Review by Shawn Dhanak
Sholom Aleichem, born Rabinowitz in Russian Ukraine in 1859, was a humorist and folk hero beloved around the world for his storytelling. He is regarded today as the father of Yiddish literature.
In this offering, Sholom Aleichem is brought to life in an original musical that centers on his speaking tour between 1913 and 1914, with detours to 1875, 1887 and 1900. Based on Sholom Aleichem’s letters and stories, the play takes audiences along on his travels as he and his wife, Olga, travel city to city.
Aleichem Sholom is brilliantly performed by the two stars — impressively, the only two performers on stage — veteran stage actor Chris DeCarlo, who portrays Sholom Alecheim as well as other supporting characters; and highly lauded actress Evelyn Rudie, who portrays Olga and fills several additional roles.
Aleichem Sholom is well crafted in all the right ways. With simple background images displayed on a projection screen and no set changes, the minimal production is impactful as it keeps the audience focused on the substance of the great monologues and dialogues. There are also eight catchy and engaging songs.
Aleichem Sholom is highly entertaining and is recommended to anyone who appreciates history, literature, comedy and philosophy.
“Aleichem Sholom: The Wit and Wisdom of Sholom Aleichem” is on stage through Sunday, June 24 at Santa Monica Playhouse located at 1211 4th St. in Santa Monica. For reservations visit SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com or call (310) 394-9779 Ext. 1. Use code JOY for $10 off each ticket.