“I Did it My Way in Yiddish (in English)” at MetroStage in Alexandria

By Sara Dudley Brown, Theatre Editor

Deb Filler now playing at MetroStage
Photo by Chris Banks

Have you ever wanted to hear your old favorite songs from the not too distant past reimagined in Yiddish? Well, if that’s your desire, I have the perfect show for you! Deb Filler, a Jewish comic performer, returning to MetroStage after thirteen years, will make you howl with delight when you hear a whole raft of characters, including Mick Jagger, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, not to mention the Beatles, singing their greatest hits in Yiddish as interpreted as only Deb can do! And as she will tell you, her father believed that if the Beatles had sung their songs in Yiddish, they would have been REALLY famous. She does, by the way, translate everything from Yiddish into English–not to worry! You won’t miss anything.

Deb Filler is a master storyteller and an enthusiastic guitarist and singer, pulling you deep into her family circle as she becomes her mother, grandmother, and father, and relates how these lovable characters passed on to her their love of music in all forms, especially classical music. Deb obviously soaked up everything they offered in the form of great stories. She also tells of her encounters with the three Lennys: Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Cohen and Lenny Kravitz. Each Lenny taught her something new or brought new meaning to her life through her friendship or meeting with each man–fascinating.

Deb Filler now playing at MetroStage
Photo by Chris Banks

The show includes a lovely short film entitled “Mr. Bernstein” by director Francine Zuckerman, and written by Deb Filler and Guy Hamling. This film has been screened in film festivals around the world and has won many prizes. I don’t want to give too much away, because it’s a delightful and touching film, but it deals with her father, a Holocaust survivor, his unexpected encounter with Leonard Bernstein in a displaced persons camp and his challah bread. Years later, Deb actually by chance meets Leonard Bernstein herself and at Mr. Bernstein’s request brings him several loaves of her father’s challah bread. Well, you just have to experience this with her! No dry eyes in this audience!

Deb is from New Zealand, but currently calls Toronto her home. Her accents and impersonations are spot on and funny, touching and entirely memorable. Want to know what’s also memorable? The smell of challah bread baking on stage in her show, “Filler Up” in 2005. I will NEVER forget that she made and baked bread during her delightfully hilarious show, then served it warm with “buttah” at the end of the show to the entire audience. For that show, Deb got a Helen Hayes Nomination for Outstanding Actress—27 characters. Who knows what’s going to happen with this show. Now, that’s show business!

Credits: Directed by John Shooter, written by Deb Filler, stage managed by Michael Sharp, lighting designed by Yehuda Fisher and Alex Keen, and sound/projections are by Jeremiah Hosie.

Performances of “I Did It My Way in Yiddish (in English)” are Thurs, Fri at 8, Sat at 3 and 8, Sun at 3 and 7. All tickets are $45, or purchase 3 or more for $40 each. For tickets call 703-548-9044 or go online to “I Did It My Way in Yiddish (in English)” is about an hour and a half with no intermission and runs through April 29.

Sara Dudley Brown

Sara Dudley Brown is the Theatre Editor of The Zebra Press. She graduated with a music degree in voice from Rollins College Conservatory of Music in Winter Park Florida. After several years of professional singing and acting (Disney World and The Kenley Theatres as well as voice-over and film here in the DMV area), trying and failing miserably at being Barbra Streisand (the post was already filled), Sara decided to take her lifelong love of music and the theatre to create a profession which would use everything she had learned theatrically and musically over the years—corporate event production and management. She began with department store events, working for the May Company putting on events in 18 stores, and went on to found her own corporate event management company. She recently retired after 30 years of mounting mega events internationally and domestically for some of the world’s top aviation manufacturers. Now Sara is once again using her years of theatrical work as well as her musical training to review Metro Area professional theatre productions for The Zebra Press. She thinks this is a much more sane way to live and never tires of the excitement of a theatre opening!

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