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.
SCENE 1-- ROUMANIA ACROSS THE
Nathan has succeeded in
adopting Sashka, and in this way managed to bring him
across the border-line, but there he discovers that
Sashka is a girl.
Sonya pleadingly tells him
why she was forced to adopt her boyish disguise, and
Nathan decides to take her along anyway.
Perel Peye also finds her
long lost husband [?] here.
SCENE 2-- NEW YORK
Nathan's wife, Eva, finds
out that Nathan has adopted a girl, and she refuses to
take her place as a wife and mother again.
At the same time Sonya
meets her former sweetheart, Misha, who is now engaged
to Lilly, and realizing that she is breaking up Nathan's
home, Sonya leaves.
SCENE 3-- CAFE BUBLITCHKI
Sonya has become an
entertainer, and Nathan comes to pleas with her to
return to his home. Sonya promises to come back as a
friend, and through her ingenuity, Nathan remains with
his wife, and she with her sweetheart Misha.