Lower East Side Tenement Museum Wears Shirtwaist, the Musical, Jan. 30-Feb. 16

News   Lower East Side Tenement Museum Wears Shirtwaist, the Musical, Jan. 30-Feb. 16
On March 25, 1911—before New York City possessed many laws protecting the rights of laborers—146 women died when the Triangle Shirtwaist Company of Greenwich Village caught on fire. The seamstresses working there found themselves trapped on the eighth through tenth floors of the building, their supervisors having locked the doors to prevent them from taking breaks or stealing merchandise. A rear fire escape collapsed and the local fire department's ladder only reached the sixth floor. Many women jumped out the windows to their death, their dresses ablaze.

This defining moment in the American labor movement has been set to music in Shirtwaist: A Musical Ghost Story, a new show by Ellen K. Anderson, with music by Ryan Brown. Appropriately enough, the show will be presented by the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Flying Fig Theater, and staged at the former's Tenement Theatre at 97 Orchard Street—an address where the Jewish immigrant workers at the Triangle factory could very likely have lived.

Dates are Jan. 30-Feb. 16. Heather Ondersma directs.

The story is told through the activities of five ghosts who still inhabit the site of the tragedy (the building, now owned by NYU, is still standing). They impart their memories to a modern-day female Asian-American firefighter investigating a false alarm on the ninth floor and a Brazilian professor she meets there.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors; $9 for Museum members. Call (800) 965-4827 or visit www.tenement.org.

* Coincidentally this season, TACT, The Actors Company Theatre, will present a new company-created work about the fire in spring in Manhattan.

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