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Play About Bridesburg Neighborhood Hits Off-Off-Broadway

Ah, Bridesburg. Two-lane bowling alleys that eschew automatic pinsetters in favor of pin boys (above). The Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery, where "Smiling Al" Maul—who played major league baseball for three years in the 1880s—was laid to rest. Bridesburg Bait and Tackle, which caters to this river ward's bank anglers. Bridesburg: Home of the Ferko String Band, the Original Trilby String Band, the Aqua String Band and the Polish American String Band. Is this not a neighborhood ripe for Broadway's bright lights? In playwright Victor Kaufold's rendering, Bridesburg is represented by a rowhome drama in which a newly married couple—she's pregnant, he's underemployed—moves into the husband's family home, complete with an intrusive mom and a pesky younger sister. Kaufold was motivated by people he knew who had to move into their parents' basements as a result of the economy; he felt there was ample potential for a dramatic scenario.

But why Bridesburg in particular? Because it's economically depressed? If you go by the Inky's Howard Shapiro, it seems Kaufold doesn't have a favorable impression of the neighborhood. Shapiro says the characters are "too angry, or drunk, or angry and drunk." He also wonders why Kaufold wrote the young husband and his teen sister's dialogue in black vernacular. He calls the play "a sad drama with stereotyped characters." Hey, Bridesburg residents, what do you think? Are you sad? Drunk? Angry? Let us know.

Meanwhile, here's Kaufold talking about Bridesburg in a (now moot) Kickstarter video.

And for a bonus, click here for a video of the Polish American pin boys in action.