Who: Carol Burnett, Emanuel Azenberg, Mayim Bialik, Billy Crystal, Tovah Feldshuh, Beanie Feldstein, Joel Grey, Jackie Hoffman, Carol Kane, Barry Manilow, Mandy Patinkin, Itzhak Perlman, Eleanor Reissa, Neil Sedaka, Steven Skybell, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Jerry Zaks, Geni Brenda, Mendy Cahan, Yefim Chorny, Josh Dolgin, Suzanna Ghergus, Miwazow Kogure, Shura Lipovsky, Freydi Mrocki, Polina Shepherd, Merlin Shepherd, Motl Didner, Zalmen Mlotek, Frank London, Tatiana Wechsler, Elmore James, more
What: Global online Chanukah celebration
Where: National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene
When: Tuesday, December 8, free with RSVP, 7:00 (available for ninety-six hours)
Why: National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene is doing more than its part in keeping alive Yiddish theater and the Yiddish language itself, with regular presentations at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. But with the pandemic lockdown, it has adapted to online shows and discussions, and on December 8 it will welcome in the Festival of Lights with a Chanukah celebration with guests from around the world. Debuting on December 8 at 7:00 and available on demand for ninety-six hours, “Folksbiene Chanukah Spectacular” features an all-star lineup, beginning with an audio greeting from Carol Burnett and including appearances by such favorites as Mayim Bialik, Billy Crystal, Tovah Feldshuh, Beanie Feldstein, Joel Grey, Jackie Hoffman, Carol Kane, Barry Manilow, Mandy Patinkin, Itzhak Perlman, Neil Sedaka, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and many others.
Although it’s free to watch, Chanukah gelt will be gladly accepted, as this is a fundraiser for the company, which in recent years has staged such wonderful Yiddish productions as Fiddler on the Roof, The Sorceress, and The Golden Bride, under the leadership of conductor and artistic director Zalmen Mlotek, who said in a statement with executive director Dominick Balletta, “We’re excited to present this exceptional Yiddish celebration, bringing together Yiddish ambassadors from across the globe, from across the United States to as far away as Australia. This will be a theatrical experience like no other — presented virtually so that families and communities across the world can enjoy it together.” Directed and produced by Adam B. Shapiro, the evening will include music and dance, comedy sketches, and tributes to the golden age of Yiddish theater, along with a grand finale led by members of the Children’s Choir from Tzipporei Shalom of Congregation Beth Shalom in New Jersey. There’s also a special preshow Zoom event with Skybell, Mlotek, and others if you donate at a certain level, in addition to an appetizer delivery from the Lox Cafe.