Tales of a Clever Pup

Adapted from a book of children’s stories by Yiddish author Chaver Paver, Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup follows the (mis)adventures of a clever mutt named Labzik and the working-class Jewish family that adopts him. Balancing playful humor with gritty realism, the stories find Labzik and the other residents of the Bronx up against social and political forces that are no less relevant today: unemployment, political protest, racism, police brutality, even an airborne disease. The bilingual Yiddish-English short film is produced in cinematic “miniature theater” style, employing lavishly illustrated paper puppets (performed by director Jake Krakovsky and built by designer Ryan Bradburn) to evoke the ink illustrations of the 1935 original. A cast of both student and professional voice actors bring the characters and stories to life, including award-winning Yiddish actor Shane Baker. Featuring original music from Klezmer greats Michael Winograd and Jake Shulman-Ment, and singing by Lisa Fishman and Mikhl Yashinsky of off-Broadway’s Fidler afn Dakh (Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof) and Lorin Sklamberg of Grammy award-winning klezmer band The Klezmatics.