by Sharyn Rothstein
Assistant to the Producer
February–March 2018 (Reading)
Manhattan Theatre Club
The developmental reading of Hester Street was directed by Sarna Lapine (Sunday in the Park With George). Plans for this stage adaptation, from producers Michael Rabinowitz and Ira Deutchman, were first announced in 2016. Playwright Sharyn Rothstein (By the Water, All the Days) penned the script. Original music was written by Joel Waggoner (Be More Chill, School of Rock).
The 1975 film explores Jewish immigrant life in New York in the late 19th century as a young family navigates assimilation and what it means to balance tradition and modernism. The film of Hester Street was written and directed by Joan Micklin Silver, who was in attendance at the reading, from the 1896 novella “Yekl” by Abraham Cahan.
Four-time Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk winner Tovah Feldshuh (Golda’s Balcony, Irena’s Vow, Pippin, Lend Me a Tenor, Yentl, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “The Walking Dead”), Tedra Millan (Present Laughter, The Wolves), Adam Kantor (The Band’s Visit, Fiddler on the Roof, Next to Normal, Rent), Roe Hartrampf (“Person of Interest,” “Elementary,” “Madam Secretary”), Adam Dannheisser (Oslo, Fiddler on the Roof, Rock of Ages), Heather Lind (“Turn,” The Merchant of Venice), Logan Schuyler Smith (“Blindspot,” “Gotham”), Renata Friedman (If I Forget), Emmy winner Marilyn Sokol (Grease!, “Sneak Peek”), Steve Vinovich (All the Way, Lost in Yonkers, “The Intern”), and Steven Kaplan (Act One, “Smash”).