Two-time Tony Award-winner Donna Murphy leads the cast of the new Broadway musical “The People in the Picture.” The Roundabout Theatre Company production opened April 28 at Studio 54, marking the final entry of the 2010-2011 Broadway season.
“The People in the Picture” is set in 1977 Manhattan, where Jewish grandmother Bubbie (Murphy) lives with her emotionally estranged daughter, Red (Nicole Parker), and granddaughter, Jenny (Rachel Resheff). Faced with issues of declining health, Bubbie is driven to reconnect with her family and to share with them the stories (and secrets) of her past.
In 1930s Poland, Bubbie was an actress named Raisel (also played by Murphy), who performed with a traveling theatre troupe known as The Warsaw Gang during the years of the Nazi pogroms. Though her troupe friends exist now only in faded photographs, their ghosts are conjured to life on stage as Bubbie recounts her past.
“The People in the Picture” is directed by Leonard Foglia. Book and lyrics are by Iris Rainer Dart (“Beaches”), with music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler.
Previews began April 1 at the 988-seat playhouse. Attendance has ranged from 55 to 81 percent capacity over the last four weeks, during which time the musical has grossed a total of $634,558, according to the Broadway League. Regular tickets to the RTC production are priced from $37 to $122.
“The People in the Picture” has a runtime of two hours and 15 minutes, including an intermission. Performances are staged at 8 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday, with 2 p.m. matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Beginning May 31, the schedule changes, and Tuesday curtains will rise at 7 p.m.
Studio 54 is located at 254 West 54th Street in New York, NY. “The People in the Picture” is a limited engagement through July 19. Scheduling and ticketing details are available on RTC’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “The People in the Picture”
|Variety||Steven Suskin||“Director Leonard Foglia…seems not to have had much creative input on the meandering piece.”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“Without Ms. Murphy this well-meaning Roundabout Theater Company production…would be thin treacle indeed.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||David Rooney||“Even in this well-intentioned but wobbly vehicle, Murphy’s work demonstrates again that she’s one of musical theater’s most dramatically nuanced performers.”|
|The Wall Street Journal||Terry Teachout||“Much talent has been squandered on this stale confection, starting with that of Ms. Murphy…”|
|New York Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||“[Murphy is] vibrant and sparkly as the young Raisel and lends gravity as the aged Bubbie, despite all the cliches.”|
|New York Post||Elisabeth Vincentelli||“It’s not just the music that’s subpar: The book is full of holes, and pulls at the heartstrings without earning its pathos.”|