Press for Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears 

Washington Post

Sunrise, Sunset: Theodore Bikel Has New Horizon in View

By Nelson Pressley 
Monday, December 22, 2008; Page C01

"What's a sensible age for a performer to venture a first solo show -- 21? 30? How about 84?

Theodore Bikel-- 84 and married (again) just last month -- is ready for it. The folk singer-actor-activist has spent a lifetime performing, and now, in a rehearsal room at Georgetown University, his impressively resonant voice still sounds like thunder rumbling through a valley. "  Continue reading.

Washington Jewish Week

Heartfelt, sentimental evening Bikel's 'Sholom Aleichem' a love letter to lost culture
by Lisa Traiger
Arts Correspondent

"Just a fortnight ago, not far from Sholom Aleichem's hometown in Pereyaslav, Ukraine, the city of Kiev marked the 150th anniversary of the Yiddish humorist and writer's birth. He is best remembered for the vivid shtetl characters he created: Tevye the Milkman, who takes his complaints straight to God; Menachem Mendel, the luftmensch or dreamer; and Beryl Itzik, misbegotten traveler who reports from the goldeneh medina, better known these days as America."  CONTINUE READING



Written by Express contributor Amy Cavanaugh

Setting The Stage: Theodore Bikel for THEODORE BIKEL, the one-man show about 19th-century Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, whose stories were the basis for the musical "Fiddler on the Roof," was a long time coming.

"Sholem Aleichem has been part of my life all my life," Bikel says. "When I was a small boy, my father read his poems in Yiddish aloud to us, and I was always reading him, thinking about him and getting the humor of his humor."  CONTINUE READING

In the Moment

Laughter Through Tears
December 30, 2008, 10:26 pm
By Jeremy Gillick
Sholom Aleichem, the revered 19th century writer whose earnest, incredulous and good-natured humor came to define a century of Jewish jokes, is back. Not resurrected–Aleichem was never much of a believer, though he undoubtedly would have welcomed the Messiah into the world like an old friend into his home–but reincarnated in the body and voice of Theodore Bikel. At 84, the man who made Fiddler on the Roof into an American story–Bikel has played Tevye the Dairyman upwards of 2000 times–has brought back to life the man whose writings shaped his long and illustrious career.  CONTINUE READING

Bikel's New Song-Filled Aleichem Bio, Laughter Through Tears, to Play DC and FL
By Kenneth Jones
05 Nov 2008

"Two-time Tony Award nominee Theodore Bikel's music-kissed new one-man show, Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears, a biographical look at the Yiddish writer's life, will premiere at Theater J in Washington, DC, Dec. 17-Jan. 11, 2009.

"This deeply researched, powerfully felt and beautifully sung show will be enjoyed by all generations," according to Theater J, which has a focus of works by, about or of interest to Jewish people. "Based on the true tale of the great Yiddish storyteller's youth, fame and challenging journey to America, where he eventually died, the play begins with the writing of a will insisting that Sholom Aleichem be remembered with laughter or not remembered at all."  CONTINUE READING


DC Theatre Scene

Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears

December 23rd, 2008 by Joel Markowitz 

"Light your Chanukah candles, eat your latkes and spin your dreidels! Let’s all dance Di Mezinke! Chanukah is here, and Theater J has given us reason for rejoicing. Theo’s back in Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears at Theater J , and he’s brought along two of his very best friends - Sholom Aleichem and Tevye, and two great musicians to help him spin his stories - his wife, the pianist Tamara Brooks, and accordionist Merima Kljuco."  Continue Reading.

Washington Post

A Loving, Uneven Tribute: Bikel's One-Man 'Sholom' 

By Celia Wren
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, December 24, 2008; Page C01
"Theater J's latest offering, "Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears," is a world premiere solo vehicle written, sung and acted -- with touching reverence and some verve -- by showbiz luminary Theodore Bikel. His 90-minute homage, directed by Derek Goldman, has halting moments, and feels more like a labor of love than a definitive piece of stagecraft. But it will no doubt appeal to passionate admirers of Aleichem's vibrant writing, theatergoers with an interest in Yiddish (the language in which the author principally wrote) and, of course, fans of the 84-year-old Bikel, whose whopping list of credits includes more than 2,000 performances in "Fiddler on the Roof."  Continue reading.