TheaterMania Logo
Theater News

Is That Your Final Answer?

Depending on how many of Filichia's Yiddish-themed questions you got right, he'll either plotz and say "mazel tov" or call you a shlemiel. logo
Tevye (Harvey Fierstein) and his daughters
in Fiddler on the Roof
(Photo © Carol Rosegg)
How did you all do on the Broadway University final exam for 2005, the one that featured lyrics or lines that had a Yiddish or Hebrew word or expression in them? Students were to identify both the song and the show from which the following excepts were taken. (Congratulations to Susan Berlin, Brigadude, Ari Brown, Emily Cuozzo, Robert Diamant, Allen Feinberg, Jerry Fleischmann, Jason Flum, and Rafi Levavy for passing their final exam; and my thanks to the esteemed Broadway University Dean Meish Goldish, who was a great help in suggesting entries.)


1. "Once I was a shlepper, now I'm Miss Mazeppa," ("You Gotta Get a Gimmick" -- Gypsy)

2. "They say go earn a buck. Like be a soda jerker, which means like be a shmuck." (Gee, Officer Krupke" -- West Side Story)

3. "All right, already; it's true, so nu?" ("Sue Me" -- Guys and Dolls)

4. "I would say, 'Oy, gevalt' if I wasn't." ("Miss Baltimore Crabs" -- Hairspray)

5. "Say 'Goodbye!' with a little 'Hello!' in it, and say 'Goodbye!' with 'Shalom.'" ("Shalom" -- Milk and Honey)

6. "God up in his heaven left him out on a shaky limb. He put a meeskite on him." ("Meeskite" -- Cabaret)

7. "Here's to the father I tried to be! Here's to my bride-to-be! Drink! L'chaim!" ("To Life" -- Fiddler on the Roof)< p> 8. "A florist's dream come true, Mushnik and his boychick, you." ("Mushnik and Son" -- Little Shop of Horrors)

9. "What a tzimmis I got in!" ("Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat" -- Funny Girl)

10. "And all my merchandise is strictly kosher ... perhaps you'd like to model for my brochure." ("The Lady's Paying" -- Sunset Boulevard)

11. "When I heard these shots, and I mean lots, I thought I'd plotz." ("How I Saved Roosevelt" -- Assassins)

12. "Don't we get to relax without some new tsuris?" ("If I Didn't Believe in You" --The Last 5 Years)

13. "We'll hang a crucifix in one room, a mezuzah in the sun room." ("Mrs. S.L. Jacobowsky -- The Grand Tour)

14. "Pretty dresses, pretty dolls, just wait! For shining in your Tateh's eye, and just beyond this gate." ("Success" -- Ragtime)

15. "Without you, I'm bupkis, a flop, who keeps dropping the ball." ("I'm Nothing Without You" -- City of Angels)

16. "I got chutzpah to spare; with your macho, you bore me." ("Afraid of the Dark" -- Starmites)

17. SONS: "Then you'll be sorry!" MOM: "Shmendricks!" ("You Don't Have to Do It for Me" -- Minnie's Boys)

18. "Money, gelt, gold, foldin' buyin' power, greenback." ("Greenback" -- The Civil War)

19. "That's okay, I've faced defeat before. I'm not gonna kvetch and I'm not gonna cry." ("Just One Step" -- Songs for a New World)

20. "Slapstick, honey. Shtick is altogether another thing." ("Funny" -- My Favorite Year)

21. "It's like a putz museum, a showbiz mausoleum." ("Jeanette's Show Biz Number" -- The Full Monty)

22. "But as she was victory-bound, her schnoz fell on the ground." ("A Difficult Transition -- Nunsense)

23. "Living my way, I was carrying on, though I cleaned up my shmutz." (Four Little Angels" -- Pins and Needles)

24. "When a mensch! I can't believe what he did! He even proposed to my kid." ("What a Guy" -- The Goodbye Girl)

Gregory Jbara and Joanna Gleason
in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
(Photo © Carol Rosegg)
25. "He's off rebelling, and I'm kvelling here, but never mind." ("What Was a Woman to Do?" -- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)

26. "He likes to call her an alter kakher. Someday he'll shock her off her rocker." ("Go Visit" -- 70-Girls-70)

27. "Literary shmata! Throw it out!" ("Throw It Out" -- A New Brain)

28. "Oy! Oisgetzaichent, a mazel: Translation: Out of this world!" ("Out of This World" -- The Zulu and the Zayda)

29. "Nobody calls me 'Hey, coochy-coo,' or 'boobaleh'" ("Miss Marmelstein" -- I Can Get It for You Wholesale)

30. "From Rosh Hashanah to Easter, and from Lent to Tishebov" ("Here's Love! -- Here's Love!)

31. "And it proves Mr. Samuel Goldwyn is nobody's shlemiel." ("In the Movies" -- Saturday Night)

32. "It's very clear: Daddy's sincere, but a schmo." ("Everyone Tells Jason to See a Psychiatrist -- Falsettos)

33. "He shtups Sylvia Sidney at four." ("The Butler's Song" -- So Long, 174th Street)

34. "Two tushes; two bushes." ("Twenty Fingers, Twenty Toes" -- Twenty Fingers, Twenty Toes)

35. "Dos is La-med A-leph Gimmel A-leph Raysh Dolled." ("The Name's LaGuardia" -- Fiorello!)


[To contact Peter Filichia directly, e-mail him at [email protected]]

Tagged in this Story