Jewish Currents

March 1988 42:3 (458) p21
Our Jewish Currents Concert
[by Morris U. Schappes]

December 6
The audience of some 260 that came to P.S. 41 to hear E.G.: a Musical Portrait of Emma Goldman (1869-1940), with music by Leonrd Lehrman, who conducted at the piano, and book and lyrics by Karen Ruoff Kramer and Lehrman, were sharply divided in their reactions to this elaborate and complex work. The small minority that stayed to the end of the over-long performance was enthusiastic and well rewarded. The vast majority, however, often unable to hear the spoken dialogue, confused by the fact that Emma was portrayed by three different singers at various stages of her career, unable to keep the flashbacks straight, rapidly drifted out in the second half. There was very good singing by Helene Williams as the main Emma and by a fine supporting company of Pamela Sanabria, Sheila Dean, Douglas Kiddie, Mark Hoeler and Eugene Green, and some of the songs in the first act really "took," but after the [very long] collection (of $2,888), the audience quietly dwindled away. To Lennie [sic] and the cast, underpaid and overworked, our deep thanks for a splendid effort. Better the next time!

[This was the last time the work was ever presented in the six-person version; but there have been over 40 productions since, in 5 countries, with Helene as Emma and Leonard at the piano.]