The Darling of Second Avenue: 1923-1930

Molly in Shmendrick, Second Avenue Theatre, NY, 1924

Yonkel (objecting to a local promoter): "I didn’t shlep Molly all over Europe for two years to come back to America to play in Baltimore!"

On their return to New York, Yonkel kept writing songs and shows to highlight Molly’s skills. Molly sold out night after night, quickly becoming a sensation on Second Avenue and beyond.  Between 1925 and 1929, she opened eight new plays and took them on tour, performing for Jewish theater audiences from coast to coast.  Molly’s scrapbooks testify to her incessant schedule and the outpouring of rave reviews.

In 1929, Broadway called and Molly made her first appearance "uptown" at the Palace with Sophie Tucker in a vaudeville-style revue.  Tucker played in Yiddish and Molly performed her own material translated into English.  As a performer, Molly relished her success in front of a new and often critical audience. 

"From Christmas 1923 to 1925 we were working … in a number of plays – Yonkele, Tzipke, Shmendrick, Gypsy Girl, Molly Dolly and The Little Devil.  Then, in 1926, we went on to do … very good business – Mamale, Raizele, Oy Is Dus a Madel, followed by The Circus Girl."

 

Humor writer and comic artist Harry Hirshfield reviews Molly in the Little Czar, Scrapbook 1923-31.

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