Sunday, May 03, 2009

"Wandering Stars": somebody oughta write a play

Wandering Stars, by Sholem Aleichem
translated from the Yiddish by Aliza Shevrin

"Best known for his stories of Tevye the Milkman, a character later brought to Broadway in Fiddler On The Roof, Sholem Aleichem was a Russian humorist sometimes referred to as 'the Jewish Mark Twain.' In this romantic epic, previously available only in an abridgment, two lovers are enraptured when the Shchupak-Murovchik Yiddish theatre troupe arrives in their impoverished town, and they resolve to escape shtetl life and run off with the actors. Their gruelling journey takes them across continents and ends on New York's Lower East Side, capturing, with whimsy and pathos, the experience of the Jewish diaspora at the beginning of the twentieth century. As one of the lovers tells the other the night they first meet, 'Stars do not fall, stars wander.'"
The New Yorker, May 4, 2009

Interesting companion piece to this...

...which was the basis for the 2004 film THE RECKONING. Film held much promise, but fizzled in the home stretch. Back at the time, I thought it would make a terrific Pacific Theatre play - the theatrical setting, mystery cycles, the collision of faith and art and truth-telling and justice - apart from the cast size. Still...

I suspect this is the only Portishead song to quote the Epistle of Jude...

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