deserter of the Pilsudski's army), and between the two of them there developed a very intimate friendship, and together they played in various troupes, among them with Karol Zimbalist and Regina Zucker, where Blumstein was the conductor and pianist, and in Norbert Glimer's operetta theatre.

Evidently, he was, as a deserter, visited by the secret police, and he fled to Paris in 1931, where he acted under the direction of Lachtiger, and from there he immigrated in 1935 to America, where he played with several famous actors, such as Aaron Lebedeff and Jennie Goldstein, performing with the orchestras in the Yiddish thetres of Chicago, Detroit, Boston and Philadelphia. In 1947 B. married the actress Stella Schulman, and since then they have acted together in various theatres in the provinces of America and Canada. He went on a tour with the Yiddish National Arbeter Farband (Jewish National Workers Alliance), with Dzigan-Schuchmacher, then with Ben Bonus, Mina Bern, Benzion Witler, Shifra Lerer, Max and Reizl Bozyk, and was the musical director


in Miami Beach, Sarasota Spring, participating in the offerings of Herman Yablokoff and Bella Mysell, and ended by playing under his friend Max Bozyk's direction in the "Educational Alliance." B. wrote many numbers for the operettas, which he had conducted or only played on the piano.

On 30 March 1968 B. passed away in N.Y., and was taken to his eternal rest in the society plot of the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance.

Max Bozyk writes about him:

"Blumstein used all the ways and means to find out the fate of his parents, who were left over in Poland. In 1946 he became aware that his brother Chaim could be found in a camp near Oswiecim. He did not cry until he brought him to America, and from him he learned that their parents happened to met their fate with the Jews who were killed in Oswiecim.

Blumstein loved Yiddish theatre very much. He was a popular member of he musical union and had trained, despite the hardships, to be in Yiddish theatre, although he received many offers to play in non-Yiddish theatres. With great love he performed with us in the musical part of the offering of Goldfaden's "Two Kuni Lemels." Lying in a hospital, he still hoped to return and work with a Yiddish theatre. Pleased with me and my wife in the day of his death, he had, with what power was left in him, barely raised his voice and spoke out: "I am going away from you forever. Say it all my friend, that I am dying with great love for Yiddish theatre, and to all my actor friends who I have in the span of years and years playing while they sang."

Sh.E. from  Max Bozyk.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 5157.

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