- Keni Liptzin
Keni Liptzin (1863 (or earlier) – 1916), surname sometimes spelled Lipzin, was a star in the early years of
Yiddish theater, probably the greatest female dramatic star of the first great era of Yiddish theater in New York City.
Zhytomyr, Ukraine, Liptzin had no formal education. She ran away from an arranged marriage, running to Smila, where she was first discovered (originally for her singing voice) and put on stage in by Israel Rosenbergin 1880. She originally used the stage name Keni Sonyes, but after marrying theatrical prompter Volodya Liptzin in Londonin the mid-1880s, she took his last name.
Sonya Adler's death in London in 1886, she played dramatic roles opposite Jacob Adlerand joined Adler when he came to America, playing with him in Chicago, before travelling to New York City in 1889, where she played first in the company of Moishe Finkeland David Kessler, then renting her own theater. She was most famous for playing the lead roles in two Jacob Gordinplays, " Di shkhite" and " Mirele Efros", the former an attack on arranged marriage, the latter a story about an embittered matriarch who is finally reconciled again to her family. Abraham Cahan, editor of the "Jewish Daily Forward", said of her performance in "Mirele Efros", "Liptzin's pride, her humor, her shrewdness, come not from Lithuania, but from Shakespeare," describing her as "...a Lear... a queen..."
In her own theater, she also put on works by
Victor Hugo, Alphonse Daudet, Gerhart Hauptmann, and Leonid Andreyev.
* Adler, Jacob, "A Life on the Stage: A Memoir", translated and with commentary by Lulla Rosenfeld, Knopf, New York, 1999, ISBN 0-679-41351-0, 157, 258, 258-261 (commentary), 361 (commentary), 371 (commentary), 380 (commentary).
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Keni Sonyes (Maiden name)
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Ukrainian born Yidish theatre actress, mainly in London and New York
DATE OF BIRTH=1863 or earlier
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=1916
PLACE OF DEATH=
New York City, United Sates
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