Downtown Art to Present The Bowery Wars, Part 2, 4/28-5/20


Downtown Art continues its 'Inheritance' series with The Bowery Wars, Part 2, an original rock musical, based on 'Romeo and Juliet' and the history of the Lower East Side, performed outdoors, written and directed by Ryan Gilliam, composed by Michael Hickey, and performed by a company of 25 teen actors and musicians.  

During Act 1, audience and cast members hear the dialogue and musical score on individual mp3 players while witnessing scenes, dance, and movement performed in multiple sites.  Act 2 is performed live, outdoors, in a vacant lot, with the company's musicians. 

The Bowery Wars, Part 2 combines history and fiction - placing the story of Romeo and Juliet in 1903, when the Lower East Side was the most densely populated place on the face of the earth.  That fall, the battle between New York's two largest gangs - The Eastmans and The Five Pointers – for control of the Bowery entertanment district and all its opportunities for making money reaches its climax. Tammany Hall, whose stronghold is the Lower East Side, is waging a fierce campaign to re-take City Hall after losing it two years before in a scandal of widescale corruption.  Within these battles, a young Italian and a young Russian Jew fall in love.

The Bowery Wars, Part 2 was developed over the past year, including seven months working with a company of teen artists, ages 12 to 18, many from the Lower East Side where the story is based.  The project is inspired by New York's history and the stories of life on the Lower East Side a hundred years ago.  Ryan Gilliam, the project's writer and director, has been creating original community-based theater projects for the past fourteen years.  

All performances are outdoors: 

Act 1: Walking, 45 mins., starts at 120 E. 2nd Street, ends at 19 E. 3rd St.

Act 2: Seated, outdoors, at 19 E. 3rd Street

April 28 - May 20, Saturdays and Sundays, 3:15pm  

Tickets: Adults $15; Students/Seniors $10  

For tickets go to

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