The physical geography of New York has changed in the past hundred and fifty years, of course; but the emotions- the pain of poverty and hunger, the heartbreak of lost love, the devotion of a mother, the lust for money and power- these feelings are as familiar today as they were in the time of our play and they spill headlong onto our street with every sunrise. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the area known as Five Points was dense with the desperately poor and rife with violence and raw emotion. A few short blocks away the Astors and Livingstones built great mansions and entertained royalty while barefoot orphans sold hot corn out of buckets on the filthy streets. The emotions engendered by these differences made for great melodrama and the prolific Dion Boucicault took full advantage. When I searched for songs to accompany his wonderful play, I could not find even one which seemed specific to any of his colorful characters. So I wrote one. The two. Then thirteen. When I played and sang them in my living room they seemed that they might be all right. When I heard them having been arranged by the wonderful Mark Hartman and sung by such beautiful voices I was glad that I had done it. Mr. Boucicault always encouraged anything that enhanced his plays, and even burned down a theater for dramatic effect. I wrote a few songs. I humbly hope he approves.
The Streets of New York
Showing from Sat, Dec 4 — Sun, Jan 30, 2022