The People in the Picture, book and lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart, music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler, Roundabout Theatre Company, Studio 54, Broadway, 4/1/11-6/19/11. http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/broadway/thepeopleinthepicture/index.htm
Reviewed by Becca Kidwell
How can we ever forget the past? How can remember? These questions surface for Raisel and Red when Jenny asks her Bubbie who the people in the picture are. They are Raisel’s friends and theatre/film company. These people hold the key to Jenny’s heritage and must instill it within her despite her mother’s objections and grandmother’s failing health. Although the story and score are uneven, the talent and the sentiment carry the show through joy and heartbreak.
Donna Murphy spends the majority of the show as Jenny’s Bubbie who tries to pass down her family’s history. Ms. Murphy shows her versatility by not only providing a strong dramatic performance but also by providing comedic moments depicting Raisel’s younger days. Raisel shows her granddaughter Jenny (played by Rachel Resheff) the life that she and her theatre/film company had. She tries to only share positive memories, but the horrible realities underneath keep seeping through. Raisel’s daughter Red (played by Nicole Parker) pushes for the entire truth to be known and not simply a pleasant mythology. Ms. Murphy’s acting, singing, and dancing flow effortlessly and show the whimsy, pain, and sacrifice that make up Raisel’s life. Continue reading