If Cows Could
performed by: Allan Merovitz
Produced by: Artword Theatre Directed by: Ronald Weihs
Simcha Klezmer Band: Jarl Anderson, Ronald
Dates: Previews Wed June
20, opens Thurs June 21, runs to Saturday July 14, 2001
Times: Wednesday to Saturday 8 pm, Sundays 2:30 and 7:30
Tickets: Fri & Sat $27 reg / $22 sen/std; Wed, Thur, Sun
$22 reg/ $17 sen/std; children $10
Canada Day Special, Sunday July 1: 2:30 and 7:30 shows
Artword Theatre, 75 Portland Street, Toronto
(one block east
of Bathurst, south of King)
Box Office: 416-408-ARTD (416-408-2783)
Musical version of If Cows Could
returns to Artword Theatre
If Cows Could Fly, Allan
Merovitz’s musical play about the Jewish-Canadian
experience, is returning to Artword Theatre for a four-week
run this summer, from June 21 - July 14.
A popular success at Artword in February 2000,
Merovitz’s play is currently being reworked for Prairie
Public Television in Winnipeg, by director Ronald
Weihs with producer Don Booth.
a gap unexpectedly appeared in Artword’s summer season,
Merovitz, and director Ronald Weihs, decided
to mount a new stage version at Artword, incorporating some
of the changes they have been working on for television.
was a spur-of-the-moment decision," Weihs says, "There was a
hole in the schedule, and we had a play ready to go. So, in
the spirit of the old Mickey Rooney movies, we said
‘let’s have a show’."
Award winner Allan Merovitz, a widely-known actor and
Klezmer musician, grew up in Smiths Falls in the Ottawa
Valley in a family of Hassidic Jews. If Cows Could
Fly traces the story of his family from Poland,
Lithuania and Kishinev to the tiny rural Ontario community.
The story of his family is a microcosm of the Jewish
If Cows Could Fly, Allan has reconstructed the
fragmented memories of his family in diaspora, and
interspersed them with a wide range of musical styles –
Yiddish songs, country-and-western ballads, as well as
Klezmer and Ottawa Valley fiddle tunes.
tells how his Zaide escaped being conscripted into the
Russian army by the Cossacks. How a ghost helped Frume leave
her marriage ("get a get") and start a new life with her two
children. How Bubbe Oudel supported her family – and
the whole neighbourhood – during the hungry depression.
How Uncle Hy, war hero and demolition expert, solved the
problem of "No Jews Allowed on this Road". The tales lead
from villages in Poland and Bessarabia, to Antwerp, London,
and on to the new world, Nova Scotia, Montreal, and finally
Smiths Falls in the Ottawa Valley.
new version of the script streamlines some of the stories
and focuses more on Allan’s relationship with his
father and grandfather. The new production also heats up the
Klezmer band sound, with some hot piano and mandolin playing
by Jarl Anderson and the director Ronald Weihs
returning to his first identity as "Ron the Fiddler".
through all the stories is the indomitable spirit to
survive, persist, and transcend. An impossible dream could
come true only "if cows could fly". Impossible? Maybe
it’s just a matter of getting really good at something
– making shoes, shooting pool, remembering who you