New Yiddish Rep (NYR) is bringing back by popular demand the controversial classic “God of Vengeance” for a special encore running for two weeks at Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th Street, from Tues March 14 to Monday March 27.  The break-out production, which was a NY Times Critics’ Pick and sold out its limited run at La Mama in December-January, will be restaged and adapted by director Aaron Beall.

“A timely revival! The play is remarkable!”  Charles Isherwood NY TIMES

“Astonishing revival! Engrossing to watch! The audience will truly be left speechless!” Jed Ryan HUFFINGTON POST

The first American revival in Yiddish in decades of Sholem Asch’s shocking and ahead-of-its-time drama, New Yiddish Rep’s “God of Vengeance” earned wide praise for fearlessly addressing a number of religious vs. secular stresses which are no less challenging today than when the play premiered in 1907.  (Charges of indecency were leveled against the play when it premiered in English on Broadway in 1923.)

As it did at La MaMa, New Yiddish Rep will use the production to spark conversations among widely diverse audiences about the enormous conflicts between organized religions that demand strict adherence to social and religious norms, and those who espouse personal freedom.  A number of talk-backs are planned.

Reprising their lead roles are Shane Baker as the tortured brothel owner Yankl Tchaftchovitch, and David Mandlebaum, as the morally opportunistic Reb Eli. The production’s unusually diverse cast features three former Hasids (in their professional stage debuts) — Luzer Twersky, Melissa Weisz and Eli Rosen.  Also featured is the noted Yiddish theatre scholar and actress Caraid O’Brien, who replaces Eleanor Reissa as the brothel owner’s wife Sarah, and Yiddish theatre newcomer Shayna Schmidt, as the sexually
curious Rifkele, played “with lovely sensitivity” according to Charles Isherwood of the NY Times.

Also returning to the cast of 11 are Amy Coleman, and Mira Kessler. The new production design team will be announced.  Beall – a co-founder of the NY International Fringe Festival and for several years the executive director of Todo con Nada — directed the notorious production of “God of Vengeance” (in English) at Show World on 42nd Street.

“Got fun nekome,” tells the wrenching story of a brothel owner’s attempt to marry off his daughter to lead a dignified religious life, only to have her drawn back into the life of sin in which she grew up.  In addition to being highly explosive for its conflicted view of Judaism, the show is credited with presenting the first lesbian kiss on Broadway when its English premiere was presented at the Apollo Theatre on West 42nd Street in 1923. It is the subject of Paula Vogel’s “Indecent,” which enjoyed a critically acclaimed extended run at The Vineyard last spring, and which begins Broadway previews at The Cort on April 4.

New Yiddish Rep presents modern theater for diverse contemporary audiences (especially non-Yiddish-speakers) in Yiddish.  The company’s “Waiting for Godot” (2013 & 2014), and last season’s “Death of a Salesman,” which was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards (Best Revival of a Play and Best Actor
in a Play) were both widely praised for illuminating classics of the modern theatre by doing them in Yiddish.

The notorious and ground-breaking “Got fun nekome,” which many consider one of 20th century’s greatest plays, in any language, ran for a five-week Off-Broadway run at La MaMa’s First Floor Theatre, from December 22 to January 22.  The NY Times Critics’ Pick opened on Christmas Day and played 35 performances.  The special encore runs for three weeks and 15 performances at the Theatre at St. Clement’s, from March 14 to 27. Performances are Tues, Wed, Thur, Fri at 7pm; Sat at 2pm & 7pm; Sun at 2pm
& 7pm, with no performances on Saturday March 18, and an added performance on Monday March 27 at 7pm.

“God of Vengeance” is performed in Yiddish with English supertitles. Running time: 2:30 with two intermissions.  Tickets are $36.  For tickets and more information visit http://www.newyiddishrep.org/, or call 800-838-3006