Friday, December 2, 2011
One of the most frequently told Eastern European folk tales is the one about the poor man who lived in a miserable small hut with his large and noisy family and a few farm animals. The poor man went to the rabbi of the town for advice. The rabbi told him to bring his animals into the house, and you probably know the rest of the story. It's been published in many forms, one of the most popular being Margot Zemach's children's book It Could Always be Worse.
Today we discovered yet another version of the classic story presented by a Yiddish-style storyteller, in English, with klezmer accompaniment. It's the same old story, but with a heimishe musical twist, and it reminded us of another classic story, Peter and the Wolf, with the instruments of the orchestra providing voices for each of the main characters in the story.
The performance took place in October at the State University of New York College at Oneonta. The narrator, Stephen Markuson, put on his special storytelling cap and told the story in English, but with an unmistakeable Yiddish inflection. Enjoy!
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)