Commissioned by Alaria.
Premiered at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, April 22, 2007.
Text by Bel Kaufman, based on stories by Sholom Aleichem.
My American Shtetl is a blend of music and story-telling. Its text vividly describes the immigrant experience through two classic stories by celebrated Yiddish author Sholom Aleichem, adapted by his granddaughter, the author Bel Kaufman, (Up the Down Staircase) who at the age of 96, narrated at the premiere,
The stories are poignant, funny, and powerful. As Ms. Kaufman explains in her introduction, it is Jewish humor – laughter through tears, losing everything but winning the argument. The music is infused with klezmer dance tunes, Yiddish songs, ragtime, classical music, and jazz to capture the pathos and humor of the Jewish experience.
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