Corrections or additions?
This article by Simon Saltzman was prepared for the January 16,
2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Review: `Streets of New York’
Given that the holiday season brings out more
of Dickens "A Christmas Carol" than you can shake a turkey
drumstick at, there is always room for one more story to warm our
hearts and offer comfort and joy in a time of need. "The Streets
of New York" is that story.
Like the aforementioned, with its treatise on the meek overcoming
the mighty, generosity outmaneuvering greed and virtue triumphing
over sin, Dion Boucicault’s mid 19th-century play "The Streets
of New York" has been delightfully adapted for the musical stage
by the Irish Repertory Theater’s artistic director Charlotte Moore.
Happily, it has been extended beyond its originally scheduled run.
Although the Irish Rep may still be basking in the glow of its
production a couple of seasons back of Boucicault’s "The
I believe they have found a show good enough to become an annual event
and fill the coffers for seasons to come.
The play (originally titled "The Poor of New York"), that
Boucicault based on a French melodrama "Les Pauvres de Paris"
in 1852, has been spun it into a brisk and bright entertainment with
many a quaint and comedic musical turn. Notwithstanding its
roots artfully reinforced by Moore’s period-addressing staging, the
musical is effectively enamouring and respectful of the play’s
plotting and its picture perfect gallery of lovable and hateful
The brew begins to bubble when the dastardly, unethical, and soon
to be corrupt banker Gideon Bloodgood (Ray DeMattis) discovers that
his fortune is dwindling during a selling panic. He sees a way out
of financial ruin when a successful sea captain, who has arrived at
the bank after hours to invest $100,000 dollars in cash, drops dead
in front of him.
Years later, the descendants of the sea captain — the endearing
Fairweathers family Lucy (Donna Kane), Paul (Joshua Park) and their
mother Susan (Margaret Hall) — have become friends with the
Mr. and Mrs. Puffy (Peter Cormican and Terry Donnelly) and their jolly
daughter Dixie (Danielle Ferland). Unbeknownst to the Puffys, the
Fairweathers are also dead broke. Lucy also does not know that her
beloved Mark Livingston (Michael Halling), the handsome son of a
family, is also bankrupt thanks to bad investments. But that doesn’t
stop Bloodgood’s daughter Alida (Kristin Maloney), who is similarly
bloodthirsty for class and social status, from trying to lure the
well-born Mark away from Lucy.
Added to the mix of mayhem, misery, and mirth is Badger (Ciaran
a former bank employee who knows what Bloodgood has done and is
to blackmail him. As expected, sound investments in attractive and
solid singing actors, a lovely collection of period costumes by Linda
Fisher and handsome and clever settings by Hugh Landwehr pay off.
In particular, the part pastiche musical numbers, with no apologies
to Victor Herbert and Sigmund Romberg, are as amusing as they are
in a few instances memorable. Lucy and Mark’s duets "We Must Never
Say Goodbye," and "I Never Told You that I Loved You,"
have Jeanette and Nelson written all over them.
Park and Ferland are perfectly beguiling as the perky juveniles. They
stop the show with their comical "He (She) Doesn’t Know I’m
Shows like this often go astray, either being pure kitsch or
leaden. Paved with purity and panache, "The Streets of New
is a winner. Three stars. You won’t feel cheated
— Simon Saltzman
West 22nd Street, New York. 212-727-2737. Through January 20.
Sunday, February 3, at the Ritz Theater, 915 White Horse Pike, Oaklyn.
Five female roles from age 20 and up. Call 856-858-5230 after Monday,
January 21 to schedule audition.
actors, speaking and non-speaking parts, males and females, 20s to
50s, and backstage help. Call 609-443-5598 for appointment Fridays and
Saturdays, February 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, or 16.
short plays on Thursday, January 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday,
February 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. at North Brunswick High School. Adults
from diverse backgrounds, with or without disabilities, with some
music and movement roles. Call 732-745-3913 for appointment.
submissions for its 14th edition of "Underage," an anthology of short
stories and poems from children under the age of 18. Submission
deadline is Friday, March 15, 2002. Call 609-924-8777.
internships to qualified students wishing to learn about native plants
and public gardens. The program begins in May or June and runs for 10
to 15 weeks. Call 215-862-2924.
Women Award (formerly known as TWIN). The program honors women who
have made significant contributions to, and have excelled in, their
professions and communities in executive, entrepreneurial,
professional, and/or elected roles. They should live or work in the
greater Princeton community. Deadline for nominations is Thursday,
February 28. Call 609-497-2100, ext. 333 for an application.
that applications are being accepted for "The Future Care Now Program.
The program offers mentally ill individuals and their families the
opportunity to complete financial, estate, legal, and long-term-care
service planning in one location. Call Jennifer Schino at
of the year. Orders for pick-up on Saturday, February 9 must be
received by Thursday, January 24. Proceeds to educational programs at
the new center. Call Brian Vernachiio, Tuesday through Saturday, at
parenting skills program through activity based workshops in four age
specific curriculum. Deadline to apply is Monday, February 4. Call
Carole O’Brien at 732-246-8060, ext. 13.
eligible organization for the support, development, and implementation
of programs to promote conflict resolution or reduce violence in
children’s behavior. The maximum grant award is $500. Deadline for
submission is Friday, February 15. Contact Bill Coleman at
one-time award of $500 to each of two graduating seniors active in a
Civil War related organization. For application and information:
has opening for tutors to help children to read. Training, materials,
and guidance for volunteers. Call Milli Groves at 732-249-6330.
Princeton needs volunteers interested in visiting hospice patients at
their homes. An eight-week volunteer training course begins Tuesday,
March 12. Call Liz Cohen at 609-497-4900.
transport cancer patients in the Road to Recovery program. Call
through Friday, February 15. Leave items in good condition at Pierce
Hall between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tax receipts and
pick up are available. Records, ski equipment, curtain roads, coat
hangers, or torn and soiled clothing not accepted. Call 609-921-8262.
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