Yes, Patti Smith Really Did Sing ‘Yentl’ at MoMA!

Singer and writer Patti Smith made a surprise appearance at MoMA on Sunday, December 18th, delighting visitors both tipped-off and caught unawares. As The New York Times’ Jonah Engel Bromwich reported, Smith’s performance, during which she read a selection of her poems and performed four songs, was her latest in a string of near-yearly tributes at the museum to the late French playwright and novelist Jean Genet.

Among the highlights, we have confirmed that Smith sang the yearning Barbra Streisand classic “Papa Can You Hear Me” from “Yentl.” We haven’t tracked down any video of the performance. Until we do, we can revisit Streisand’s performance in her 1983 film adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer and Leah Napolin’s play, below.

Embed this video

Author

Talya Zax

Talya Zax

Talya Zax is the Forward’s deputy culture editor. Contact her at zax@forward.com or on Twitter, @TalyaZax.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Yes, Patti Smith Really Did Sing ‘Yentl’ at MoMA!

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close