SYNOPSIS OF "BUBLITCHKI"
by William Siegel
This play starred Molly Picon and Aaron Lebedeff.
It was first staged on January 11, 1938 in NYC's Public Theatre.
The synopsis below is from the program doled out during
The photographs below are sheet music covers and the
A new operetta with
music by Abe Ellstein, lyrics by Jacob Jacobs, and staged by Jacob
Scene 1 -- IN NEW
It's little Benny Shlifkin's birthday, but it promises
to be a very sad affair, because his mother has gone off
with a sweetheart and left his father, Nathan, who out
of aggravation, has taken to drink, and all the pleas of
his sister Lilly and his cousin Pearl Peye are of no
avail. A telegram comes for Benny from his mother,
saying that she cannot be with him because she has left
for Europe. Nathan decides to do the same--give up his
home and go back to Russia to se his old mother, his
uncle Elye and forget his troubles. Lilly tells this to
Misha, Nathan's wife's cousin, who left his sweetheart
in Odessa and still hopes to find her.
SCENE 2-- IN ODESSA
Sonya, the daughter of a
rich manufacturer, has been leading a gang of homeless
boys, herself disguised as a boy since the revolution
has done away with the bourgeoisie. Her only friend is
uncle Elye, and she makes her way by stealing what she
can and singing "Bublitchki" in the streets.
When Nathan comes to
Odessa he finds uncle Elye and arranges to take him back
to America, the old man refuses to go without Sonya, or
Sashka, as she calls herself. Sonya has overheard Nathan
speaking of his friend Motel, who, years ago lost his
arm on account of him in a factory, and she slyly tells
Nathan that she is Motel's son and persuades him to take
her along to America too.
Lilly, who accompanies
Nathan, meets Mike, Perel Peye's son, who is a sailor on
the battleship Ohio, which is in port in Odessa.
SCENE 3-- RUSSIAN BORDER LINE
They all arrive here on
the May Day celebration, which they all join, but when
they prepare to leave, the officer in charge refuses to
grant permission for Sashka to leave Russia.