Based on the Play by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Conceived and Adapted by Robert Brustein
Lyrics by Arnold Weinstein
Composed, Adapted and Orchestrated by Hankus Netsky
Musical Arrangements and Additional Music by Zalmen Mlotek
Editorial Supervision by David Gordon
Music Direction by Zalmen Mlotek
Directed and Choreographed by David Gordon

In the town of Chelm, a village of fools, the naive beadle Shlemiel is sent on a pilgrimage to spread the wisdom of the local sages.  His simple-minded folly turns an already absurd world hilariously, and redemptively, upside down. Half sad-sack clown, half accidental messiah, Shlemiel’s charm is in his childlike innocence, and the charm of this musical is in its playfulness and unapologetic, unalloyed delight.  With a cast of eight, a live klezmer band and topsy-turvy set, it gently mocks the lavishness of other musicals. As John Lahr said “Shlemiel is busting its buttons with joy.”
Shlemiel the First, a joyous klezmer musical, received rave reviews after premiering in 1994 at the American Repertory Theatre and went on to delight audiences nationwide, including Serious Fun! at Lincoln Center among other prestigious venues.
This will be the first New York revival of Shlemiel the First.
Shlemiel the First is performed in English.  The running time is 1 hour and 50 minutes.