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March 24, 1989 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

-

DETROIT'S
HIGHEST
RATES

10.0000

12 MONTH CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT

Effective Annual Yield*
Minimum Deposit of $500

10.381 0

*Compounded Quarterly.
Rates to change without notice.

This is a fixed rate account that is insured to
$100,000 by the Federal Savings and Loan In-
surance Corporation (FSLIC). Substantial In-
terest Penalty for early withdrawals from cer-
tificate accounts.

FIRST
SECURITY
SAVINGS
BANK FSB
MAIN OFFICE
PHONE 338•7700
1760 Telegraph Rd.
(Just South of Orchard Lake)
352•7700

HOUSING
OPPORTUNITY

EQUAL

26

HOURS:
MON.-THURS.
9:30-4:30
FRI.
9:30-6:00

FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 1989

MEMBER

FSLIC

Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corp.

Your Savings Insured to e100,000

ICLOSE-UP

ACT TWO, SCENE TWO: In which
Michael Goodman starts at the bottom
and blossoms into an extra on the
Yiddish stage.

`I Like Soup'

T

he 12-year-old looks
down at his hand. This
is it? This is a week's

pay?
It's a great job because he
gets to meet all those actors,
and oiy are they characters,
but working as an usher at
Littman's theater isn't going
to make him rich. That was
for sure.
Michael Goodman walks
slowly along 12th Street.
Well, it isn't a lot. But it will
buy a soda with three scoops
of chocolate ice cream, he
thinks, and that's what he'll
do right now.
Goodman came to Littman's
theater by way of his father,
the ticket-taker. He got a job
as an usher.
Some of those whom he had
to seat were members of his
own family. "They were avid
theater-goers," says Good-
man, who lives in Southfield.
"It was like a religion. Every
Sunday my mother came to
the theater and got a seat in
the front row."
Inside, the theater was
elegant, Goodman says, with
rich, flowing curtains, a large
balcony and a full orchestra
for the performances. And the
man who started it all —
Abraham Littman — was "an
innovator. The theater was
his life. It was never a matter
of money for him — he just
wanted to give the Jewish
people a theater."
At first, Goodman worked
at Littman's for pennies.
When he got jobs as extras in
the plays, he earned a little
more.
Goodman describes his
metamorphosis from usher to
actor as less than dramatic.
"They always needed so-
meone on stage to fill in,
maybe as a doorman," he
says. "So I got these little
parts here and there."
The material, he says, was
not exactly diverse.
"Oh, the plays were all the
same," he says. "The plots
went something like this: He
leaves Europe and comes to
America. Later on, he plans

Michael Goodman and friends take a break from their performance at
Littman's Peoples Theater.

to send for Ruchele mit di
kinder, but he never earns
enough money. Meanwhile,
he finds a girl here and gets
married. Years later, he hears
his first - wife is coming to
America.
"And that's when the au-
dience got really excited,"
Goodman recalls. "People
would lean forward in their
seats and say 'Oh! Oh!' at the
climax, when the first wife
and her husband meet again.
"Then, after it was all over,
you would always hear
somebody in the audience
saying, 'Didn't I tell you it
would happen? Didn't I tell
you?' "
Goodman remembers many
actors who passed through
Detroit. He describes Irving
Grossman as "a real sharpie"
and his wife Dinah Goldberg
as popular and talented.
Another actor who
delighted Detroit audiences
was Menashe Skulnik, "who

had this way of saying 'I like
soup' that the audience just
loved," Goodman says.
"I remember when I was
young I thought he was real-
ly something — and he was.
Years later I saw Menashe do
his shtick and it looked so sil-
ly."
Goodman also remembers
Maurice Schwartz, who
always kept his coat poised on
his shoulder and a wide-brim
hat atop his head, and
Samuel Goldenburg, who was
"so genteel and fine."
And he remembers Moishe
Oysher, whom he calls "the
big gun. I can still see him
with that big cigar in his
mouth. And he had lousy
teeth."
Like an archives for worn
and battered films, Good-
man's mind reels with hun-
dreds of memories of the Yid-
dish stage. What he doesn't
have much of is material
treasures. There are no ticket

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