An Evening of Schmoozing and Songs with
Steven Skybell and Zalmen MlotekYiddish with a Texas accent?
In retrospect, it seems quite a stretch, importing a guy from the decidedly un-Yiddishkeit shtetl that is Lubbock, Texas, to Anatevka. But Steven Skybell, who’d played Tevye at Yale College, was so set on playing the ever-questioning milkman on a professional stage that when he heard about a new production being mounted by the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene (NYTF) he stretched the truth and told his agent he spoke Yiddish. Now, he’s hooked on Yiddish music and will join us in the tradition of minnesängers, Jewish troubadours, and in conversation with Zalmen Mlotek.
STEVEN SKYBELL has had a long stage career including major roles in Wicked, The Full Monty, Pal Joey, Compassion, Fiddler on the Roof (2015 revival) and numerous Shakespeare plays. He received an Obie Award for his Off-Broadway role in Antigone in New York and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Tevye in the 2019 production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish.
“His freedom with the language allows spontaneity and realism in his performance. When Skybell speaks, you feel as though you understand every word, even if you don’t speak Yiddish.”
– Ruthie Fierberg for Playbill
“Steven Skybell is becoming a Tevye that rivals greats like Zero Mostel and Herschel Bernardi. His powerful vocals, from the joyful opening “Traditsye” (“Tradition”) to the melancholy wedding song “Tog-ayn, Tog-oys” (“Sunrise, Sunset”), command your attention almost as much as his prayerful but pleading conversations with God.”
– Barbara Schuler for Newsday
“Happily, Steven Skybell is as satisfying a Teyve as I’ve ever seen. If his milkman were philosophizing on a Broadway rather than an Off-Broadway stage, he would surely be a contender for Best Actor in a Musical performance.”
– Elyse Sommer on CurtainUp
“Steven Skybell ranks with the best Tevye’s… It is a Tevye for our time as we all wrestle with a changing and frightening world.”
– Christopher Byrne for Gay City News