"This is the other Yiddish culture, the lower one, the one that the intelligentsia is still trying..."—Nahma Sandrow, author of Vagabond Stars:A History of the Yiddish Theater
"A cheerful account of his roles and hits, his show-business relationships and his trademark fancy whistling."—Forward
"These memoirs of Yiddish vaudevillian Burstein describe his early life in Poland; his career on the stage in Poland, the United States, and Israel; and his marriage to American actress Lillian Lux. Although the majority of the work consists largely of warm remembrances of the world of Yiddish theatre, darker themes of European politics occasionally enter the stage."—Book News Inc.
Pesach Burstein, an old trouper from the Yiddish theater, recalls dramas both onstage and off in this memoir, which he dictated to his wife, Lillian Lux Burstein.The story of Burstein’s successful stage career is played out against the background of political turmoil in Europe, vignettes of life in small towns and big cities, friendships and rivalries among theater folk, family life, emigration to the United States, and tours through Europe, South America, Israel, and South Africa. Every personal anecdote tells the larger history: theater history and also the history of the Yiddish communities who were his audiences. While Burstein is a legend in Yiddish theater, he was little known outside that world until he was celebrated in Arnon Goldfinger’s acclaimed documentary Der Komediant. This memoir provides the first window for English readers into the other side of Yiddish culture the Yiddish burlesque, the traveling Yiddish theater, and the music hall. It will not only delight readers but also reveal a social and cultural history never before described in such detail. Burstein’s life is the story of popular Yiddish theater in the first half of the century.
Pesach "Peishachke" Burstein was a Polish-born American comedian, singer, coupletist, and director of Yiddish vaudeville/theater.
6 x 9, 324 pages