LOS ANGELES -- An offering of Santa Monica Playhouse's Jewish Heritage Program and its Actor's Repertory Theatre, Backstreet, a new musical, is based on a story by Sholom Asch and is set in a Jewish brothel in New York's Lower East Side circa 1905. The play opened Feb. 28, and has been so popular, the Playhouse extended its run past an Apr. 26 close to May 31. Now the show has been extended again, to June 28.
The story deals with the women's movement of that era and the quest of newly arrived immigrants for self-worth and a kind of respectability.
Backstreet is written by Chris DeCarlo, Evelyn Rudie and Matt Wrather, and directed by DeCarlo. Music is by Rudie and Wrather; costumes are by Ashley Hayes and Cheryl Jennings.
The cast features ART members DeCarlo, Rudie, Kymberly Ann Johnson, John Waroff, Wrather and Sharon Webster, with guest artists Debra Fortunato, Morgan Kibby, Edie Magoun and Sheilah Yates.
The writer-director team of Rudie and DeCarlo has achieved success in the past at the Playhouse with several adaptations of stories by Sholem Aleichem. Backstreet plays Fri.-Sun. at the Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. For tickets, $16-$20, call (310) 394-9779 ext. 1.
Rudie and DeCarlo are also collaborating on a children's show at the Playhouse, Adults, Keep Out!. The musical-comedy runs just one afternoon (two performances) Apr. 19. Rudie's also penned a children's version of Little Red Riding Hood, directed by Cheryl Jennings Apr. 18-May 31.