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The Parkway Theatre
(formerly the Rolland Theatre)
1768 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn, NY
Opened on May 21, 1948

 

"DI BABY SITER (THE BABY SITTER)"
by William Siegel, music by Abraham Ellstein

 

 

 


This William Siegel play originally opened up with the title "The Big Shot" on 19 January 1948 (the ad above is from an earlier production at Brooklyn's Parkway Theatre) at the Second Avenue Theatre in New York City. Eventually, sometime that May or earlier it went on the road. With the play title of "The Baby Sitter," it was staged in such cities and towns as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Buffalo, New York (a newspaper says he and his troupe were returning from a "middle-west tour"), before opening up a limited engagement at the Parkway Theatre in Brooklyn, New York on 21 May 1948.  Lillian Shapero did the choreography, Abe Ellstein wrote the music and Isidor Lillian and Jacob Jacobs wrote the lyrics.

Here is a short summary of the play, from an article in the New York Post, dated 19 January 1948: "Nitty Napkin is a baby-sitter who is a former waiter who takes care of babies because it gives him a chance to sit down ... No one in the cast can remember his name, so that gives everyone a chance to call him, "Mr. Tablecloth," "Mr. Dirty Linen," "Mr. Knives and Forks," "Mr. Everything-Else-That-Comes-To-Their-Minds." During the course of the musical, Skulnik masquerades as a doctor (see photo above) and prescribes bicarbonate of soda in such large quantities that Miami, Florida, where much of the action of the show takes place, soon runs out of the stuff ..."
Don't you wish you could have seen this production? You can learn more about Menasha here.
 


 

 

This production was a guest appearance of the troupe. After the Parkway, Menasha's troupe continued their tour, going on to Philadelphia and the Academy of Music, then to Boston's Opera House, New Haven, Connecticut's Shubert Theatre, then to Newark's Mask Theatre, then to Washington D.C.'s Uline Arena. Subsequent guest appearances were at the Lyceum in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Playhouse in Winnipeg, Canada.

In the piece there plays Menasha Skulnik in the role of "Naftulye, the Baby Sitter." With him there plays: Leon Liebgold, Lilli Lilliana, Yetta Zwerling, Anna Teitelbaum, Rosa Wallerstein, Gitel Stein, Israel Mandel, Bennie Adler, Yitskhok Arco and a chorus and ballet.

You can hear Menasha Skulnik sing a song from "The Baby Sitter" if you'd like.
 

 

 

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