Despite winning the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, playwright Elmer Rice's Street Scene has grown conspicuously neglected by the contemporary theater world. The rarity of productions, however, shouldn't be interpreted as any reflection of the work's quality or relevance. A keenly observed study of the complex, often uneasy relationships forged between residents of an emergent New York City neighborhood, the piece offers an insightful window into the ever-changing demographics of America's largest melting pot. As immigration is still a contentious political issue, the work's prevailing themes remain absolutely pertinent. No, it isn't the play's content that has daunted theater companies, but rather an audacious scope that requires the cast to enact some 60 distinct roles. While theater groups have long shied away from the challenge, Girl Friday Productions is determined to give the work its due. Led by the assured direction of Craig Johnson, Street Scene represents the largest ensemble cast in the history of Girl Friday Productions. More than 26 actors will undertake the utterly ambitious task of recreating a New York City environment that, despite having been memorialized 80 years ago, remains remarkably similar to our own neighborhoods.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Mon., July 18, 7:30 p.m. Starts: July 7. Continues through July 31, 2011