This weekend, New Repertory Theatre will debut the world premier of “The King of Second Avenue,” a modern adaptation of “The King of Schnorrers” which features klezmer music.
The play, book and lyrics by Robert Brustein and music by Hankus Netsky, runs at the Charles Mosesian Theater in the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St. in Watertown, from Feb. 7-March 1.
The comedy features a Romeo and Juliet love story set against the background of antagonistic Jewish sects in the Lower East Side of 1960s Manhattan.
“Too many people were confused about the title,” explains playwright and lyricist, Robert Brustein. “Though it is clarified in the play, I decided to change it to something less bewildering. I thought that The King of Second Avenue grounded the play more in its adapted modern period than Zangwill’s 19th century London.”
The King of Second Avenue is a hilarious sequence of con-games, swindlings, and the search for true love, according to New Rep.
“With a cast of New Rep and Boston area favorites, this fun and funny production is a perfect addition to our 30th anniversary season,” said Managing Director Harriet Sheets.
This comedy features wily Sephardic actor named Da Costa (Will LeBow), now down on his luck, dupes Joseph E. Lapidus (Jeremiah Kissel), a wealthy Hollywood producer, out of his clothes, money, groceries, and self-respect, according to New Rep. All the while his lovely daughter Dolores (Abby Goldfarb) is courted by one of her father’s lowly beggar companions, Schmuelly (Remo Airaldi), and the ill-mannered Joseph E. Lapidus, Jr. (Alex Pollock).
“Robert Brustein and Hankus Netsky have written a wonderfully witty and lyrical new play that will certainly delight our audiences. The recent title change from King of Schnorrers to The King of Second Avenue is proof that what we have here is a living and breathing new work being carefully crafted, and helmed masterfully by its creators,” said Artistic Director Jim Petosa.
Tickets are $30-$60 and may be purchased by calling the New Rep Box Office at 617-923-8487 or visiting newrep.org. Student, senior, and group discounts are available.