Written in 1844, the play was a vehicle for its author, W.H. Smith, who played the lead. It premiered in Boston and ran for 144 performances--then the longest running play in American history. P.T. Barnum, himself a strong believer in temperance, saw the show and imported it to New York (changing the setting of play in the process) and it ran for 100 performances at his American Museum, which stood near today's City Hall Park.
The energetic cast imbues this production with humor and real feeling--you never feel like you are sitting in a history lesson. It's well worth the journey to the East Village to see this fascinating slice of New York from 150 years ago.
More about the play, including ticket information, can be found at http://www.metropolitanplayhouse.org/
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Read more about P.T. Barnum's New York in
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