METROFOCUS: MAY 13, 2019

May 14, 2019 at 5:30 am

The race is on to fill the council seat left open by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Tonight, we have a special look at the election. The murder of a reputed mafia boss has put a spotlight on the New York mob. But, with new competition in the underworld, how much power and influence does the mafia still have? A Yiddish production of “Fiddler On The Roof” gets an extended run and a new home. Tonight, the show’s director, Tony and Academy-Award winner Joel Grey, tells us how he brought tradition back to this Broadway classic.

Aired on May 13, 2019.

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>>> TONIGHT ON "METROFOCUS," THE
RACE IS ON TO FILL THE COUNCIL
SEAT LEFT OPEN BY JUMAANE
WILLIAMS.
A LOOK AT THAT SPECIAL ELECTION
JUST AHEAD.
>>> IS THE NEW YORK MAFIA ALIVE
AND WELL?
THE MURDER OF A REPUTED MAFIA
BOSS SHINES THE SPOTLIGHT BACK
ON THE NEW YORK MOB.
BUT WITH NEW COMPETITION IN THE
UNDERWORLD, HOW MUCH POWER AND
INFLUENCE DOES THE MAFIA STILL
HAVE?
>>> AND OFF BROADWAY, A
PRODUCTION OF "FIDDLER ON THE
ROOF" GETS AN EXTENDED RUN AND A
NEW HOME.
IN A MOMENT, ACADEMY AWARD
WINNER JOEL GRAY WILL TELL US
HOW HE BROUGHT BACK TRADITION TO
THIS CLASSIC AND MADE IT ONE OF
THE HOTTEST TICKETS IN TOWN.
THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS
"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.
§
>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH
RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND
JENNA FLANAGAN.
>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE
BY
JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,
THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA
PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT
ANTI-SEMITISM.
BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,
ROSALIND P. WALTER,
BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,
AND BY --
CORPORATE FUNDING FOR
"METROFOCUS" WAS PROVIDED BY
MUTUAL OF AMERICA, AND BY PSG
AND E, SERVING CUSTOMER,
STRENGTHENING THE COMMUNITY AND
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.
>> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.
WHEN JUMAANE WILLIAMS WON THE
SPECIAL ELECTION FOR NEW YORK
CITY PUBLIC ADVOCATE IN
FEBRUARY, HE LEFT HIS CITY
COUNCIL SEAT VACANT.
SO TOMORROW VOTERS IN BROOKLYN'S
45th DISTRICT WHICH ENCOME PUSS
FLATBUSH, EAST FLATBUSH, MIDWOOD
WILL HEAD TO THE POLL IN YET
ANOTHER SPECIAL ELECTION.
SO JOINING US NOW WITH A RUNDOWN
OF THE RACE AND WHAT'S AT STATE
IS JEFF GOLDEN.
WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
>> FIRST, I WANT TO START WITH
VOTERS HEADING TO THE POLLS.
DO WE HAVE ANY PEOPLE AWARE THAT
TOMORROW IS YET ANOTHER SPECIAL
ELECTION DAY?
>> PROBABLY NOT MANY.
BUT YOU KNOW THE CANDIDATES ARE
TRYING REALLY HARD TO RAISE
AWARENESS.
THERE IS POSTERS IN ALL THE
BODEGAS AND STORES AROUND THAT
REALLY ADVERTISE THE ELECTION
DAY, AND THE CANDIDATES
THEMSELVES ARE PUSHING REALLY
HARD.
THERE HAS BEEN LOTS OF FLYERING
GOING ON.
I KNOW JUMAANE WILLIAMS HIMSELF
HAS BEEN SEEN HANDING OUT
FLIERS, TRYING TO RAISE
AWARENESS.
>> DO WE HAVE ANY IDEA WHO THE
FRONT-RUNNERS ARE AND HOW THIS
RACE IS SHAPING UP?
>> IT SEEMS LIKE IT'S COMING
DOWN TO TWO CANDIDATES.
THERE IS EIGHT ON THE BALLOT,
BUT THE TWO LEADERS ARE FARRAH
LEWIS AND MONIQUE CHANDLER
WATERMAN.
FARRAH LEWIS IS SHE IS JUMAANE
WILLIAMS' DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF.
SHE HAS A LOT OF MAJOR
ENDORSEMENTS.
THE UNITED FEDERATION OF
TEACHER, A BIG UNION.
SHE HAS THE BROOKLYN DEMOCRATIC
PARTY'S ENDORSEMENT, AND SHE
ALSO HAS THE ENDORSEMENT OF MANY
OF THE JEWISH LEADERS IN THE
DISTRICT.
I'VE HEARD THE DISTRICT IS
ROUGHLY 20% JURK, SO IT'S MOSTLY
BLACK.
BUT THAT'S A BIG POPULATION AS
WELL.
THEN MONIQUE CHANDLER WATER MAN,
SHE USED TO WORK FOR WILLIAMS,
AND SHE HAS ENDORSEMENT, JUMAANE
WILLIAMS IS VERY POPULAR IN THE
DISTRICT.
AND HIM ENDORSING A SUCCESSOR
WILL CERTAINLY HOLD A LOT OF
WEIGHT WITH THE VOTERS.
>> AND YET HOW IS THAT NOT SOME
SORT OF CHOICE FOR JUMAANE
WILLIAMS.
IT SEEMS LIKE HE HAD CLOSE TIES
WITH BOTH OF THE FRONT-RUNNER.
>> BOTH OF THE FRONT-RUNNERS HAD
WORKED FOR HIM IN THE PAST.
MY READING OF THE SITUATION IT
IS CAME DOWN TO LOYALTY.
ALTHOUGH FARRAH LEWIS HAS WORKED
WITH HIM FOR SOME TIME, HE KNEW
MONIQUE LONGER AND SHE WORKED
FOR HIM FIRST.
>> OKAY.
>> ALSO, IT'S NOT A PERFECT ONE
TO ONE HERE, BUT IT SEEMS LIKE
FARRAH LEWIS IS GETTING A LOT
MORE MODERATE DEMOCRATIC
ENFORCEMENTS WHY CHANDLER WATER
MAN IS GETTING MORE OF THE
LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC ENDORSEMENTS.
YOUR SPECIFIC POLITICS MATTER
LESS THAN COMMUNITY TIES, THAT
SORT OF THING.
BUT THERE IS A DEFINITE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE
CANDIDATES THERE.
>> IT WOULDN'T BE A RACE WITHOUT
SOME DRAMA.
THERE IS SOME CONTROVERSY BEHIND
SOMEONE ACCUSED OF PERHAPS
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SOME OF THE
COMMUNITIES THEY WOULD BE
ADVOCATING FOR.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
SO FARRAH LEWIS IN THE PAST, SHE
WROTE KIND OF A LETTER VOUCHING
FOR THIS MEMBER OF THE
COMMUNITY.
I'M SORRY.
I'M A LITTLE SHORT OF THE
DETAILS HERE BECAUSE IT'S A
CONFUSING COURT CASE, BUT I WAS
SOMEBODY WHO TOOK ADVANTAGE I
BELIEVE OF HAITIANS SEEKING
ASYLUM.
>> YEAH.
SHE OF WHERE A LETTER OF
CHARACTER EVEN THOUGH IT SEEMS
PRETTY CLEAR THAT THIS MAN WAS
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF PEOPLE.
SO THIS IS SOME OPPOSITION
RESEARCH THAT CAME UP FROM THE
CANDIDATES.
THEY TRIED TO POST IT TO MAKE
FARRAH LEWIS LOOK BAD.
WE'LL SEE IF IT REALLY HITS WITH
THE VOTERS, IF THAT AFFECTS
THEIR OTHER CHOICE HERE.
>> WELL, CONSIDERING THAT THIS
WAS ALLEGEDLY SOMEONE TAK
ADVANTAGE OF THE HAITIAN
COMMUNITY, DO WE HAVE ANY IDEA
AS TO HOW THE -- THE ETHNIC
BREAKDOWN OF THIS RACE MIGHT BE?
THAT'S A BIG THING HERE IN NEW
YORK.
THANKS IS THE HEART OF CARIBBEAN
BROOKLYN.
THIS IS THE LITTLE HAITI
DISTRICT.
FARRAH LEWIS IS OF HAITIAN
DESCENT.
I BELIEVE ALL THE CANDIDATES
HAVE SOME KIND OF WEST INDIAN
DESCENT.
IER THAT IS A REAL MIX OF PEOPLE
TRYING TO WIN EACH DIFFERENT
ETHNIC CATEGORY.
IT'S REALLY GOING TO COME DOWN
TO THE GET OUT THE VOTE HERE,
YOU KNOW, WHICH WHO CAN PULL OUT
THE MOST VOTERS.
AND IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO
SEE THE VOTING BREAKDOWN AFTER
THE ELECTION.
>> IT CERTAINLY WILL FOR WHAT'S
PREDICTED TO BE A COLD RAINY
TUESDAY IN MAY.
BUT EITHER WAY, WE DEFINITELY
KNOW THAT A WOMAN WILL BE
TAKING -- MOST LIKELY WILL BE
TAKING JUMAANE WILLIAMS' SPOT IN
THE CITY COUNCIL, WHICH IS
INTERESTING BECAUSE THE CITY
COUNCIL IS STILL TRYING TO DEAL
WITH SOME ISSUES OF ITS OWN
REGARDING HOW IT ADDRESSES
SEXUAL HARASSMENT, AND THAT'S
COME TO A HEAD RECENTLY WITH
BRONX COUNCILMAN RUBEN DIAZ SR.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
DIAZ SR. HAS A LONGE HISTORY OF
COMMENTS.
HE STARTED HIS CAREER IN THE
'90s OR ROSE TO PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE
BY SAYING THAT THE GAY GAMES,
THIS KIND OF OLYMPICS FOR THE
LGBT COMMUNITY SHOULD NOT COME
TO NEW YORK BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL
GOING TO SPREAD AIDS, JUST VERY
OFFENSIVE STUFF.
HE'S CONTINUED TO MAKE COMMENTS
LIKE THAT.
MOST RECENTLY IN A COUNCIL
SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING
SESSION, HE SAID THAT NO, HE
WOULD NOT REPORT SEXUAL
HARASSMENT IF WE SAW IT HAPPEN
BECAUSE HE WOULDN'T BE A SNITCH.
JUST HE IS BASICALLY IMPLYING
THAT HE FOLLOWED UP ON THAT
IMPLYING THAT VICTIMS OF
HARASSMENT DON'T EVEN KNOW.
HE SAID OH, HARASSMENT IS
SOMETIMES A COMPLIMENT.
HE DOES NOT FIT IN WITH THE REST
OF THE CITY COUNCIL, WHICH IS
VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THESE
ISSUES.
THEY'VE BEEN DOING A LOT OF
TRAININGS, AND HE'S BEEN WIDELY
DENOUNCED BY HIS COLLEAGUES.
>> WELL, THE REASON WHY I BRING
THAT UP AGAIN IS ONCE AGAIN THE
CITY COUNCIL WILL BE HOLDING
ANOTHER VOTE TO TRY TO DETERMINE
HOW THEY'RE GOING TO ADDRESS THE
COUNCILMAN'S COMMENTS.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
IN FACT, ONE OF HIS COLLEAGUES,
QUEENS COUNCILMAN WAS ACCUSED OF
SEXUAL HARASSMENT RECENTLY AND
STRIPPED OF HIS POSITION ON THE
BUDGET NEGOTIATING TEAM, THIS
IMPORTANT POSITION WHERE YOU
ACTUALLY GET TO WORK WITH THE
MAYOR ON THE BUNT.
I WOULD IMAGINE AFTER DIAZ'S
COMMENTS, THE COUNCIL WILL BE
PRESSURED TO AGAIN SANCTION HIM
IN SOME WAY.
WE HAVEN'T HEARD YET WHAT
THEY'LL DO OR WHETHER THEY WILL
RESPOND, BUT IT'S LIKELY THAT
WE'LL SEE SOMETHING, WHETHER
THAT'S ANOTHER STRIPPING OF A
COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP OR SOME
OTHER KIND OF RESPONSE.
>> ALL RIGHT.
LOOKING FAR AHEAD IN THE
POLITICAL FUTURE, RUBEN DIAZ'S
COMMENTS MIGHT NOT BE A BIG DEAL
FOR THE CITY COUNCIL FOR MUCH
LONGER.
WHY IS THAT?
>> YES.
WELL, RUBEN DIAZ SR. HAS
ANNOUNCED THAT HE INTENDS TO RUN
FOR CONGRESS.
CONGRESSMAN JOSE SERRANO, WHO
HAS REPRESENTED PART OF THE
SOUTH BRONX FOR DECADES
ANNOUNCED THAT HE WILL NOT RUN
FOR REELECTION.
DIAZ SR. SAID HE INTENDS TO RUN
FOR THAT SEAT IN 2020.
HE WILL BE FACING SOME MUCH
YOUNGER, MORE LIBERAL CANDIDATES
IN CITY COUNCILMAN RITCHIE
TORRES, ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE.
THAT IS SURE TO BE A RACE TO GET
A LOT OF ATTENTION AND
EXCITEMENT.
>> I WOULD DEFINITELY SAY THAT
THAT'S WORTHY OF A LOT OF
ATTENTION AND EXCITEMENT.
JUST FOR YOUR OWN B, THERE
ANYTHING ON THE HORIZON YOU'RE
LOOKING FORWARD TO OUTSIDE OF
THIS RACE IN THE 45th DISTRICT?
>> GOSH, OUTSIDE OF THAT, YOU
KNOW, THE ERIC GARNER TRIAL IS
HAPPENING THIS WEEK, THE NEXT
TWO WEEKS, REALLY.
IT'S GOING TO BE AN OFFICER
INVOLVED IN HIS ARREST, DANIEL
PANTALEO IS FINALLY FACING
CHARGES.
IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS SINCE THE
DEATH OF ERIC GARNER ON STATEN
ISLAND.
IT'S AN INTERNAL POLICE
DISCIPLINARY TRIAL.
IT'S NOT YOUR TYPICAL CRIMINAL
TRIAL.
SO THE WORST PUNISHMENT THAT
PANTALEO COULD FACE IS A FIRING
FROM THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.
BUT ERIC GARNER'S FAMILY HAS
BEEN VERY VOCAL THAT THEY ARE
EXPECTING A FULL TERMINATION,
AND, YOU KNOW, SOME RESOLUTION
TO THIS CASE NEARLY FIVE YEARS
ON.
>> ALL RIGHT.
WELL, THIS WILL DEFINITELY BE
SOMETHING THAT I THINK EVEN
THOUGH IT IS AN INTERNAL TRIAL
WILL BE SOMETHING THAT NEW
YORKERS WILL PAY CLOSE ATTENTION
TO.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
>> IT WAS A VERY PAINFUL
SITUATION.
AND MY GOD, FIVE YEARS ALREADY.
LISTEN, JEFF, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR JOINING US.
WE ALWAYS APPRECIATE HEARING
ABOUT YOUR TAKE ON THE CITY AND
THE STATE.
AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING
YOU BACK.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
>>> FOR A MOMENT, IT FELT JUST
LIKE THE MOB WARS OF OLD.
A SUSPECTED CRIME BOSS GUNNED
DOWN.
POLICE SWARMING THE SCENE AND
SPECULATION MOUNTING OVER WHO
CARRIED OUT THE HIT.
BUT THIS IS 2019, NOT 1985.
THE MARCH 13th KILLING OF
FRANCESCO CALI OF STATEN ISLAND
CAME WITH A TWIST WHEN POLICE
ARRESTED A MAN WITH NO APPARENT
MAFIA TIES AND A REPORTED BEEF
WITH CALI OVER THE MOBSTER'S
NIECE.
MOB HIT OR NOT, CALI'S MURDER
HAS PUT THE SPOTLIGHT BACK ON
NEW YORK CITY'S NOTORIOUS FIVE
ORGANIZED CRIME FAMILIES.
BUT JUST HOW MUCH INFLUENCE DO
THESE FAMILIES ACTUALLY STILL
HAVE?
AND WHAT COULD CALI'S MURDER
MEAN FOR THE MOB?
JOINING US WITH ANSWERS TO THESE
AND OTHER QUESTIONS IS
JOURNALIST AND MAFIA EXPERT
JERRY CAPISI.
JERRY, WELCOME BACK TO THE
PROGRAM.
>>.
>> IT'S A PLEASURE TO BE HERE.
>> FOLLOWING THE MURDER OF THE
REPUTED GAMBINO BOSS FRANKLY
BOYD CALI, THERE WAS A LOT OF
SPECULATION AMONG LAW
ENFORCEMENT AND THE PRESS THAT
THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF A 21st
CENTURY MOB WAR.
AND YOU SUSPECTED RIGHT AWAY
THAT IT WAS NOT.
HOW DID YOU KNOW?
WHAT GAVE IT AWAY FOR YOU?
>> WELL, I DIDN'T KNOW.
BUT I SUSPECTED IT.
THE MOB JUST DOESN'T KILL PEOPLE
THE WAY ANTHONY CAMELO ALLEGEDLY
KILLED FRANK CALI.
>> WHAT IS IT THEY DON'T DO?
>> THEY GENERALLY WILL HAVE AT
LEAST TWO CARS AND USUALLY THREE
CARS.
ONE WOULD BE A CRASH CAR TO STOP
ANY PURCHSUERS, AND THE SECOND
WOULD BE A LEAD CAR USED TO PICK
UP THE SHOOTER AND DUMP OFF THE
CAR THAT WAS USED FOR THE HIT.
THIS WAS A LONE GUNMAN IN A
PICKUP TRUCK WHO GOT OUT OF THE
CAR AFTER SPARKING INTO FRANK
CALI'S CAR.
AND I THINK HE WENT AND RANG THE
BELL AND GAVE CALI THE LICENSE
PLATE THAT HE KNOCKED OFF HIS
CAR.
>> AND SOMETHING ELSE THAT MOB
HITS DON'T DO, RIGHT, THEY GO TO
THE GUY'S HOUSE IN FRONT OF HIS
FAMILY.
THIS IS WHAT I READ.
>> DEFINITELY, DEFINITELY,
THAT'S ANOTHER THING.
AT LEAST IN NEW YORK THERE IS
THIS RULE WHERE YOU DON'T KILL A
GUY, ESPECIALLY A HIGH RANKING
MOBSTER LIKE FRANK CALI IN FRONT
OF HIS HOUSE.
>> AND FRANK CALI WAS THE
UNDERBOSS, WHICH MAKES HIM LIKE
THE SECOND IN COMMAND?
>> EXACTLY.
>> ALLEGEDLY.
>> FRANK CALI WAS THE CRIME BOSS
OF THE FAMILY, THE NUMBER TWO
GUY.
HE WOULD BE JOHN GOTTI'S NUMBER
TWO.
HE WAS THE SAMMY OF THE GAMBINO
CRIME FAMILY.
>> WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT CALI'S
REPUTED KILLER?
>> NOT MUCH, EXCEPT THAT FRANK
CALI DIDN'T LIKE HIM BECAUSE HE
WAS -- HE FELT HE WAS UNWORTHY
TO BE DATING HIS NIECE.
AND APPARENTLY HE WAS CORRECT ON
THAT ASSUMPTION.
HERE HE IS, THIS GUY COMES AND
KILLS THE GUY BECAUSE HE DIDN'T
LIKE --
>> AND HE WAS NOT MOB CONNECTED
IN ANY WAY?
>> AS FAR AS ANYBODY KNOWS.
AND IT'S PRETTY WELL ESTABLISHED
HE HAD NO MOB CONNECTIONS AT
ALL.
IF HE HAD SOME MOB CONNECTIONS,
HE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE THOUGHT
TWICE OR THREE TIMES ABOUT
KILLING THE UNDERBOSS OF THE
GAMBINO CRIME FAMILY.
HE IS GOING TO HAVE A TOUGH,
LONG INTERESTING LIFE, NO MATTER
HOW LONG IT GOES FROM HERE ON
IN.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT.
I MEAN, HE IS NOW IN JAIL.
I'M GUESSING THAT THE GAMBINO
FAMILY HAS GOT A TARGET ON HIS
BACK.
WHAT KIND OF DANGER IS HE IN
JAIL?
>> THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THE
GAMBINO FAMILY IS NOT HAPPEN
ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE KILLED
FRANK CALI, AND THERE WOULD BE
A, YOU KNOW, A TARGET RIGHT ON
HIS BACK FOR THE REST OF HIS
LIFE.
WHETHER SOMEONE IS ABLE TO GET
AHOLD OF HIM IN PRISON IS
ANOTHER STORY.
AND WHETHER HE WILL BE ABLE TO
BEAT THE CASE FOR SOME REASON OR
ANOTHER, THAT'S ANOTHER STORY.
>> UNLIKE JOHN GOTTI, THE DAPPER
DON, WHICH AS THE EXPRESSION
SAYS WAS A VERY FLASHY GUY,
CALI, THE REPUTED UNDERBOSS OF
THE GAMBINO FAMILY, WAS VERY
LOW-KEY.
IN FACT SOME LAW ENFORCEMENT
CALLED HIM A GHOST HE WAS SO
INVISIBLE, SO DISCREET.
IS THAT INVISIBILITY AND
DISCRETION THE NEW NORM FOR
MAFIA LEADERS?
>> OH, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.
THE MOBSTERS OF TODAY LEARNED A
VERY IMPORTANT LESSONS FROM JOHN
GOTTI.
YOU DON'T PARADE UP AND DOWN
MULBERRY STREET ON BROADWAY IN
LITTLE ITALY POKING YOUR THUMB
IN THE GOVERNMENT'S EYE AND SAY
COME AND GET ME.
FRANK CALI WAS THE EPITOME OF A
2019 GANGSTER.
LOW-KEY, AN EARNER, SOMEONE WHO
MAY NOT HAVE EVEN KILLED
SOMEBODY TO GET INTO THE CRIME
FAMILY BECAUSE IN THE MID-'90s,
THE MOB DECIDED, YOU KNOW, LET'S
NOT KEEP THIS UP.
EVERYBODY IS GOING AWAY FOR LIFE
FOR MURDER.
LET'S CUT THIS OUT.
LET'S PROTECT OURSELVES.
AND SO THEY ISSUED A RULING
WHICH BASICALLY PROHIBITS
SANCTIONED KILLINGS THESE DAYS.
IS THAT WHY PAUL CASTELLANO WAS
THE LAST MOB BOSS, GAMBINO MOB
BOSS WHO WAS KILLED IN A MOB
HIT?
GOTTI GOT HIM KILLED.
AND THAT WAS 32 YEARS AGO.
THAT THE REASON WHY WE HAVEN'T
SEEN THIS KIND OF KILLING?
BECAUSE THE MOB SAID THE MORE WE
KILL, THE MORE WE SPEND OUR
LIFETIME IN PRISON?
>> I BELIEVE THAT'S THE CASE,
CORRECT.
THE MOB DID PUT OUT A RULING
KAECADE ININDICATING THAT THE L
SENTENCES THEY WERE GETTING FOR
MURDERS WAS DEPLETING THE CRIME
FAMILY.
THEY DECIDED THIS WAS NOT GOOD
FOR US.
WE DON'T WANT TO GO TO JAIL FOR
LIFE.
LET'S CUT IT OUT.
THERE WERE BODIES IN THE STREETS
IN THE '80s EVERYWHERE.
>> I REMEMBER.
>> THE GOVERNMENT FIGURED THIS
IS NOTED GOO THING, AND THE MOB
REALIZED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS
GOING AFTER THEM.
SO THEY CUT IT OUT.
>> SO LISTEN, JUST FROM READING
THE PAPERS, YOU GET THE SENSE
THAT THE MEXICAN AND COLOMBIAN
CARTELS, GANGS LIKE MS-13 AND
THE RUSSIAN MOB HAVE TAKEN THE
SPOTLIGHT AWAY FROM THE MAFIA.
HAVE THEY ALSO TAKEN A LOT OF
THE POWER AWAY FROM THE MAFIA?
>> I DON'T THINK SO.
NONE OF THEM HAVE REALLY GOTTEN
INTO LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES AS
WELL AS THE MOB DID.
THE MOB'S CLOUT, THERE IS NO
QUESTION ABOUT IT HAS DISSIPATED
QUITE A BIT IN THE LAST 15, 20
YEARS.
BUT THE OTHER EMERGING ETHNIC
GANGS, THEY'RE NOT REALLY
INTERESTED IN GETTING INTO
LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES THE WAY
THE MOB DID.
AND THE GOVERNMENT, THE LAW
ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY DOESN'T
LET THEM GET ENTRENCHED INTO
LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES IN THEIR
NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES
THE WAY THEY ALLOWED THE ITALIAN
AMERICAN MOB TO DO IN ITS OWN
NEIGHBORHOODS.
THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED IN THE '40s
AND '50s.
THE MOB WAS IGNORED, YOU KNOW.
THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY
IGNORED THE MOB, DIDN'T WORRY
ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY WERE
INFILTRATING THEIR OWN
NEIGHBORHOODS AND LET THEM GET
ENTRENCHED.
AND THEN 20, 30 YEARS LATER THEY
REALIZE THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM.
LET'S GO AFTER THEM.
>> SO LISTEN, THE FEDS HAVE BEEN
VERY SUCCESSFUL, AS YOU'VE SAID
HERE, IN GOING AFTER THE MOB.
BUT JUST VERY RECENTLY, THEY
WERE NOT HERE IN MANHATTAN.
TALK ABOUT THE CASE WHERE THE
MOB BEAT THE FEDS.
>> EXACTLY.
THE SAME DAY THAT FRANK CALI WAS
SHOT AND KILLED, JOE C.
CAMMARANO AND PORKY WERE
ACQUITTED.
THE FIRST MAFIA BOSS TO DO SO
SINCE JOHN GOTTI BEAT THE BOSS
IN 1987.
THE GOVERNMENT WAS UNABLE TO
PROVE THAT THESE GUYS WERE
INVOLVED IN THE RACKETS THAT
THEY PRETTY WELL ESTABLISHED AT
TRIAL THAT THE BONANNO FAMILY
WAS INVOLVED IN GOING BACK TO
THE '80s AND '90s.
>> DO YOU EVER SEE A DAY WHERE
THE MAFIA WILL DISAPPEAR?
>> I DON'T THINK THEY'LL
DISAPPEAR.
I THINK THEY MAY BECOME LESS AND
LESS POWERFUL AS THE YEARS GO
BY, BUT I DON'T THINK THEY'LL
DISAPPEAR.
I DON'T THINK THEY'LL DISAPPEAR
IN MY LIFETIME.
>> WELL YOU HAVE A LOT TO WRITE
ABOUT THEM.
WELL, JERRY, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR JOINING US.
>> IT'S A PLEASURE, RAFAEL.
§
>>> TALK ABOUT NEW LIFE INTO OLD
TRADITIONS.
THE FIRST AND OLD YIDDISH
LANGUAGE VERSION OF ONE OF THE
MOST CELEBRATED MUSICALS OF ALL
TIME, "FIDDLER ON THE ROOF," WAS
A SOLD-OUT SENSATION WHEN IT HIT
THE STAGE LAST SUMMER.
AT FIRST THE SHOW WAS ONLY
SUPPOSED TO RUN FOR SEVEN WEEKS
AT THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH
HERITAGE.
IT RAN FOR ALMOST SIX MONTHS
WITH SOLD-OUT PERFORMANCES NIGHT
AFTER NIGHT.
NOW DUE TO THE UNPRECEDENTED
SUCCESS OF THE NATIONAL YIDDISH
THEATER FOKLSBIENE PRODUCTION,
IT HAS EMCELEBRATED UPTOWN TO
MORE COMMERCIAL AT STAGE 42 WITH
AN EXTENDED RUN NOW THROUGH
SEPTEMBER 1.
IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT.
>> A FIDDLER AFN DAKH.
[ SPEAKING YIDDISH ]
§
§
>> ACADEMY AND TONY AWARD
WINNING DIRECTOR JOEL GREY HAS
DIRECTED THIS CRITICALLY
ACCLAIMED REVIVAL.
IT'S SO NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN.
>> GREAT TO SEE YOU.
>> LET'S GO BACK TO THE
CONVERSATION YOU AND I HAD ABOUT
THIS BEFORE IT WAS BEGINNING ITS
FIRST RUN.
AND WE TALKED ABOUT YOUR
EXPECTATIONS.
AS WE KNOW, PROBABLY EXCEEDED
MOST PEOPLE'S EXPECTATIONS
COMMERCIALLY, IN ANY EVENT.
HOW ABOUT YOU AND YOUR
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE PRODUCTION
AND WHAT YOU WANTED IT TO SOUND
LIKE AND LOOK LIKE AND TO FEEL
LIKE.
>> WELL, I HAD NO EXPECTATION OF
IT GOING THIS DISTANCE.
I THOUGHT IT WOULD VALUABLE,
ENTERTAINING, INTERESTING,
CURIOUS, AND ULTIMATELY MOVING.
AND THOSE WERE ALL THE THINGS
THAT THEY SEEM TO ACCOMPLISH,
PLUS HAVING AN AUDIENCE THAT WAS
NOT JEWISH.
THAT DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE FACT
THAT IT WAS IN YIDDISH, AND THAT
YOU REMEMBER CORRECTLY, I DON'T
SPEAK YIDDISH.
>> THAT'S WHAT I WAS GOING TO
ASK YOU.
YOU AND I TALKED ABOUT THIS.
AS YOU WERE PREPARING TO DIRECT
THIS, YOU DON'T SPEAK YIDDISH.
>> NO.
BUT I KNEW, I KNEW THE ENTIRE
SENSIBILITY OF THE IMMIGRANT AND
THE HISTORY OF THE STORIES.
AND I ALWAYS LOVED THE MUSICAL
AND KNEW IT VERY, VERY WELL.
I MEAN, I KNEW THE DYNAMICS OF
THE CHARACTERS.
>> AND YOU LOOK TO YOUR OWN
BACKGROUND.
YOUR FAMILIAR, MICKEY KATZ,
MARVELOUS PERFORMER.
>> A GREAT JEWISH COMEDIAN, BUT
IT WAS NOT SPOKEN IN MY HOUSE
THAT WAS HIS JOB.
>> SO WHY, THEN, DO YOU THINK
BEFORE WE LOOK AHEAD TO THE NEXT
PRODUCTION, LOOKING BACK, AND
ALL OF THE SUDDEN YOU START
SEEING FULL HOUSES, AND PEOPLE
TALKING ABOUT THIS.
PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT YIDDISH
SPEAKERS, BY THE WAY.
>> OR NOT JEWISH.
>> OR NOT JEWISH.
RIGHT.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WAS THAT
GRABBED IT AND KEPT THEM COMING
BACK AND ESSENTIALLY SAID OKAY,
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO EXTEND
THIS NOW.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT HAPPENED?
>> I THINK IT SPEAKS TO
BELONGING AND TO WHAT'S GOING ON
IN THE WORLD TODAY IN TERMS OF
IMMIGRANTS AND HOMELESS PEOPLE
AND JUST, I MEAN, TALK ABOUT
ANTI-SEMITISM, IT WAS ON THE
FRONT PAGE OF THE "NEW YORK
TIMES" ARTS SECTION ABOUT AN
ENORMOUS SHOW IN LONDON ABOUT
THE HISTORY OF ANTI-SEMITISM AND
OF IDEAS ABOUT JEWS THAT HAVE
BEEN A MESS FROM TIME
IMMEMORIAL.
>> YOU AND I TALKED ABOUT THIS.
THE NOTION OF OTHERNESS, THAT
YOU LOOK AT "FIDDLER" AND YOU
TALK ABOUT -- PEOPLE SAYING
WHERE DO I BELONG?
WHY AM I LOOKED AT AS AN OTHER
FROM PEOPLE, AND WILL I EVER BE
ANYTHING OTHER THAN AN OTHER.
>> GOOD QUESTION.
I THINK PEOPLE WHO ARE OTHER,
IT'S DEEP IN THEIR DNA, AND
IT'S -- IT'S A HUMAN PROBLEM.
PROBABLY HAS ALWAYS BEEN.
WE HAD SO MANY PEOPLE RESPONDING
TO IT DOWNTOWN WHO DIDN'T EVEN
BOTHER LOOKING AT THE
SUPERTITLES.
>> AND WE SHOULD MENTION THAT
FOR PEOPLE.
THERE ARE SUPERTITLES UP THERE
IN ENGLISH.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
I FIND PEOPLE TELL ME ALL THE
TIME, I LOOKED A LITTLE BIT, AND
THEN I JUST BECAME SO ENTHRALLED
WITH THE HUMANNESS OF EACH OF
THESE PEOPLE.
AND PEOPLE SEE THEIR RELATIVES.
AND I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT JEWISH
PEOPLE.
I'M TALKING ABOUT ITALIANS AND
ARMENIANS.
>> THERE IS A UNIVERSEALITY TO
THIS STORY.
>> ESCH HAS HAD SOME EXPERIENCE
OF BEING OTHER AT SOME POINT.
>> IT'S FUNNY THAT PEOPLE HAVE
SAID TO YOU, I WASN'T EVEN
REALLY LOOKING AT THE
SUPERTITLES.
I WANT TO READ YOU ONE OF THE
REVIEWS FROM THE HOLLYWOOD
REPORTER, AND BY THE WAY,
MARVELOUS REVIEWS.
FROM THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER SAID
WHAT'S UNCANNY IS HOW ENTIRELY
ORGANIC THE YIDDISH TRANSLATIONS
SOUND.
§
>> THEY'RE WEDDED TO THE
MELODIES AND THE LYRICS, AS IF
THE SONGS WERE CONCEIVED THAT
WAY.
AND AT SOME POINT IN TIME YOU
DON'T EVEN REALIZE THAT YOU'RE
WATCHING AND LISTENING IN
YIDDISH.
>> RIGHT.
>> DID THAT SURPRISE YOU?
>> YES, BECAUSE IN A LOT OF
WAYS, YIDDISH HAS BEEN SORT OF
FROWNED UPON AS A POLYGLOT
LANGUAGE THAT DIDN'T REALLY HAVE
RESPECT.
AND IT'S RICH.
>> HAROLD PRINCE, WHO HAD
PRODUCED THE ORIGINAL ON THIS
CAME OUT AND I DON'T CARE HOW
MANY TIMES YOU'VE SEEN THIS, GO
SEE IT NOW AND YOU'LL FEEL LIKE
YOU'RE SEEING IT FOR THE VERY
FIRST TIME.
>> AND HE DOESN'T SPEAK YIDDISH,
REALLY.
>> REALLY?
>> BELIEVE ME.

§
>> IT'S A PLEASURE TO TALK WITH
YOU.
I'M SO DELIGHTED THAT THIS IS
DONE SO WELL.
>> I'M SO HAPPY TOO.
THANKS FOR INVITING ME BACK.
>> OH, YOU CAN COME BACK ANY
TIME YOU WANT.
>> ALL RIGHT.
>> YOU JUST WALK IN THE DOOR AND
SIT DOWN AND WE'LL TALK.
>> NEXT WEEK?
>> THURSDAY AT 2:00.
THANKS, JOEL.
YOU BE WELL.
AND A REMINDER FOR YOU FOLKS OUT
THERE THAT "FIDDLER ON THE ROOF"
IN YIDDISH IS PLAYING AT STAGE
42 THEATERS WITH SUPERTITLES.
I LEARNED A NEW TERM.
SUPERTITLES THROUGH SEPTEMBER 1.
UNLESS PERHAPS THEY RENEW IT
AGAIN FOR AN EVEN LONGER TIME.
>> I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED.
>> AND THEN WE GET YOU BACK
AGAIN.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE
VISIT US AT METROFOCUS.ORG.
>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE
BY
JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,
THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA
PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT
ANTI-SEMITISM.
BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,
ROSALIND P. WALTER,
BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,
AND BY --

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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