THE STORY: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies has transported Sholom Asch's 1906 Yiddish melodrama from Asch's native Poland to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1923 and in the process has transformed a classic morality tale into a drama of spellbinding power and sweep. Jack Chapman lives on the second floor of his tenement with his ex-prostitute wife, Sara, and seventeen-year-old daughter, Rivkele, and runs a brothel downstairs. The brothel has made Jack prosperous, but he aspires to something more—respectability, and towards that end, he hopes to marry his precious daughter to a Talmudic scholar. But the sheltered Rivkele has struck up a friendship with Manke, Jack's most-desired prostitute, and the gentle and genuine love affair that develops between the two young women threatens to destroy Jack's dreams for the future.
"…[a] colorful evocation of the Lower East Side in the '20s and [a play of] indisputable historical significance…" —Variety. "A vivid panorama of a Lower East Side street scene crammed with grimy tenements, riotous store fronts and packed pushcarts…epic theater…[a] fascinating new adaptation of Sholom Asch's 1906 drama…" —Hartford Courant.