The screening of the musical doccie 'Leah, Teddy & the Mandolin' took place on 26 June as part of the Chicago YIVO Society 2018 Summer Festival of Yiddish Culture.
“The comments from the audience (both during the lively Q&A and afterwards one-on-one) were incredibly positive”, reports Alan Todres, who provided background to the production and led the Q&A. “One question that came up more than once was whether a DVD version was available for sale, and my advice was to refer to the web site (click here).
“Now that I’ve checked, I’m told that a DVD is being planned for next year, but the focus this year has been submissions to various film festivals. So check into the website and you’ll be able to get more information”.
“The good news is that the movie is available for showing to other groups, and I explained that this would need to be done formally as Chicago YIVO had done” writes Alan, who checked in with Heather Blumenthal, the Co-Producer of the movie. You can e-mail her at email@example.com
Selwyn Marcus, ex-Cape Town, came to see his cousin David Gordon, in the photo, who participated as a soloist in all the ten Yiddish Song Festivals (2001 - 2010). The other photo is of Jill Todres and Selwyn Marcus.
There were other ex-Capetonians in the audience - one in fact was at Wynberg Boys High School at the same time as Alan and Philip Todres.
Julian Martinson remembered Hymie Todres, a cousin, who had a pharmacy in Cape Town. The photo is of Julian, his daughter, who remembered buying candy at the pharmacy, with Jill & Alan.
The Capetonians could all attest to the fact that the Cape Town Jewish population is small - at about 14 to 15 000 people - so that the ongoing support for the Yiddish Song Festival is quite amazing. The festival attracted full houses in two shows at the Baxter Theatre - that’s an audience of 1 300 each year.
Alan also showed an 11 min. clip of the premiere of ‘Leah, Teddy & the Mandolin’ at The Labia Theatre, an art movie house, in Cape Town. The response of the audience members who were interviewed, was similarly enthusiastic to those in Chicago.
There was laughter and yes, some tears were shed, remembering what was…. The songs are just so evocative and emotive!
A sheynem dank to Chicago YIVO Society 2018 Summer Festival of Yiddish Culture for inviting Leah and Teddy (and his mandolin) to Chicago. And thanks to Alan and Jill who together contributed to the warm welcome!
PHOTOS: Marcey Siegel