Talk about bashert. This past Sunday while biking in the back meadows of Prospect Park, I noticed a curious gathering of musicians, performers, puppets, and leisurely spectators starting to take form. In that serendipitous New York kind of way, little did I know that I had stumbled upon something magical, and it was a mob. A mob? Yes, but this was the Sukkos Mob.
In the spirit of Sukkot, this gang of creators, under the direction of Jenny Romaine of Great Small Works, take performance out of the black box and into the streets, parks and other public spaces. Performed eight times throughout the week of Sukkot, this year’s original production, sponsored by Tablet, is Don’t Let the Sheep Get in Your Eyes!, “an intimate science fiction story knit together with authentic sheeps’ wool and music.” Aside from an endearing and thought-provoking storyline, there’s music, puppets, yiddish and dance moves. Sounds bizarrely intriguing? It is!
To add to the serendipity of it all, I spotted familiar faces on the patch of grass/stage: drummer and percussionist Kenny Wollesen (whose Wollesonic Lab created the soundscape for the piece), Shane Baker (Yiddish actor, director of the Congress for Jewish Culture, and Russ & Daughters regular) and David Mandelbaum (founder and artistic director of the New Yiddish Repertory Theater).
Without giving too much away, there is a surprising and appetizing thread to Don’t Let the Sheep Get in Your Eyes! that will make anyone who loves Russ & Daughters smile … and salivate. All I’ll say is that for next year’s Sukkos Mob, Russ & Daughters will have to provide the herring.
It’s not too late to see it for yourself. The Sukkos Mob will be performing two more times this week.
Wed, 9/29 at 9:00pm
Sarah Lawrence College (on Andrew’s Lawn), Bronxville
Thurs, 9/30 at noon
Columbus Circle/Central Park
- Niki Russ Federman