I Kid You Nosh! celebrates
Ashkenazi Jewish food
A new original production from The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre
By Byron Toben
August 24, 2023
The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre (DWYT), sidelined for a while by COVID, returned in force with a new original production, I Kid You Nosh!, written and directed by Adina Katz. It reproduces that theatre’s tradition of a cast party after its last show.
Featuring 23 singer/dancer/eater performers ranging in age from some young tots to veterans of the genre, with music directed by Nick Burgess and choreographed by Deborah Friedman, it was performed in Yiddish and English with a sprinkling of French, Hebrew, and Ladino, supplemented by Super titles overhead. Special Yiddish diction coaches were performers Bronna Levy and Sam Stein, plus stage manager Jeremy Pinchuck.
The evening began with a rousing rendition of the song Rumania, Rumania, the classic Klezmer song written by Aaron Lebedeff between the two world wars and finally recorded on disk in 1925, followed by odes to various foods such as Gefilte Fish, Kreplach, Knish, Kugel, Challah, Latkes, Matzoh Ball Soup, Borscht, Bagels, Hamantaschen and the like as the performers, seated around tables laden with the goodies, partook of them.
At first, I assumed the foods were wax or plastic and that the performers expertly mimed eating them but the rapidly diminishing cold-cut platters convinced me it was for real.
Hard to transmit food tastings to readers on the internet, but here is a recording of Rumania, Rumania as you supply your own favourite Jewish food of choice. Some include Chinese food in this category, but Ms. Katz does not.
All in all, a fine nostalgic return by the DWYT to the Segal. We want more!
I Kid You Nosh! ran from June 18 to 22.
Images: Leslie Schachter
Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated websites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner, and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.