(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Ghetto Tango, an afternoon of songs and stories celebrating the cabaret music that survived and thrived in the Polish and Lithuanian Ghettos during World War II, will be presented at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Sunday May 19, 2013, at 3pm. The performance is based on Ghetto Tango. a recording by the late Adrienne Cooper, who was one of the world’s most acclaimed singers of Yiddish music, and Zalmen Mlotek, a leading figure in Yiddish musical theater. The concert will feature Zalmen Mlotek, Avram Mlotek and Lisa Fishman of the National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene. Both Avram and Lisa embody the youthfulness and vigor of the composers and lyricists who created this music.
The songs in Ghetto Tango are often edgy, political, sexy, and satirical, and tell of love, defiance, and truth during a time of war, dislocation and death. The songs were created by Jewish composers, lyricists, actors, singers, and many young theater artists, and are full of music influenced by Yiddish folk songs, liturgical music, opera, ragtime, movie music and the international rage for the tango. The songs are sung in English and Yiddish with English supertitles. Ghetto Tango celebrates the life and energy of music that survived the inconceivable.
A key figure in the Yiddish music and theater revival, Zalmen Mlotek has brought Yiddish and klezmer music to Broadway and off-Broadway stages as a co-creator, music director and conductor of Those Were The Days, musical director and co-creator of Shlemiel The First, The Golden Land, On Second Avenue and others. His formal musical training was as a conductor at the Julliard School and Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein. He has been the artistic director of the National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene for many years.
The performance is presented by Congregation Ahavath Sholom in celebration of its 90th anniversary. The dynamic congregation has its home in the oldest continuously occupied synagogue building in the Berkshires on North Street in Great Barrington.
For tickets to the Ghetto Tango concert, call the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center at 413.528.0100 or visit Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.