re: Rags at NYU Tonight
Posted by: the_brass_kazoo 03:40 pm EST 02/09/19
In reply to: Rags at NYU Tonight - lowwriter 12:22 am EST 02/09/19

I saw it Friday night as well and I am sorry to say I did not think the revised version was an improvement. SPOILERS AHEAD! As noted, the character of Nat is gone and his material is divided haphazardly between other characters. Most of it goes to a new character, Max Bronfman, a successful clothing manufacturer who lectures Rebecca about needing to change her name to something less Jewish...while his own name is Bronfman! In the original, this exchange happened between Rebecca and Nat who actually DID change his name from Hershkowitz to Harris so it made more sense coming from him. Also in this version, Saul the Jewish union organizer becomes Sal the Italian union organizer, which leads to an embarrassing new song called "Meet an Italian." Most of the "humor" can be summarized as "Yiddish words are funny." Strouse's score has some great melodies but unfortunately the climactic "Bread and Freedom" falls flat lyrically and musically. I feel like this is another in a string of revisals I have seen recently ("Rothschild and Sons", "Dear World", etc.) that have taken a flawed original and made it worse.

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