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Indecent

Stream the Tony Award-winning play Indecent on GREAT PERFORMANCES – part of the fall Broadway’s Best lineup.

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[ Audience murmuring ] [ Playing ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ -Ladies, gentlemen, our actors, who play many, many roles tonight!

First, the founding members of our troupe.

Vera Parnicki and Otto Godowsky.

They play all of the fathers, all of the mothers, the sagest of our characters, or the ones who remain fools at any age.

And the members of our troupe in their prime!

Halina Cygansky and Mendel Schultz!

They play all of the vamps, all of the vice, the scarred, and the schemers.

And our ingénues!

Chana Mandelbaum, Avram Zederbaum.

All the brides, all of the grooms, the writers, the socialists.

So ardent in their beliefs, so passionate in their lovemaking.

On violin: Nelly Friedman!

On clarinet: Mayer Balsam!

And on accordion: Mr. Moriz Godowsky.

♪ ♪ My name is Lemml. You can also call me Lou.

I'm the stage manager tonight -- usually you can find me backstage.

We have a story we want to tell you about a play -- a play that changed my life.

Every night we tell this story, but somehow I can never remember the end.

Eh, no matter.

I can remember how it begins.

It all starts with this moment.

-[ Laughing ] -Remember this!

[ Laughter ] -[ Vocalizing ] ♪ ♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah!

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ -Oh! -Oh?

-Ohh... -Ohh?

As in, oh, it's awful?

As in, oh, how do I tell him?

As in, oh, whom did I marry?

-Ohh! -Are you crying?

-I can't breathe!

'Oh,' as in, 'it's wonderful.'

Oh, it's so sad. I-I, I love it.

-Really? -Really.

-What do you love?

-My God, Sholem. I-It's all in there.

The roots of all evil: the -- the money, the subjugation of women, the false piety... the -- the terrifying violence of that father... and then... Oh, Sholem, the two girls in the rain scene!

My God, the poetry in it!

What is it about your writing that makes me hold my breath?

You make me feel the desire between these two women is the purest, most chaste, most spiritual -- -It is! Madje, are you angry that I stole your words for the virgin daughter?

-If Papa had come downstairs and discovered his little Madje in flagrante...! -I would never have made it to the huppah alive.

-It is interesting to hear your words the night you seduced me in the mouth of a prostitute.

-I feel like a prostitute every time I have to pander to Mr. Peretz for a reading in his salon.

-This play will cause a sensation tomorrow night!

All the other writers will be green with envy.

-Don't bring down the evil eye! Mr. Peretz could hate it.

-Mr. Peretz is a lovely man but he's so 19th century.

Warsaw is a provincial little town!

This play will be done all over the world -- Berlin, Moscow, Paris!

Oh, oh! I know who would be perfect for the father!

Rudolph Schildkraut!

-Who? -Rudolph Schildkraut is a sensation right now in Berlin with his 'Merchant of Venice.'

I'll ask Papa for money to send you.

We've got to get this play to him!

-It's my first play! -Our play will catch fire in Berlin!

All the German intelligentsia can talk about right now is Dr. Freud!

It's the twentieth century!

We're all attracted to both sexes.

I promise I'll understand if you become attracted to a man... But I'll kill you if it's another woman.

-I promise I'll understand if you get attracted to a woman as long as I can watch.

-My God, I am now married to a playwright!

You're my warrior! My suffragette!

[ Laughter ] -Your lesbian?

-'Teach me. Take me.'

-'I want to taste you.'

♪ -Hey!

♪ [ Gasps ] ♪ ♪ -First of all I just want to say what a great honor it is to have this opportunity to be -- to be under Mr. Peretz' roof, to be standing here in front of all of these writers whose work has been an inspiration... -'The God Of Vengeance.'

-A 130-page, three-act play.

What a prodigy!

Does anyone mind if Lemml sits in?

He's my third cousin from Lodz.

-Well, a little shtetl outside Balut actually... -He's a tailor from Balut, he's never seen a play!

-Lemml! Take a seat, take a seat!

-Sir, sir.

It is a real honor, sir.

-Welcome. -Oy.

Another play set in a brothel.

-Why are so many men writing brothel stories?

-Research.

-Oh, uh, yeah, uh -- Mr. Peretz, Mr. Peretz, would you read Yekel?

-You want Mr. Peretz to play the owner of a brothel?

-I want him to play the protagonist.

He has the most lines. -Ah!

I will do my humble best.

-Lazar you read Rifkele.

The daughter -- she's 17, she's pure, and very beautiful.

Isaac, her mother, Sarah - smart, ambitious, an ex-prostitute.

Nakhmen, you read Manke the prostitute.

She is in her twenties; she is the beauty of Yekel's stable.

Don't use your chest voice.

[ Laughter ] I will read the stage directions.

As the curtain rises, we find ourselves in Yekel's cozy home over the basement where his brothel is located.

There he lives with his virgin daughter and his wife... [ Ding ] [ Ding ] -Woman, I am not going to warn you again.

When I took you from my whorehouse I told you, keep my home apart from my whores!

[ Laughing ] [ Laughter ] I'd better not catch Rifkele in Manke's company again!

Up here lives my virgin daughter, worthy of marrying the best of men.

Like the Kosher from the traif!

Keep the two worlds apart!

[ Ding ] [ Ding ] -'Manke enters, nuzzling Rifkele.

Washed in the rain, their soaked nightgowns drip water to the floor.'

-Are you shivering, Rifkele? Warm yourself -- rub up against me, that feels -- -Higher voice, please!

[Falsetto] -Rest your face against my brea- Wait. Wait. Am I still a woman here?

Saying this to another woman? I am not reading this garbage.

-Read Manke's lines, starting with 'Rest your face against my breasts.'

-You want me to say the word 'breasts' in this living room?

-Just read, damn it!

-Rest your face against, against... against my... breasts.

Yes, oh, yes.

And embrace me with your body.

I laid bare your...breasts and washed them in the rain.

[ Laughter ] You smell like grass in the meadows... Do you want me to, Rifkele, do you want us to?

-None of us are reading this garbage!

-Well, perhaps we should call it a -- -Wait, wait, wait. You have to read both women.

Manke and Rifkele. Please.

-I have never done one woman, Mr. Asch, much less two!

-Okay, okay, okay. You Read Rifkele.

I'll be Manke.

-You smell like grass in the meadows.

Do you want me to Rifkele, do you want us to?

-Yes. Yes.

Teach me.

Take me.

I want to taste you.

-I can't breathe.

[ Ding ] [ Ding ] -Rifkele, you ran away with Manke last night.

Don't tell me where she took you.

Daughter, just tell me: Are you still a virgin?

Let me see right into your eyes!

Right into your eyes!

-I don't know.

-What do you mean you don't know!

Are you still a -- -Oh, but it's all right for you to do?

I know who you are and what you do!

-I'll tell you what you know.

You know what this Torah cost?

It cost all of the whores downstairs on their backs and their knees for a year!

And for what? Look at me.

God wants me to fail as a father?

As a husband?

Well there's one thing I know How to do -- -Make money. -You are both paying me back!

On your backs. On your knees.

Down into the whorehouse with you!

And take the Holy Scroll with you!

I don't need it anymore!

-Yekel hurls down the Torah.

End of play.

-This is theatre?! [ Laughter ] Oh. Oh, Mr. Asch.

It is wonderful.

-Are you crying?

Asch has desecrated the Torah!

-My character Yekel does, I do not!

-But it's not a real Torah, right, Mr. Asch?

It is a make-believe Torah! -Grandmother Rochel's daughter's son, you are way out of your depths here.

I brought you here as a favor to your mother.

-It was a very big favor, cousin.

-'Do you want me to, Rifkele, do you want us to? Yes, yes...' -How can you let Nakhmen laugh at me!

-We need to have a civil discourse, no matter what the young men in my living room do.

Or write.

-My soul is in these pages!

-Asch, Asch, who is your audience?

-I want to write for everyone. -Yes.

-You told me we need plays in Yiddish that are universal.

-Plays that represent our people as valiant, heroic -- -Why must every Jew on the stage be a paragon?! -You are representing our people as prostitutes and pimps!

-Some of our people are! -You are pouring petrol on the flames of anti-Semitism.

This is not the time. -When!

When will be the right time?

-For God's sake, Asch!

Write what you know, young man!

How many whorehouses have you worked in?

-[Laughs] -Excuse me.

-Ah, yes. It's time for my medicine.

Thank you, my dear.

-And did you have a nice reading, Mr. Asch?

-Oh, um, yes, ma'am.

-I loved your last short story, 'A Shtetl.'

So lyrical.

There seems to be much excitement in the house.

Excitement is not the best thing for Mr. Peretz' digestion.

-We won't keep him much longer.

-I think I've had enough excitement myself.

Excuse me.

-Mr. Peretz-it is because of you that we are creating a Yiddish renaissance.

-Come, come -- Yiddish is our mother tongue.

The language of our myths, our songs... -Our streets. Our gutters.

Our desire. -At the end of every day I come home from work, kiss my wife and go into this study.

And four nights a week I try to write something for the Jewish people.

It may get no further than this living room, but it's for us.

-I am not happy to produce one slim volume of poetry every two or three years that gets read in your living room.

I am not ashamed that I want our stories to be on every stage in every language.

-You cannot translate this hateful play!

If you must throw stones, throw them outside the tent.

written by a Jew who hates Jews!

-Do you know what a minyan is? It's ten Jews in a circle accusing each other of anti-Semitism.

[ Laughter ] -Sholem!

You will be torn limb from limb if the public sees this play.

Listen to me -- about your manuscript?

Burn it.

-Mr. Lemml, may I buy you a drink?

I am taking my stones outside the tent with me.

I've always wanted to see Berlin.

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪ -You! You must be Fraulein Elsa!

-I cannot believe I get to be in a play with the legendary Frieda Niemann!

-Please, please, the legend is flesh and blood, I assure you.

Have you read the script?

-Oh, yes, several times.

It's very daring, I think.

-Oh, good. You can explain it all to me.

-You haven't read it? -No.

I like to find the role through intuition.

Of course, when Rudolph came to me -- 'Freida, we have a role, this young boy must have been thinking of you when he wrote it' -- I positively peppered him with questions -- How do these women live?

How do they dress? What do they do in bed, and how do they do it?

-You mean prostitutes? -Good God, no!

We all know what prostitutes do!

-Oh, so -- so you asked him about about... lesbians?

-You better learn how to say the word out loud, my girl.

Four weeks from today we will be kissing center stage.

By the way, my left profile is my good profile.

I mean, I haven't read the play, but I assume I will be the butch, and you will be the feminine little thing.

Well, on one thing I am completely lost at sea -- How do I play a Jew?

Or is the proper word 'Jewess'? -Uh, Mrs. Freida, I am Jewish.

-That is very brave of you.

-Very, uh, very secular, very -- -I consider us, first and foremost, German.

-Excuse me, Missus? Excuse me, Miss.

Mr. Schildkraut asking me to-to-to asking you what for you may I get?

-Fraulein Elsa, isn't he just adorable?! What is your name, kind sir?

-Lemml my name is.

I-I happiness, have serve you -- -How long have you been in Berlin, Herr Lemml?

-Uh, this is the first week I come Berlin.

This is the first week I come Germany!

-Herr Lemml, please speak Yiddish, if you like.

I must learn to sound like one of the hordes overrunning -- Well, like a native, if you will.

-Thank you, Missus!

I cannot believe I get this opportunity -- a job in the theater!

Assistant to the stage manager!

I could never imagine such a thing in Balut.

And this play -- this play!

I was working as a tailor in a little shop when one night my cousin said I could come with him to Mr. Peretz' house!

I got to hear the play by the genius Sholem Asch!

-A genius? A Yiddish genius?

A Polack genius!

-They got genius outside of Germany, too.

This play will be done all over the world.

-Lemml! Where are you?

-I here am, Mr. Schildkraut!

-Call the company to the stage!

-To the stage, please come!

-Good morning, good morning!

Today we gather in this august building where we last rehearsed 'The Merchant of Venice,' to peddle a different pound of flesh!

[ Laughs ] As you know, a few short months ago, I was stalked by a young gentleman -- as I was sipping my mélange at the café Kranzler, a Polish countryman approached me with such fresh energy and sincerity -- traits that have almost perished in our cosmopolitan Berlin!

That very night I went home with his script and I woke up with a fever to produce 'The God of Vengeance.'

To play this outcast, rejected by pious Jews, roaring at his maker!

Ladies, gentlemen, I give you our playwright of this brilliant little play, Mr. Sholem Asch.

-Thank you, thank you.

Um, I don't want to terrify you, but this is my first play.

I -- This past fall I sat down at my desk in Warsaw and I asked myself, how do we as artists question our sins in front of a greater audience?

How do we as Jews show ourselves as flawed and complex human beings?

Never did I dream that this great artist would choose to inhabit a man on the edge of our society, wrestling with his sins and his God.

I've written only poetry and short stories, alone at my desk.

And I never realized that when one writes a play, one is no longer alone.

-Oy!

-Let's begin!

♪ [ Applause ] ♪ ♪ -Daughter, just tell me! Are you still a virgin?

Let me see right into your eyes!

Right into your eyes!

-I...don't know.

-What do you mean you don't know!

Are you still -- -Oh, but it's all right for you to do?

I know who you are and what you do!

-I'll tell you what you know.

You know what this Torah cost?

It cost all of the whores downstairs on their backs and their knees for a year!

And for what? Look at me.

God wants me to fail as a father?

-No! No! -As a husband?

Well, there's one thing I know how to do -- make money.

You are both paying me back -- on your backs, on your knees.

Down into the whorehouse with you!

-Help, he's going crazy!

-Down into the whorehouse with you!

And take the Holy Scroll with you!

I don't need it anymore!

[ Applause ] ♪ -Help!

He's going crazy!

-And take the Holy Scroll with you!

I don't need it anymore!

[ Applause ] ♪ -Help!

He's going crazy!

-And take the Holy Scroll with you!

I don't need it anymore!

[ Applause ] -He-e-elp!

He's going crazy!

-And take the Holy Scroll with you!

I don't need it anymore!

[ Applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Giggling ] [ Sobs ] ♪ -Lemml! Lemml! Over here!

Lemml! -Ah! Mr. Asch!

[ Both laugh, relieved ] -I can't wait to stand beside you next week when you raise the curtain on 'The God of Vengeance' at the Bowery Theatre.

It hasn't been the same.

The troupe can't wait to meet you!

-Mr. Asch, how did you do such a thing?

Back there: the weeping, the pleading -- they are sending so many people back, but I got in!

-There were a few strings that we could pull... -Of course!

Because you are Sholem Asch!

[ Laughs ] Nobody in Balut believed you sent for me when I came to say goodbye!

-You were my first advocate. -My life!

It is changed!

-I want to see your face when you see it.

'Welcome to America'! ♪ -America!

I here am!

[ Excited shouting ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Shouts ] [ Vocalizing ] ♪ ♪ -♪ What can you America! ♪ [ Applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ -English! Speak English!

Every time we are alone together, you persist in speaking Yiddish!

My God, Reina, we are supposed to open this show in English next week! -I don't need your permission to speak in Yiddish when we are in private!

-Reina! We are the first generation to get the chance our parents never got.

To tell our stories on American stages.

We are moving uptown to the Village and I want you to come with me!

Please just speak English with me, Reina!

-Ruth. You can call me Reina at home.

Hey, sit here beside me.

Let's just run the lines.

-No, right, from Sarah's lines: 'Brush your hair, get dressed.

The minyan's on its way.'

-I'll call Manke to come up brush I love it when she brushes ha-a-i-ir-r... gets so smooth.

-Mr. Schildkraut won't replace me.

-We've got a week to learn this English translation.

-And, what, from now on, only English between us?

-Yeah. -Dine?

I don't know who this Dorothee is.

-Dorothee.

It's my name now.

It's the same woman you love as Dine.

-Ladies? Will you pardon my intrusion?

I would like to speak with Miss Ruth.

-I'll go. -She stay.

-Oy yoy yoy.

A long day.

Miss Ruth, it's no good.

I talk the way I talk.

Miss Dorothee talks better. But when people hear Rifkele they got to hear a pure girl onstage.

No shtetl, no girl off the boat.

They got to see their own American daughter.

We have to let you go.

You will be a beauty for our people on the Yiddish stage for decades to come.

You tell me leave in English.

-I am sorry. -No, no, Mr. Schildkraut?

Ruth and I can rehearse all night until -- -You and Lemml already run lines with me.

And nothing help. Unless you want to quit with me, Dine, no?

I thought not.

Go please, Mr. Schildkraut.

-Reina -- Lemml, -I'll see you at home.

-I'm so sorry, Miss Reina.

-When did you know? -Two days ago.

I was told to say nothing. -My role -- -They have already recast Rifkele.

-This will be the only role in my lifetime where I could tell someone I love that I love her onstage.

-I will come see you on the Yiddish stage and throw flowers.

-It may be quite some time before I get a job again.

So throw food.

Thank you, Lemml.

-Mr. Schildkraut says I gotta have an American name for the Greenwich Village too.

It's Lou.

Lou.

-Goodbye, Lou.

♪ ♪ -'A bridegroom? Who is he, Mama?'

-A bridegroom? Who is he, Mama?

-'A darling boy, a treasure from a wonderful family.

And handsome like a rabbi!'

Okay, this is where you say your line.

-Do I say it from here? -Rudolph!

-She's just asking where the beautiful young lady should go.

Morris Carnovsky...I play Shloyme, one of the pimps.

-Miss McFadden. Now you go to Dorothee.

As if you was going to hug your fiancé before you was married.

-Yes, Miss McFadden! Perfect!

Now, you say... -Where are we going to live, Mama?

-Is it break time, yet?

-She's saying she'd sell herself for a cigarette.

-Morris Carnovsky?! You are not in this scene!

-I'm helping to translate... Where was we? -She's hugging me like her fiancé. Miss McFadden, now you are gonna kiss Dorothee the way you will get to kiss your husband on your wedding night. -Lucky man!

-Are you all right with this?

-Yes, yes.

-Oy!

-So, you want to just lay yourself against her.

It is now the morning after, and you are two happy cats who -Excuse me, Mr. Schildkraut, could you tell me in English?

-I am speaking in the English!

-Just place my hands wherever you feel comfortable.

-Can you move your hands up to her more Dorothee?

-I am not a happy cat! -I don't got nothin' like that in my pages, Mr. Schildkraut.

-Thank you, Lemml. -Thank you, Lemml.

-Just call me Lou.

And may I say, Miss McFadden, I have been wit' this show from the first show, I seen all the shows of this show, you are gonna be magnificent!

Ten minutes!

-I know it must be hard to step in like this, but you are doing a great job.

-I don't mean to terrify you, but... this is my first show.

-Wow!

That is brave.

I mean, this show!

-I'm hoping it shocks my parents.

When can I meet the playwright?

-Sholem Asch has practically become a recluse on Staten Island!

He works very hard on his novels.

I love his work.

He shows women as flesh and blood!

How hard it is -- it was... Mr. Schildkraut compares the rain scene in Act II to the balcony scene in 'Romeo and Juliet.'

And for me, the scene in the rain is... It's just... I'm having a hard time with my English today.

-It's 'lesbian,' right?

-What?

-Did I misread the play?

I-I thought we were lesbians.

-I -- I -- -Did I say something wrong?

-I like to think all the layers of love -- mother, sister, daughter -- -Should we practice kissing?

-What?

-I mean, before we have to do it in front of everyone, should we just try it by ourselves?

-I think you did a good job of it before the break.

-I just thought. Sorry.

You certainly do not need any practice, I must say.

-Uh, uh, why don't we first just try it on the cheek in rehearsal, and then, after that, we can, we can -- -Yes. Perhaps we should save the lips for opening night.

-Do you have any training?

In acting, I mean?

-My parents would never have let me.

And at Smith there was no theater, really.

-Oh, Smith! As in College?

-Yes. I've been around lots of girls, so that should help in this play.

-And, uh, what would shock your parents the most -- that you are playing in a Jewish company?

That you are playing a Jewish girl?

Or that you are playing a girl in love with a prostitute?

-I hope all of it!

[ Laughs ] ♪ -It's a wonderful job you are doing, Miss Virginia.

-I can't stop my body from shaking.

-It's your first time on stage.

The fright -- -Every time I see Dorothee, I feel her so much on stage I get scared I'll go up on my lines.

-You have to feel what Rifkele feels.

Yes? This is what happens to actors.

It's a good thing. -It's hard to breathe.

-I know nothing about the Christian church.

You was brought up in the Church?

-Yes.

-Maybe how your Rifkele feels for Manke is a sin in your church.

In this play, how you feel for her, she for you, to me... After the Messiah comes.

No hate.

No beating.

No sin.

♪ -Rifkele! Rifkele, I need your help.

-Shh. Breathe deep.

-Papa and the rebbi will be here soon with the Torah Scroll.

-Just look at Miss Dorothee while you shake.

Your cue, it is coming... -Rifkele, please.

They will be here any minute -Now, now!

-I'll call Manke to come up and brush my hair.

I love it when she brushes my hair.

My hair gets so smooth. Manke!

Manke! -Oh, Rifkele!

Don't! Papa's gonna break our necks!

-I told you to stop seeing that girl!

You two got nothing in common!

Now, the guests will be here any moment.

♪ We're arranging a bridegroom for you.

♪ -A bridegroom?

Who is he, Mama?

-A wonderful boy from a wonderful family.

Handsome like a rabbi -Where will we live, Mama?

-In your bedroom.

Right under your papa's roof.

There, beneath the holy scroll your papa bought, you will do your wifely duty.

♪ -Will he love me, Mama?

-Very much, my dearest daughter.

Every night.

[ Whistling and applause ] -Beautiful. Beautiful.

-I don't ever want to stop acting.

Ever.

♪ ♪ -Ladies, gentleman, I give you our producer at the Greenwich Theatre, Mr. Harry Weinberger!

-Of all the places in New York I have called home!

The courtroom, the picket line, the labor unions -- the best home for me has been standing in the back of the orchestra at the Provincetown Players.

Oh, I got in on the ground floor as producer of a little play by a wild Irishman, name of Eugene O'Neill -- 'The Hairy Ape.'

So I have recently found a new home on Broadway.

And it got me thinking: what if a play came my way written by a fellow Jew that told our stories?

So I'm here to announce, two weeks from today, 'The God Of Vengeance,' starring Rudolph Schildkraut, opens at The Apollo Theatre on Broadway!

-This is garbage! They've cut the rain scene.

-Did I not say to you to keep the new scripts to yourself?

-Miss Nelson, I was about to ask you for a coffee after -- -Did Mr. Asch censor his own play?

-Every day downtown we are sold out.

Every day another stack of hate mail arrives.

And I read every single letter that comes in -- 'Jews, Polacks, take your filth back to your own country.

Dirty Kikes, you pollute our stage.'

That's what we're up against.

-Did the playwright agree to cut the most beautiful love scene he will ever write?

-We told him and he signed the contract with the same hand that cashed the check.

-For now, we have to strengthen the moral argument for audiences on Broadway.

-Dorothee, they cut our rain scene?

-My Manke is no longer a woman in love.

She is an evil procuress lusting after a little girl to peddle her ass.

Now, instead of us falling in love in this obscenity of a world, instead of me trying to rescue you, the new script has me entrapping you into a life of white slavery!

I've been promoted to head pimp!

-Miss Nelson, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but this production cannot be seen to celebrate two women in love!

After we open we can restore -- -Miss Dorothee!

I could make my Broadway debut in many, many shows.

Shakespeare, Chekhov, George Bernard Shaw.

I chose a new play by a living Yiddish writer.

-We are God forbid goyim think that ladies who work the streets are human beings!

God forbid goyim think that Jewish ladies love each other as human beings!

We could let the original script speak for us.

-Look, here's what's going to happen.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith get on the train from Connecticut.

They bring junior and the daughter to the matinee.

And what Mr. Weinberger don't want to see is a red-faced Mr. Smith pulling his goyishe son out of his orchestra seats and marching the Smith family up the aisles because junior was getting a little excited, and they're gonna spend the train ride home explaining to their daughter why these two girls were kissing!

Let's just say the word -- among the intelligentsia, lesbians sell tickets.

Uptown, for Mr. and Mrs. Smith, prostitutes in a brothel is all the excitement they can take.

-Mr. Weinberger, did you know, every night during the rain scene, the entire troupe line up in the wings and watch.

-I watch from Stage left. -Stage right in the wings.

-In Berlin. In Moscow.

In the Greenwich Village.

Every night, the entire troupe.

-I have sacrificed a lot to play this one flesh and blood woman.

-If anyone here can't accommodate the changes to the script, now would be a good time to let us know.

♪ ♪ -♪ Every morning, every evening ain't we have fun? ♪ ♪ Not much money, oh, but honey ain't we have fun? ♪ ♪ There's nothing surer ♪ The rich get rich and the poor get laid off ♪ ♪ In the meantime, in between time -- ♪ [ Music stops abruptly ] ♪ ♪ [ Tempo increases ] ♪ ♪ -He has not slept for weeks.

Every evening he leaves our bed.

Every morning I find him awake in his study.

-Was there anything about the last few months that was abnormal in your routine, Mr. Asch?

-Tell her about Vilna. Tell her about Kiev.

-I have just returned from a trip to Europe.

-He was the head of a delegation for the American Jewish Joint Committee.

A fact finding trip to Europe.

-Ah! The Old Country.

-He was investigating pogroms.

Vilna, Kiev.

-Oh. -The old country.

-He will not talk to me about what he saw.

Um, he has not been himself since his return.

-How would he describe not being himself?

-She wants to know how you feel.

-I am unable to sleep, lack of concentration, lack of appetite, lack of enjoyment.

-A great deal of lack.

He does not leave the house.

He is about to make his Broadway debut, and he has not gone to a single rehearsal!

Every day the stage manager calls, 'where is your husband, Mrs. Asch?'

-Here's a prescription for Seconal.

You are exhibiting nervous exhaustion.

-What can we do? -Complete bed rest is often quite successful with women and writers.

[ Laughter ] For men, however, going west is better suited to the restoration of masculine energy and vitality.

Cattle roping, treks in the Rockies, and buffalo hunting... If there are any buffalo to be found.

-She gives you a choice of either being strapped to your bed or buffalo hunting.

-You ask her if there's anything in her charts that can map the disintegration of the Jewish psyche due to centuries of persecution?! -Is he often this angry?

Does he exhibit feelings of paranoia?

Of course, a brief period of seclusion in upstate New York might be just the thing.

It is so beautiful in the spring!

Would you both please wait a moment while I consult with my nurse? -She wants to commit you.

Come home with me. You can rest at home.

I'll go with you to a rehearsal.

It will cheer up the troupe to see you!

And then we can go to the Apollo Theatre for our opening night.

[ Playing 'Ain't We Got Fun' in minor key ] ♪ ♪ -My God. -Those were not minor changes.

Oh, Sholem. -I feel sick to my stomach.

My God.

-Why are there so many police in the house?

-It's nothing.

-I've never attended a Broadway Opening before.

Are you saying this is what they do uptown?

-You know we've had threats.

-There were threats downtown. We never had police downtown.

-Nobody paid attention because we were downtown.

[ Laughter ] -Are they going to stop the show?

Because of the lesbianism? Because of the Torah?

Because of the prostitution? -Because I'm Jewish.

Because we're Polack Kikes on Broadway!

I've gotta go backstage.

Gotta go find Harry.

Try to look like you're enjoying it.

♪ ♪ -Well, these things happen.

Manke is opening a whorehouse of her own -- with our daughter!

We bought her a Torah to keep her pure.

We can buy her back.

Oh, the diamond earrings Yekel gave me, these'll do the trick.

I will be back with our daughter if I have to drag her by the hair through the streets.

And if we pull this off, and we buy her a husband, what then?

A boy who is scared to look at her, who prays for his sins if he happens to see her flesh and, God forbid, becomes stiff... But then she meets an older girl.

A girl who is rough around the edges.

Who promises her soft things.

And Manke knows how to brush on the rouge, how to stand in the light, how to touch Rifkele's hair so lightly, like a feather, like silk... -These things happen.

Well, no squelching once the Katubah is signed.

And what are we selling to the buyer?

Huh? Tissue.

A thin strip of flesh, a spot of blood, a pinch, and it's over.

Our daughter.

A deal's a deal.

♪ -Sir? -I'm Officer Bailey with the 4th precinct. Vice Squad.

And you are?

-I-I-I am the stage manager of the play.

We got a cue coming up here, officer.

-They told me to wait until the end of the play.

Who's this? -That is the playwright, Sholem Asch. He wrote the play.

-Boy, Mr. Asch, I'd like to spend a night in your mind.

Will you ask the company to meet me here when the play is over?

-I will do whatever the law asks me to do, officer.

But I-I-I got a cue coming.

-Are we arrest? -We got a cue coming.

-We don't have a warrant for you, Mr. Asch.

Just the actors.

-Go, go!

-Come in. Come in. Your father won't beat you.

-Don't be afraid, I won't beat you.

Don't be afraid. -Why should I be afraid?

-Rifkele! You ran away with Manke last night.

Don't tell me where she took you.

Daughter, just tell me: Are you still a virgin?

Let me see right into your eyes!

Right into your eyes!

-I don't know.

-What do you mean you don't know!

Are you still -- -Oh, but it's all right for you to do?

I know who you are and what you do!

-No! -I'll tell you what you know.

You know what this Torah cost?! It cost all of the whores downstairs on their backs and their knees for a year!

And for what? Look at me.

God wants me to fail as a father?! -No! -As a husband?! Well, there's one thing I know how to do -- make money.

You are both paying me back! On your backs, on your knees.

Down into the whorehouse with you!

-Help! He's going crazy!

-And take the Holy Scroll with you!

I don't need it anymore!

♪ ♪ -Every time I pick up the paper and I read about a robber who assaults an 80-year-old grandmother, a mother who was at a bar when a fire broke out and consumed all of her children at home, men who were caught together in the park in the light of day -- I lift my face to the heavens and I pray, please, oh Lord, please do not let them be Jewish!

This is what it means to be Jewish in America.

♪ Each day we struggle to uplift the wretched refuse who huddle ten to a room on the Lower East Side, aware of our American duty and privilege as Jews who have long called these shores our home.

We advocate day and night that the restriction on the so called Pollack, Litvak, Greenhorn -- that these quotas be lifted so that those unfortunates of our faith can escape the massacres spreading through Europe.

But none of us can live in a constant vigilance.

So perhaps we go to the theatre for a little relief, to be in a community that laughs together -- and what is in the theatre?! What title glares its name in neon lights on Broadway?

'The God Of Vengeance'! by Sholem Asch!

I expect scurrilous lies to my face from the crackpots who call themselves Christian, but to be hit by a stone in my back by a fellow Jew!

I am not unaware that there is a Jewish underground in our cities -- yes, there are girls who, in fleeing Vilna, Kiev, Galicia, without father or family, ply their flesh to buy their daily bread.

Are there misguided girls among them who turn to each other in confusion?

Of course.

Yes, there are men who buy their bread on the sweat of these women's backs, rather than the honorable sweat of their own.

Of these parasites, I say, send them back!

I know you have heard me denounce this play before.

I acted on my words.

I registered the complaint.

And I am happy to tell you that as of last night, the play has been closed down by the Vice Squad, and all cast members have been arrested for obscenity.

Please join with me in prayer for a righteous verdict.

It is now in the hands of an American jury.

We ask that they defend our good name.

♪ ♪ ♪ -Esther! Esther!

-Hello, my girl.

Oh, Reina, we've missed you.

-I've been so worried... I asked that young Cossack to take me too, but he didn't want nothing of me.

-Are they keeping Dine?

-Harry was paying her bail when I left.

She'll be right behind me.

-Miss McFadden's father sent a fancy shmancy lawyer, she's on her way back to North Carolina.

-When the going gets tough, the goyim get goin'. [ Laughter ] Last night the Vice Squad rounded up girls from the cathouses who hadn't paid up, so around 3:00, 4:00 in the morning all these girls was pouring in.

When I told the ladies I was a thespian... [ Laughter ] There was a lot of jokes the rest of the night.

Ah, sticks and bones, huh?

They was all American girls.

Some of their words weren't so dainty, but their English was perfect.

Lou, in my head, I can hear those English words so good... But then when I open my mouth, it's like... the dust of Poland is in my throat.

[ Laughter ] -I didn't think you'd come.

-God, I couldn't sleep when Lou called me.

Did you get any sleep?

-I haven't slept in weeks. Not since I left your bed.

-Come home with me. I said some things I should not have said.

-You said the truth.

I would not be ashamed to be arrested for acting in the play I believed in.

I am ashamed for acting in this sham I don't believe in.

-You wanted to be on Broadway. Why are you --? -Bedbugs.

You still want me in your bed?

-Ugh!

We are going go home.

We will stand together on the -- the -- -The threshold of our home.

First, you take off clothes.

All.

And then I take off.

All.

So then I, uh, I wash them.

The clothes. -Oh.

-Then for you I make a hot bath, and we both get in the -- the -- -Bath tub. -In our kitchen.

You lean against me and I wash your...hair... [ Laughter ] And then we will see what will happen.

-Reina?

♪ ♪ ♪ -Sorry if some of the fellas were a bit rough on you.

They tagged you for a prohibition agent hell-bent on breaking our bottles.

-I'm a stage manager.

'The God of Vengeance.'

-You could use a drink then.

The finest spirit you can find south of Canada.

It does the trick.

Drink up.

So, what can I do for you -- -Lou.

I just want to say, Mr. O'Neill, what an honor it is, and congratulations on the Pulitzer for your play, 'Anna Christie.'

And-and-and thank you for being willing to testify for our production -- -Oh, hell, I wish I could have.

It's a corker of a play.

-Well, what happened in the courtroom just now?

You left before -- -The court dismissed all the defense witnesses, we're all barred from testifying.

You all are up the creek without a paddle.

-Why? -So your Mr. Asch and your play itself aren't on trial for obscenity -- the production is.

-Yes, sir. But why -- -So I couldn't testify to the wholesome and morally fortifying nature of this production, because I saw it downtown at the Provincetown Players.

They say the script may have been tampered with on it way uptown. -Oh.

-Was the script changed from when I saw it?

-It was. -Damn Harry!

Look he's a smart lawyer -- he's my lawyer.

But he doesn't know his rising action from his purgation.

You only got one chance now, as I see it -- you got to get your Mr. Asch on that defense stand in behalf of his play.

He has got to explain a few basic things -- that when we sell our souls for money, it is a long and lonely life without love.

Your Mr. Asch is a fierce moralist.

They're gonna claim they're closing it because of homo sexualis.

That's bunk.

They're closing it because the play shows that every religion, even Jews, sell God for a price.

Give my admiration to Mr. Asch.

He has crafted a play that shrouds us in a deep, deep fog of human depravity, and then, like a lighthouse, those two girls.

That is a beacon I will remember.

Tell him to keep his head down, don't take any shots to his kidneys, then up, up, left jab, right hook combination!

-Yes, sir. -Better luck on his next play.

-Mr. Asch doesn't write plays anymore, only novels.

-Smart man.

The stage -- I wish I could quit it!

'That ol' devil sea, she make them crazy fools with her dirty tricks!

It's so!'

♪ [ Applause ] ♪ -Husband, that was Lemml on the phone.

-I am trying to write!

It's like a damn circus down here with you and the children.

-The children and I tiptoe around here like it's a damn museum.

You have got to call him back.

This is Lemml. He worships you.

You just can't discard people.

The court has thrown out all the defense witnesses.

I have laid out your clothes. You need to change.

We have to catch the ferry in a half hour.

-This is a nightmare. -Harry will translate what you say if he has to. -Like he translated my play?

-You just need to make an appearance in the courtroom.

-There are massacres happening all across Europe!

And I'm supposed to care about what I wrote when I was in short pants?

-It's still a very important play.

-Madje. Madje, I can't.

I can't. I just can't.

-I wish you'd never gone to Vilna.

I wish you would tell me what you saw.

-I don't want you to know. You're my wife.

Everything is reversed now like a photographic negative.

Our home, our garden, the theatre, the... the streets of America feel very far away.

What is real to me, vivid to me -- I can't get the images out of my head.

It's hard for me to kiss our children at night.

And when as head of our delegation I reported all the atrocities I saw, what was the response from our State Department?

'These things happen.'

-I think you should tell your friends that you're struggling with this.

Tell Lemml. He's wondering where you are.

-No, I have to put myself together.

I don't want people to know I am sitting in my house, weeping.

Will you call Lemml? -Of course.

-I'll write a letter to the court.

-Yes. Your words are powerful.

-I have to write something to change the way gentiles see us, to make them see that we are one people with one common root, or they will rip us out, root by root, from the Earth until we are no more.

It's coming.

It's coming here.

-No. No, it won't happen here.

We're safe here.

♪ ♪ -The defendants have been found guilty of presenting an indecent, obscene, and immoral play, exhibition and drama.

Although the theatrical profession is not as exalted as the other literary arts... [ Laughter ] This judgment still signals that the People of New York State are entitled to morally upright, wholesome American drama.

The time has come when the drama must be purified of eastern exoticism, its sexual pollution and its corruptive attitude towards the family.

Court dismissed.

♪ ♪ ♪ -Oh!

-Sorry, Mrs. Madje.

We don't want to disturb your husband.

-Oh, my God! Lemml!

I didn't expect -- Are You all right?

-I been better.

The world spins on.

-How long have you been here?

-I wanted to see what the sunrise was like from Staten Island.

-Come in, Lemml. I am putting on the coffee.

-No. Thank you, I do not want to step over your -Lemml. Please. -I might be a A dead soul inside a stage manager.

-Lemml! My good man!

Please come in.

-I don't think I am your good man anymore, Mr. Asch.

-Well, then, may I join you?

[Scoffs] -Please yourself.

The time to join me was yesterday.

Or the day before. That was the time to join me.

-I owe you an apology. -You owe me nothing.

The letter you wrote the court was very beautiful.

You got powerful words, Mr. Asch.

-I know you still think of me as the young firebrand you saw the night we met.

Every day since the first day we read it out loud, I have been under attack.

Mr. Peretz was right, the play is a stone.

-I didn't expect you to defend the play.

I expected you to defend us.

Do you know, Mr. Asch, the play has ended Mr. Schildkraut's chances at the great roles in theatre?

He will never get the chance on an American stage again.

-He is a giant on the stages of Europe.

-If he stays in this country, the best he can hope for on American stages is to play the Stage Jew.

-At least he'll make a living.

None of you will be out of work in -- -How dare you! We are not doing your play for the money!

I could make as much with my sewing!

Why did you agree to those cuts?

You cut the love between those two girls.

There's only sex left! -I told Harry and Rudolph to do what they want. It is my play!

-And mine. It's my play too.

-Excuse me, Missus, the play belongs to the people who labor in it!

And the audience who set aside the time to be there in person!

-The truth is, I never checked the cuts.

I can barely read English.

I can barely speak!

A writer of world literature -- I couldn't walk into that court in front of all those American reporters -- they would have laughed at me!

Can you imagine if I opened my mouth to speak?

I would sound just like you.

-I am done being in a country that laughs at the way I speak.

They say America is free?

What do you know here is free?! All over Europe we did this play, no Cossacks shutting us down.

Berlin, Moscow, Odessa, everywhere there is theatre!

You don't have the money for a ticket?

Tickets over there cost less than a cup of tea.

Then you dress up nice in your best coat, maybe you stand in the second gallery, but you can say to your grandchildren, 'I saw the great Rudolph Schildkraut in Sholem Asch's 'The God of Vengeance'!' I am leaving this country.

-No, no, wait -- -Lemml, the places you still care for have changed... -No!

You have washed your hands clean of this... tailor from Balut!

Who doesn't stand up for the name on his title page?

I am taking the manuscript in Yiddish with me.

Mr. Asch!

Your play, it changed my life!

-Lemml, wait, wait -- -No, no, no, I am going home!

-Listen!

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Scat singing ] ♪ -♪ Of all the boys I've known and I've known some ♪ ♪ Until I first met you I was lonesome ♪ ♪ And when you came in sight, dear, my heart grew light ♪ ♪ And this old world seemed new to me ♪ -♪ You're really swell I have to admit, you ♪ ♪ Deserve expressions that really fit you ♪ ♪ So I've racked my brain, hoping to explain ♪ ♪ All the things that you do to me ♪ ♪ Please let me explain ♪ Again I'll explain ♪ It means you're the fairest in the land ♪ -♪ I could say 'Bella, Bella' -I would like to speak to the French Ambassador.

-♪ How grand you are!

[ Scat singing ] ♪ -Excuse me, do you speak Yiddish?

Hebrew? Polish?

I would like to talk to the ambassador.

I'm sure he's busy. He will want to make time for me.

I am a Yiddish writer well known throughout Europe.

I come from Warsaw.

Yes, What? Do I know Sholem Asch.

Of course!

I gave him notes in the salon during the first reading of 'The God of' -- Would you please ask if I might talk to the -- [ Scat singing ] ♪ -Dear Madje, dear Sholem, We opened 'The God of Vengeance' last night to thunderous applause!

-Thank you so much for the opening night care package!

-Thank you so much for the new book, I love your novels!

-The authorities are cramming in Jews from Germany into every spare inch of space.

Sholem Asch has said that I was an inspiration for -- -Dear Sholem, You must tell your wife, my dearest friend in all the world, that I feel rich!

I have a warm coat and a little food.

-The authorities have walled us into the old Balut district to the North -- -I can still see the city park across the street! -Sholem Asch -We are still performing 'The God of Vengeance: in all kinds of spaces. -Basements.

-Cafes. -The old children's hospital.

-The authorities forbid us to perform plays!

-Goodbye Shakespeare! -Chekhov!

-George Bernard Shaw! -Songs, dances, skits only six nights as week!

Nakhmen is learning French.

-Oh, Mrs. Asch, most of all I want to lie in the grass again!

-Smell the grass! -Nakhmen is learning Spanish!

-Nakhmen is learning Chinese!

I have been waiting for three days in a very long line.

Please!

Please! Do not close the gates before I -- ♪ ♪ -My dear Asch, it's been a long time since we read your brilliant little play in the living room.

A lot of Yiddish water has flowed over the Polish dam.

It is hard for me to ask you: the authorities have confiscated our passports.

Is there any way you might put in a word to the consulate to make an exception for me?

♪ -Lemml... I hope I may still call myself your friend.

My letters to you have all been returned to sender.

If you get this, please respond?

♪ ♪ ♪ -All right, all right, people!

This will make a stage!

-Lemml, can we use this?

-Uh, Mrs. Gitla won't mind.

Chana, this will be the sitting room... Halina, over here the stairs... -And here's the curtain for Miss Manke's place of business.

-Yes! Vera, Excellent. -Let's hang the lamps!

Matches? Lemml? -Mendel!

Don't waste a single one.

Avram, no, let me do that. You get ready.

Otto? Do we have an audience?

-A few souls... -Let's hope they brought some food.

-Or some money.

-All right, may I have your attention please, everyone draw near.

Five minutes to the top of Act II. Come, come.

We are a...few players...we are missing a few of the cast.

Chana, remember to keep your shawl on over your hair when you are playing one of the working girls downstairs.

Mendel, Avram, you wear the shawls when you play the girls.

-Yes, darling!

-Chana, Chana, when you enter as Rifkele -- -Without the shawl. -Yeah. Halina?

-[ Coughing ] -Are you feeling strong enough?

-Then you play Manke tonight, Manke only.

We are not wetting the shawls in the rain scene.

Okay? I will read the stage directions.

As it is, in your nightgown, you can catch your death of cold.

-I'm fine.

-All right, people.

-I could veyn!

-Esn! Everyone, take, take... -Shall I let them in?

Places for Act II.

-Ladies and gentlemen, let's have a round of applause for our band!

Making the clarinet wail, we have Mr. Mayer Balsam!

[ Applause ] On violin, our very own Miss Nelly Friedman!

And on accordion, the dexterous Mr. Moriz Godowsky!

♪ Welcome to our show tonight.

As you know, six nights a week we gather together to sing songs we know and love, to dance.

♪ To escape our daily lives.

But on the seventh night, God created Yiddish theatre.

First, let me give our thanks to Mrs. Gitla Bronowski for letting us use this spacious attic for our show.

Thank you, Mrs. Gitla!

Tonight we are going to perform Act II of the greatest play ever written by one of our countrymen, Mr. Sholem Asch.

'The God of Vengeance.'

As you all know, as a young man I was privileged to hear the first reading of this masterpiece in Warsaw, and it changed my life.

Last week we presented Act I.

God willing, next week we will all still be here to perform Act III.

Does anyone here need to know what happens in the first act?

So you know last week Act I happened upstairs in Yekel's living room -- tonight takes place in another location in Yekel's house: the cellar.

Manke, the star of his stable, is forming a friendship, yes?

With the daughter.

Okay, that's all we need to know.

Uh... Speaking of gelt... should tonight's performance move you, we would appreciate any contribution, a mark or two, any food you may be able to spare.

And if tonight's performance does not please you, please throw food!

Kugel! Rugelach, anyone?

We have made slight cuts to the script so that we do not break the curfew.

And in tonight's performance, in the role of Manke, played so brilliantly the last few years by our very own Ada Borenstein, Halina Cygansky is stepping in tonight.

To set the scene: it is late night in the ghetto.

It is raining.

Without further ado, 'The God of Vengeance,' Act II.

-Ah! Rifkele!

Rifkele! -Manke! Manke!

Did you call me? -Yes, Rifkele.

Come, we'll stand in the May rain, we'll splash water over each other and get wet down to our skin.

-Shh! Speak softly!

-I'll loosen your hair.

I want to wash your hair in the rain.

-I heard you tapping and I tiptoed so quietly Papa couldn't hear me.

-The night is so beautiful, and the rain is so fresh and everything is so sweet in this air.

-Shh, shh!

My father beat me.

-He won't hurt you anymore.

♪ ♪ [ Laughing ] ♪ ♪ -Are you shivering, Rifkele?

-I'm cold! -Here, let me wrap my body around you.

-That's nice.

[ Sniffs ] -Oh, you smell like... grass... in the meadows.

♪ You let me wash your breasts in the rain.

-I did.

-Your breasts are so pale.

So soft.

-Manke.

I want you to teach me.

♪ -Wait, wait, wait, wait... ♪ ♪ Let me brush your hair, like a bride's hair, in two long braids.

Do you want me to, Rifkele?

Do you want us to?

-Yes.

Yes.

♪ -You are my bride.

You take my breath away!

We sit at the shabbes table after your parents have gone to sleep.

We're alone.

We're shy.

But you are my bride and I am your bridegroom.

-Manke, I want you to take me.

-Are you sure?

-I want to taste you.

♪ ♪ -Isn't it good, Rifkele?

Isn't it good?

-God, yes.

♪ -Now we lie together in one bed.

No one will see.

Would you like to stay all night with me in one bed?

-I do.

I do.

-I can't breathe.

♪ ♪ ♪ Come to me.

Come to me.

♪ -I'm scared.

♪ ♪ -Please don't let this be the ending.

-Shh-shh!

[ Gasping ] [ Women's panting recedes ] [ Silence ] [ Chorus singing 'Oklahoma' ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Silence ] -Everything's all packed up.

When we get to London we can tell them where to send the furniture.

We'll have a nice visit with our daughter.

We'll figure it out.

-We could just leave it.

Everything.

-I told that nice young man he could stop by for a quick visit before we left. -Who?

-The one who is producing your play.

-Now?! -We are inviting him over our shvel while we still have one.

[ Knocking ] -That's him.

-Rome is burning and you want to put on a play!

-Rome is always burning!

[ Laughter ] Last night you said you'd consider it.

Sholem, please.

Give him just a moment of your time.

-I am beside myself with anticipation.

-Be nice.

-Thank you, Mrs. Asch, um, I promise I won't keep your husband long.

Mr. Asch. Uh... Can I -- Can I just say what a great honor this is for me?

-So you are a lover of Yiddish literature, Mister...? -John Rosen. John. My grandparents speak Yiddish, but my parents -- -Your parents wanted you to grow up American.

This story I have heard.

Madje tells me that you got into Yale!

It is easier for a camel he should go through the eye of a needle than a Jew he should enter the kingdom of Yale!

[ Audience laughs, John laughing ] Madje has read your new translation of the play.

I have not.

She tells me it is good.

-Well, I have brought you the most recent copy.

I know I am young, but I am starting a new theatre company for the great classic works of the stage that ask urgent moral questions!

-In Connecticut?

Well, good luck with that, young man!

-'The God of Vengeance' has the urgency of today!

-I want to bring it to American audiences just as you wrote it -- -Young man, I have to tell you, I no longer care what is done on the stages of this country.

Theatre companies are started by young men who have the luxury to care about where they live.

Or the false belief that they will be allowed to live in the place they care about.

A little invite from the Congress.

The House of the Un-American Activities.

In 1905 I was attracted by Socialists.

We are all brothers!

-Mr. Asch, you must fight this!

-Mr. John, have you ever lost audience members?

Did you watch them walk up the aisle in the middle of your play?

-Yes! That's happened all the time to me at Yale.

Townspeople fleeing up the aisles!

-Ach.

I too have lost audience members.

Six million... have left the theatre.

I am sorry to waste your time.

I will not let this play be produced.

No more.

I wrote it in a different time.

The time has changed on me.

You must excuse me -- the way out you know.

In the words of a much wiser man, if I was you, burn it!

-Mr. Asch, I may have to wait many, many years, but I am producing your play.

♪ ♪ -Rifkele!

Rifkele!

♪ [ Both shouting excitedly ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Both laughing ] ♪ [ Applause ] [ Applause ] visit