Cornell's Jewish Studies Program, the Center for Jewish History and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research present "Monish: A Musical Tale of Talmud and Temptation," set to rhyming English verse. Inspired by I.L. Peretz's classic Yiddish poem "Monish," this lively humorous musical performance by the award-winning Big Galut(e) Jewish Music Ensemble will be held at the Center for Jewish History on Monday, December 3rd, at 6:30 p.m.
"Monish" is the story of an irascible Satan, his irresistible wife Lilith, and a young religious Jew who just wants to be left alone with his books. Created by Big Galut(e) Jewish Music Ensemble, this production features an original score of klezmer music and tangos, an English text in verse, and a trio of dancers bringing the characters of this humorous and poignant tale to life. Its score was composed by Sanford Margolis, Professor Emeritus of Piano and former instructor of Yiddish at Oberlin College, soloist with the Minneapolis Symphony, and veteran performer of jazz and klezmer music.
Big Galut(e),winner of the Simcha Prize at the 2017 International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam, was recently featured at the Glimmerglass Festival and New York Klezmer Series, and has been described by critics as "soulful and unselfconsciously poignant", "jubilant", and a "a real treat for open minds." Big Galut(e) strives to present meaningful and exciting experiences of Jewish music through its unique repertoire spanning five continents and six centuries. Writer/narrator Sasha Margolis is violinist for Big Galut(e), author of the novel The Tsimbalist, and an occasional actor on TV. Choreographer Colby Thomas has performed widely throughout Europe and America in productions of Lloyd Webber, Offenbach, Bernstein, Sondheim, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, and is currently stage director and lecturer in voice at SUNY Oneonta. Other Big Galut(e) members include clarinetist Robin Seletsky, guitarist Michael Leopold, accordion player Mark Rubinstein, and bassist Richard Sosinsky. Dancers Carolina Villaraos, Katherine Henly, and Cole Francum are veterans of the Glimmerglass Festival.
Tickets can be purchased here for $10; $5 discount for students, seniors, member of CJH affiliates, and Cornell alumni.