Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Jewish Theatre Music & The Forgotten Fish Memorial Orchestra

Logo for Jewish Theatre.Com Over and over I keep finding myself suckered by myths and easy stories about 'Jewish Music.' Take Jewish Theatre music, for example. The story goes that it was developed in pre-war Eastern Europe, migrated to the US with the influx of Jewish immigrants, and helped launch Broadway, Tin Pan Alley, and the Hollywood movie industry. Great story, but it implies that Jewish theatre is safely historicized. No more. Gone. By bye.


It may not be in a golden age at the moment, but there is a thriving Jewish theater scene, with theatres and troupes all over the world (check out Firelach, for example). It makes me laugh, because I love the theater and at one point even thought hard about becoming a playwright (I've had two plays produced, but that was a long long time ago). Did I know about any of this. Nope. Noppity.

Anyway, my new Jewish musical theatre anchor point is Jewish Theatre.Com. The site is well organized, professional, with news and resources for fans and professionals. I think I'll be hanging out there a lot.

Here's one example the Forgotten Fish Memorial Orchestra. Now, this isn't necessarily the best example, because the Fish don't primarily describe themselves as "Jewish." They don't seem to like labels of any kind, but one reviewer helped out by describing the Fish as a "weird mechanical circus music built on folkloristic and oriental sounds." I'll go with that. But I love this video and thought it was worth sharing.

Fun der Khuppe - Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra

The Flying Fish have a number of audio recordings available on their website. According to the video notes "this tune, 'Fun der Khuppe' (a tune for a Jewish wedding) is one of the tracks on the new Fish CD 'If I Had a Hi Fi'. This is a OneShot Albuquerque film from a performance called Wallflowers."

hat tip to HarryPatch for posting the video to YouTube.

1 comment:

theatre said...

Music and lighting are an integral part of a production. They enhance moods and situations, highlight characters and places, and add to the success of a production.