When a show pulls at your heartstrings so much that it moves you to tears and still enables you to laugh, then that to me is the sign of a well written show! That's exactly what I thought of Roundabout Theatre Company's production of "The People In The Picture" with book and lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart and music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler, playing at Studio 54 in NYC. Iris has written show for multi-generations. It's a show parents should bring their kids to and then discuss their own family history with them. It's a show for those of us who lost their grandparents or parents and remember the history/legacy they have left and have instilled inside of us.
It's been a long time since I have been moved to tears by a show. "The People In The Picture" touched upon so many memories and emotions for me. I was able to identify with the show's universal theme of laughter, family history, and learning how to keep your head held high when the going gets rough. As a member of the younger generation, every moment of the show made me think of my grandparents and the stories they passed on to me about their lives and the struggles they endured, especially those touching upon their Jewish history/identity. Without giving too much away, there were aspects of each character I could say "I get what you are saying."
This cast sure knows how to bring this well written material to life with their strong vocals and acting skills. They helped make a great book, even better! Donna Murphy triumphed as "Bubbie/Raisel" between her vocal talent and acting ability, while Nicole Parker was right there with her as "Red." This was my first introduction to Nicole and I will say I look forward to seeing her in many more shows. Her voice is sublime, hitting all the right notes. Rachel Resheff, who played "Jenny" is a mere 10 years old and should be around for a very long time entertaining audiences! It was a true delight, as always, to get to see two fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participants up on stage showcasing their talents: Chip Zien as "Yossie Pinsker" and Megan Reinking as "Dobrisch." Chip got to showcase his talent of both comedy and drama while Megan got to showcase her fierce vocals on "Oyfen Pripitchik" and "Saying Goodbye."
"The People In The Picture" is a show about the importance of laughter, especially during rough times, learning about where you came from, and keeping the legacy of those who came before you going. It's a show that really hit home for me on so many levels. Keep the legacy of this show & yours going by taking someone you love to "The People In The Picture" at Studio 54 in NYC (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!