In one of the courtyard theaters at the Santa Monica Playhouse, rightly named The Other Space, Yiddish culture is thriving with energy and aplomb in "Yiddish She-Devils," an enchanting show written and directed by Nicole Berger. This wonderful musical repertory theater combines a medieval Jewish folktale played through a 1940s’ Jewish radio program.

She-Devils from the underworld cause a ruckus and instigate all kinds of scandal, shame and outrage in the Shtetl, (Jewish village), as morality, decency and ethics are questioned. But who can keep their eyes or hands off these beauties?

This is captivating theater with an incredibly talented cast. Clifford Tasner has created lyrics and music to match this Yiddish state of mind. Technical Director George Vennes and the staff are to be highly commended.

On opening night, we were privileged to see Ed Asner make a special appearance, singing "Everything Wonderful in Yiddish." Asner’s presence was to honor the playhouse and its special Jewish legacy – Santa Monica Playhouse Jewish Heritage Program and Yiddishkayt L.A., which has been showing Yiddish theater for many years.

The show will continue playing Fridays and Saturdays through June 5 at 8 p.m., Sunday matinees May 1, 8 and 29 at 2 p.m., and Sundays May 15, 22 and June 5 at 6 p.m. (There will be no performances May 13, 14, 20 and 21.)

Here is a little Yiddish to get you through the day: Mishugana is a crazy person, klutz is someone who’s uncoordinated and schlep is to drag something. That said, it’s high time to stop patschkieing (fooling around) and get your toches (bottom) to see this charming live stage show.

Besides featuring the Yiddish side of art, Santa Monica Playhouse is a paean to small theater, proudly celebrating its 43rd anniversary. Its Save the Playhouse campaign works hard to ensure these hallowed doors stay open.

The Santa Monica Playhouse is located at 1211 4th St., (310) 394-9779, ext. 1. For more information, visit

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