Crazy Meshugga Hurricane Earthquake

By Amy Coleman
Directed by David Mandelbaum
January 12 – January 19
JAN 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19 @ 8 PM; SUN JAN 16 @ 3 PM


Crazy Meshugga Hurricane Earthquake

Jan. 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19 at 8:00 PM; Jan. 16 at 3:00 PM.
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street) Presented by Theater for the New City in association with New Yiddish Rep
$18 gen. Adm., $15 seniors & students Box office, 212-254-1109.
Running time: 70 minutes
Critics are invited on or after January 12. Opens January 12.
Photos are available at:

There will be a special Live Stream performance of Crazy Meshugga Huricane Earthquake on Sunday, January 16th at 3 PM, $18

This play is the first in a two-part series of plays presented by Theater for the New City that deal with identity, schizophrenia and self-empowerment in the Hasidic Jewish communities of New York.  The second, playing January 22-30, is “Di Froyen” (The Women) by Melissa Weisz and Malky Goldman, directed by Rachel Botchan.  It lifts the veil on the plight of women in abusive relationships, in this case in the Hasidic community.  More info, see:

In “Crazy Meshugga Hurricane Earthquake,” a recently retired music teacher named Lenora Kline is looking for meaning in her life when she answers an ad on Craigslist for a job as a live-in caretaker for Yossi Schwartz, a paranoid schizophrenic young man from a Hasidic background. Because of the stigma of mental illness, Yossi has been isolated from his family and community and has been drifting in and out of hospitals until he meets Lenora.  What emerges is a curious relationship between Jews from different worlds.  Yossi has an openness of character and a surprising wit that make him easy to love and nurture. He is handsome, intuitive and funny; charming yet hopelessly ill.  He is also scarred by having been sexually abused as a youth by a man whom the community inadvertently allows to continue his predations because of their reluctance to involve police or air these problems publicly.  Ultimately Leonora discovers that in trying to heal Yossi, she has been actually trying to heal her relationship with her late father, who also suffered from mental illness.

Amy Coleman has previously written a few collaborations but this is her first serious play.  She was recently licensed as a social worker.  She credits The Barrow Group playwriting classes for helping her achieve the structure to make this play work.  Her performance career began with a hit cabaret show, “Face to the Wall” by Brian Lasser, for which she was twice awarded Best Vocalist of the Year by Backstage.  In regional theater, she appeared as Mary Magdalene in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” the voice in “Little Shop of Horrors” and the Gypsy Queen in “Tommy.”  She played Janis Joplin in the original Off-Broadway production of “Beehive” at the Village Gate and starred as Vickie in “The Last Session.”  At La MaMa, she appeared with Andre de Shields in “Kiss Me When It’s Over.”  She appeared at Theater for the New City with Jimmy Camicia’s Hot Peaches and toured with the troupe internationally.  For many years she collaborated with Italian composer Enzo Fillipelli.

Director David Mandelbaum has been producing, acting and directing in experimental theater in New York for over 35 years, working at La MaMa, Theater For The New City, The Common Basis Theater and others. In 2007, he and Amy Coleman founded the New Yiddish Rep and premiered its first show, Mandelbaum’s adaptation of the Holocaust classic by Zvi Kolitz, “Yosl Rakover Speaks To G-d,” which Coleman directed.  This was soon followed by “The Essence: A Yiddish Theater Dim Sum” and “The Big Bupkis: The Complete Gentile’s Guide to Yiddish Vaudeville.”  Under Mandelbaum’s leadership, New Yiddish Rep has presented original films, concerts, performance art, and art exhibitions, and has workshopped and developed a string of significant adaptations of modern classics in Yiddish translation.  He directed its Off-Broadway production of “Awake and Sing,” appeared in its “Waiting for Godot,” “Awake and Sing,” “God of Vengeance” and “The Whore from Ohio,” and produced “Rhicoceros” and its celebrated production of “Death of a Salesman.”

Andrew Hardigg (as Yossi)
Amy Coleman (as Lenora)
Jacob Louchheim
Thomas Morris
Kurt Perry
Kelly Walters
Set designer Mark Marcante
Lighting designer Alexander Bartenieff.

New Yiddish Rep ( has endeavored since its founding in 2007 to move  Yiddish theater into a post-nostalgia, 21st century phase of development, enabling members of the Yiddish theater community by  giving them a platform to develop new works and explore classics of world theater, both in existing and new translations. At the same time NYR has worked tirelessly to develop new talent from native Yiddish speaking  communities by conducting  writing and acting workshops to help populate  a future generation of Yiddish actors and playwrights.

COVID Protocol and Etiquette:
As of August 17 2021, people 12 and older are required to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO.
Children ages 5 to 11 are now required to have proof of vaccination. They must show they have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Starting January 29, 2022, children ages 5 to 11 must also show proof of full vaccination.

Proof of vaccination may include the NYC Vaccination Record, CDC Vaccination Card (or photo), Excelsior Pass or NYC COVID Safe App.

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