Montague Street residents Judith Jarosz and David Fuller have combined their talents to produce, direct and choreograph a revival of Bertholt Brecht's and Kurt Weill's musical comedy adaptation of the Dorothy Lane play, Happy End, starring Lorinda Lisitza (photo at left by LAB photography) and Joey Piscopo (son of Joe). The show is being presented at Theater 1010, located at 1010 Park Avenue, between 84th and 85th Streets, in Manhattan.
The many-talented Ms. Jarosz is Producing Artistic Director of Theater 1010 (recent performances there included A Midsummer Night's Dream and Northanger Abbey, both of which, in my opinion, were superb), and choreographed this production, in which she also acts and sings (the latter in a way that, according to reviewer Jena Tesse Fox, brings to mind "Bette Midler and Mama Cass in the best possible way."). Ms. Jarosz's husband, Mr. Fuller, former Artistic Director of the Jean Cocteau Repertory, directs the play. Ms. Fox observes that he does so "like a classic gangster movie from Hollywood's golden age …, allowing his actors to be wonderfully over-the-top." (Another Heights connection is the lighting designer, Giles Hogya, who stays with friends on Henry Street whenever he's in town to work on a show.)
Happy End was first staged in 1929. It's set in the Chicago gangland of the 1920s, and the plot centers on the efforts of a Salvation Army lady (Ms. Lositza) to reform a gangster (Mr. Piscopo). Its resemblance to the later Broadway smash hit Guys and Dolls is both obvious and, again according to Ms. Fox, unacknowledged.
Remaining performances are tomorrow, 5/17 at 7 PM, Saturday 5/19 at 8 PM, Sunday 5/20 at 3 PM, Monday 5/21 at 8 PM, Thursday 5/24 at 7 PM, Friday 5/25 at 8 PM, Saturday 5/26 at 8 PM, and Sunday 5/27 at 3 PM. Tickets may be purchased through the Theater 1010 website or by calling the phone number shown on the linked page.