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ONE MORE NIGHT ATELVING'S METROPOLITAN YIDDISH THEATER
“Vus ist given, ist given, ist nishtu”– What was, was, and never comes again, except if you purchased a ticket to attend the Jewish Historical Society’s live performance and opening of the exhibit “One More Night at Elving’s Metropolitan Yiddish Theater,” held in the Maurice Levin Theater at the JCC of MetroWest. The date was September 12, 2006.
Located in Newark’s Prince Street neighborhood where Yiddish was the language heard on the street, Elvings Metropolitan was located across the street from the Montgomery Street Public Bath, or in Yiddish, the “shvitz.” Friday night regulars paid a nickel for a bar soap and a towel, relaxed in the steam room, dressed, and crossed the street to attend a performance at Elvings.
The owners were Bernard and Rose Elving. Bernard wrote the scripts, designed the sets, created the publicity, and both he and his wife, Rose, were the principal actors.
Yiddish stars, long associated with New York City’s Second Avenue Yiddish theater, including names like Paul Muni, Moishe Oysher, Menasche Skulnick, Bessie and Boris Thomaschefsky, Stella Adler, and the “darling of Yiddish theater,” Molly Picon, appeared on Elving’s stage.
It is Picon who wrote the lyrics for the popular Yiddish song “Abi Gezunt." Translated it means “As long as you’re well, you can be happy.” Is this not similar to today’s wish that each of us “Stay safe and well?"
Click below to watch "One More Night at Elving's Metropolitan Yiddish Theater"