Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Meester Amerika: A New All-American Musical about 1920's Yiddish Theatre

There's a new musical comedy in town. If you're in the New York /New Jersey area, you'll definitely want to check this out. You can get more info and buy tickets from the Garage Theater Group website. The producers were gracious enough to spot me a rehearsal recording, so you can get a feel for the show....

"A Little Love in Big Manhattan" from "Meester Amerika". Music by Artie Bressler, Lyrics by Michael Colby and sung by Amy London. (sample)

UPDATE: Here's a first newspaper article on the show, "Local Man Puts Words into Music" by Enid Weiss for the Edison Metuchen Sentinel and "MEESTER AMERIKA Brings Yiddish Theater Back To Life" from the Broadway World news desk.

STEVE STERNER as Benjamin Rubin singing 'it shouldn't happen to a dog' in Meester Amerika

STEVE STERNER as Benjamin Rubin singing "It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog" in "Meester Amerika" (photo by Justin Bias)

Here's the full press release: "A musical comedy—evoking 1920s Yiddish Theatre—so adorable you'll want to pinch everyone's cheek (and not just the showgirls). It spotlights a “royal family” of 2nd Avenue and their jazz-singing son who really wants to be a cantor. A funny, tuneful show for the whole family.
Jeff Keller will star as "Marcus Rose," the Thomashevsky-like patriarch of this royal theatre family; Keller's Broadway credits include PHANTOM OF THE OPERA [often playing the lead, as Michael Crawford's original understudy], SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, ON THE 20TH CENTURY, and THE 1940S RADIO HOUR, for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Playing other theatrical family members are Amy London (part of the original jazz quartet in the Tony-winning CITY OF ANGELS) and Steve Sterner (KUNI LEML, YENTL, YIDDLE WITH A FIDDLE, Folksbiene's PIRATES OF PENZANCE). The family's rising young star "Joey Rose" is played by David B. Perlman (ALTAR BOYZ and the title role in the award-winning CALVIN BERGER).

The zany cast is rounded out by Ben Rauch (of TV's Ed and Strangers with Candy, SPRING AWAKENING, etc.); Garage Theatre favorites, Clifton Lewis and Jerry Lazar; Malorie Charak, Rachel Kurland, and Melissa Schoenberg.

MEESTER AMERIKA will be directed by Michael Bias. Bias is the Founder and Artistic/Producing Director of The Garage Theatre Group, where, since 1993, he has directed and produced more than 45 plays and musicals. Choreography is by Marilyn Woodhull Cervino, and musical direction by Victoria Casella.

Composer Artie Bressler made his Broadway debut writing incidental music to the Tony-winning, original production of CRIMES OF THE HEART. Librettist Jennifer Berman has spent the last 25 years, working on Broadway and in television. Michael Colby's credits include CHARLOTTE SWEET (Drama Desk Award nomination, "Outstanding Lyrics").

The show will run for three weeks:
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm
Tickets: $35/general admission, $30/students and seniors
"Pay Whatever You Can" Night, Friday, February 13th
$15 student rush seats nightly (except February 14th)
Group sales available and welcome
Open Captioning on Thursday, February 19th (see note below)
Free parking at FDU

A gem of a show! Don't miss out!

MEESTER AMERIKA performance photos by Justin Bias."


Karen said...

Jack, this is great... and greater! Thank you! Karen

Art Finkle said...

For full explanation of the Shofar and its sacred uses and history, go to

Shofar WebPage


Shofar WebPage II


Art Finkle

Jack said...


Thanks for the links. I'll add them to my reference list.