A Chanukah celebration of Jewish food and song with ‘ESN’ from NYC’s National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) is dishing up some exciting new Chanukah programming as part of its 107th season, with an online celebration of Jewish food through song and cooking demonstrations. The special Chanukah edition of ESN: Songs from the Kitchen is a feel-good event that is intended to remind you of the value of family and the deliciousness of food, in the belief that good family doesn’t come without good food, and vice versa.

Yiddish diva Adrienne Cooper (1946-2011) helped conceive the original performance of ESN two decades ago. This latest installment is created and performed by Frank London and Lorin Sklamberg of the internationally renowned Grammy Award-winning Yiddish music group The Klezmatics, along with fourth-generation Yiddish singer/songwriter Sarah Mina Gordon (Cooper’s daughter).

London is a New York-based trumpeter, composer, and co-founder of The Klezmatics in 1986. Throughout his prolific career, he has performed and recorded with a wide array of such popular artists as Pink Floyd, Itzhak Perlman, Celia Cruz, Lester Bowie, and LL Cool J. He has composed numerous scores for dance, theater and film, and is featured on more than 500 recordings.

A co-founding member of The Klezmatics, Sklamberg also teaches Yiddish song from São Paulo to St. Petersburg. Since 2000, he has served as the Sound Archivist of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, for whom he co-curates the Ruth Rubin Legacy website featuring field recordings of the renowned folklorist’s collection of some 3,000 Yiddish folk songs.

Gordon grew up immersed in innovative Yiddish culture and has collaborated with London, The Klezmatics, and other artists to pen original Yiddish songs sung around the world. She is one of the founding organizers of Yiddish New York and teaches Yiddish song at KlezKanada, in addition to having fronted the rock band Yiddish Princess.

All three are not only accomplished musical artists and experts in Yiddish language and culture, but they can also cook! ESN is directed by Stephanie Lynne Mason and edited by Adam B. Shapiro, with videography by Merete Muenter.

Running Time: Approximately 45 minutes, without intermission.

ESN: Songs from the Kitchen streams through Monday, December 6, 2021 (the last night of Chanukah), on the NYTF website. Viewing is free, but donations are welcome.

Previous articleImagination Stage begins in-person season with safety paramount
Next articleThree top holiday picks for the upcoming week from NYC
Deb Miller
Deb Miller (PhD, Art History) is the Senior Correspondent and Editor for New York City, where she grew up seeing every show on Broadway. She is an active member of the Outer Critics Circle and served for more than a decade as a Voter, Nominator, and Judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. Outside of her home base in NYC, she has written and lectured extensively on the arts and theater throughout the world (including her many years in Amsterdam, London, and Venice, and her extensive work and personal connections with Andy Warhol and his circle) and previously served as a lead writer for Stage Magazine, Phindie, and Central Voice.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here