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Exploring Schmigadoon’s Yiddish Roots

A conversation with Stuart Hecht about the Jewish influence on Apple TV's new musical

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published Oct 7, 2022


Schmigadoon, a wonderfully satirical musical comedy television series, blends elements of various Golden Age musicals of the 1940s and ’50s. And since so much of contemporary theater, tv, and film has Yiddish theater written all over it — we figured we’d have a conversation about this with someone who knows more about this than anybody else: theater scholar Stuart Hecht.

Stuart discusses how Apple TV’s colorful musical parody draws from old Jewish performance traditions.

Schmigadoon! (watch the trailer here) stars Kristin Chenoweth, Keegen Michael-Key, Cecily Strong, Ariana Debose, Dove Cameron, and Aaron Tveit. You can stream the show on Apple TV.


JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture. Learn more at jartsboston.org.


In the mainstream 

Based on Stuart Hecht’s descriptions of Jewish performance traditions, are there any other musicals or shows that you now realize may have some Jewish influence?

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