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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

The Streets of New York, Irish Repertory Theater, 132

West 22nd Street, New York. 212-727-2737. Through January 20.

Top Of Page

Puttin’ On the Ritz announces auditions for "Nunsense" on

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.

Omnicron Theater Productions announces open auditions for

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.

VSA Arts of New Jersey seeks actors for a collection of

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.

Top Of Page
Call for Entries

Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street, seeks

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.

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve provides full-time paid

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.

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Participate Please

YWCA Princeton seeks nominations for a 2002 Tribute to

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.

Association for Advancement of Mental Health announces

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


Plainsboro Preserve is holding their final bird seed sale

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


Prevent Child Abuse –New Jersey offers scholarship in

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.

Mercer County Bar Foundation has funds available to

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


Camp Olden Civil War Round Table and Museum offers a

one-time award of $500 to each of two graduating seniors active in a

Civil War related organization. For application and information:

Top Of Page

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Middlesex County

has opening for tutors to help children to read. Training, materials,

and guidance for volunteers. Call Milli Groves at 732-249-6330.

Princeton Hospice, a unit of the Medical Center at

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.

American Cancer Society seeks volunteer drivers to

transport cancer patients in the Road to Recovery program. Call


Top Of Page

Trinity Church seeks donations for the March rummage sale

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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