CRANFORD—The Friends of the Cranford Public Library will present “A Musical Tribute to Molly Picon, Star of Yiddish Theatre,” featuring Dr. Diane Cypkin, on Wednesday, June 12, at 7 p.m. in the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue. Admission to the program is free and all are welcome.
Dr. Cypkin will tell—through English narration—the life story of Molly Picon, the First Lady of the Yiddish Stage using the many songs Picon sang and often wrote over the course of her long career. Dr. Cypkin has appeared in many Yiddish language musical productions spanning more than two decades. She was Sheyne in Ossip Dymov’s Yoshke muzikant (Joseph the Musician) at the Folksbiene Playhouse; Beylke in Sholom Aleichem’s Dos groyse gevins (The Big Winner) at the Eden Theatre; Gitale in Ben Bonus’s production of Light, Lively, and Yiddish at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway; and Tsirl in Di yidishe tsigaynerke (The Jewish Gypsy) at Town Hall in New York.
Dr. Cypkin has done a great deal of concert work. In New York, in conjunction with her exhibition at Lincoln Center entitled, Molly Picon: Yiddish Star, American Star, she presented a lecture/concert on “Molly Picon and Her Yiddish Music.” Dr. Cypkin has worked in the English-speaking theatre as both singer and actor in shows at the Soho Repertory Theatre, the New York Theatre Workshop, the Jan Hus Playhouse, and the Three Muses Theatre. In addition, she has directed productions of The World of Sholom Aleichem, The Theatre of Peretz, and Green Fields.
For nearly ten years she was the Yiddish Theatre Consultant at the Museum of the City of New York and curated the highly successful exhibition, “A Celebration: 100 Years of Yiddish Theatre in New York.” Dr. Cypkin is presently Professor of Media, Communication, and Visual Arts at Pace University in New York. She is a recipient of the Kenan Award for Teaching Excellence and the Pace University President’s “Extra Mile” Award.
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