Monish: A Musical Tale of Talmud and Temptation

Monish,” by I.L. Peretz, is the story of an irascible Satan, his irresistible wife Lilith, and a young Jew who just wants to be left alone with his books. This hour of music, dance, and rhymes is inspired by Peretz’s classic poem. Created and performed by Big Galut(e) Jewish music ensemble, this production features an original score of klezmer music and tangos, an English text in verse, and a trio of dancers bringing the characters of this humorous and poignant tale to life.

The score was created by Sanford Margolis, Professor Emeritus of Piano and former instructor of Yiddish at Oberlin College. The music is performed by Big Galut(e), winner of the Simcha Prize at the 2017 International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam. The ensemble, recently featured at the Glimmerglass Festival and New York Klezmer Series, has been described by critics as "soulful and unselfconsciously poignant", "jubilant", and "a real treat for open minds".

Writer/narrator Sasha Margolis is violinist for Big Galut(e) and author of the novel The Tsimbalist. Choreographer Colby Thomas has performed widely throughout Europe and America in productions of Lloyd Webber, Offenbach, Bernstein, Sondheim, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Other Big Galut(e) members include clarinetist Robin Seletsky, guitarist Michael Leopold, accordion player Mark Rubinstein, and bassist Richard Sosinsky. Dancers Carolina Villaraos, Katherine Henly, and Cole Francum are veterans of the Glimmerglass Festival.