Mazl Tov is being published in English for the first time, in an expert translation by Harvey Fink, under the joint auspices of Jewish Currents magazine and the Workmen’s Circle of Northern California, Branch 1054. Mazl Tov depicts the hijinks of a traveling bookseller, a kitchen cook, and the friends who pass in and out of the downstairs workrooms of a fancy mansion. In his introduction, Joel Schechter, author of Radical Yiddish, says Mazl Tov is “one of Sholem Aleichem’s finest one-act comedies. The play toys with ideas that were controversial and new in 1899,” ideas that “raise the possibility of a new, changed world, where oppressed Jews and others consigned to the serving class will no longer sit and wonder why they, too, shouldn’t stand up, sing, dance for joy and feast like their employers.” Mazl Tov serves as a perfect introduction to the great writer’s least-known creations: his works for the stage.
Mazl-tov: A Comedy in One Act by Sholem Aleichem, English translation by Harvey Fink, introduction by Joel Schechter (New York: Blue Thread/Jewish Currents and Workmen’s Circle of Northern California, 2013), 35 pp. [ISBN 978-0-9890000-3-1] Price: $11. Postage free in U.S., $2.50 to Canada and $5 abroad.