Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: THE IMMIGRANT at GSP Touches Your Heart and Soul

Review: THE IMMIGRANT at GSP Touches Your Heart and Soul

"You're smart Haskel, and you work hard."

by Milton Perry in The Immigrant

As a home to great theatre, George Street Playhouse (GSP) has done it again by bringing to the metro area a theatrical gem. The Immigrant, a production that is relevant, inspirational, and entertaining, is being performed on the New Brunswick stage through April 7. Written by Mark Harelik, conceived by Mark Harelik and Randal Myler, the show enjoys wonderful direction by the Playhouse's Director of Education, Jim Jack, and has an excellent four-person cast. This unforgettable story deftly combines drama, history, tradition, and just the right amount of humor.

Review: THE IMMIGRANT at GSP Touches Your Heart and Soul

The play is based on true events. Haskell Herelik is a Russian Jew who immigrates to the United States seeking refuge from his homeland. He arrives at the port of Galveston and settles in Hamilton, Texas in the early 1900's. Haskell starts his work in America struggling to sell bananas for a penny a piece from a wheel cart. When peddling the fruit, he comes to the home of town's banker, Milton Perry and his wife, Ima. The Perrys are at first uncomfortable with Haskell, but soon Ima, a devout Christian, recognizes that the young immigrant needs help and the couple offers him temporary housing. As Haskell endeavors to learn English and assimilate in the Texas town, he forges a deep friendship with the Perrys. With an investment from Milton, Haskell's business flourishes and he brings his wife, Leah to America. With hard work, determination, and the support of a community, Haskell and Leah build a family and live the American dream while remaining faithful to their Jewish traditions.

Review: THE IMMIGRANT at GSP Touches Your Heart and Soul

Benjamin Pelteson masters the dynamic part of Haskell Herelik who starts out as a poor man who can only speak Yiddish, overcomes countless obstacles, and later excels as a businessman and the head of his family. Lauriel Friedman is delightful as Haskell's wife, Leah. Gretchen Hall is ideal as kindly, motherly, Ima Perry, and R. Ward Duffy captures the role of Milton Perry, a ernest businessman and devoted husband. You'll be charmed and moved by scenes that include Ima purchasing bananas from Haskell; Haskell practicing his English; Leah's sudden arrival in Hamilton; Milton and Haskell waiting together as Leah gives birth to the Herelik children; and Ima and Leah talking while making Challah together.

Review: THE IMMIGRANT at GSP Touches Your Heart and Soul

The Creative Team has done a great job of developing the setting for The Immigrant. They include set design by Jason Simms; costume design by Ásta Bennie Hostetter; lighting design by Christopher J. Bailey; projection design by Caite Hevner; sound design by Scott Killian and Christopher Pfeifer and stage. The original music is by Scott Killian; the Stage Manager is Samantha Flint; and Casting is by McCorkle Casting, Ltd.

Review: THE IMMIGRANT at GSP Touches Your Heart and Soul

Now is the time to see a play that will touch your heart and soul. Don't miss The Immigrant, a moving and brilliant portrait of an American family. New Jersey theatergoers will relish this show and the opportunity to reflect on the remarkable contributions that immigrants are continually making in our country.

To find tickets or for more information, visit the George Street Playhouse website at, or call the box office at 732-246-7717.

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

Jersey City Theater Center Offers Workshop By Thomas Richards, Protégé Of Je Photo
“The Potential of Song,” a Masterclass led by Thomas Richards, theater director and former Artistic Director of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards in Pontedera, Italy, and assisted by members of Theatre No Theatre, will introduce each participant to an exploration of work on songs of tradition.

BergenPAC Has The Perfect Valentines Day Gift For Music Lovers Photo
Still looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift? bergenPAC has a variety of romantic performances for you to treat yourself or your loved ones to a special night out.

THE COLOR PURPLE to be Presented at The Ritz Theatre Company This Month Photo
Directed by Kyrus Keenan Westcott, The Color Purple runs at The Ritz from February 10th through February 26th.

Algonquin Announces the Cast and Creative Team of WAIT UNTIL DARK Photo
Algonquin Arts Theatre has announced the cast and creative team for its winter thriller, Wait Until Dark by Frederick Knott. The show will run at Algonquin Arts Theatre from February 18 through February 26.

From This Author - Marina Kennedy

Marina P. Kennedy's writing career led her from freelancing opportunities in New Jersey and New York to writing for where she covers entertainment, the culinary scen... (read more about this author)

 KALYE Opens on the Lower East Side KALYE Opens on the Lower East Side
February 3, 2023

Kalye, the Filipino street fare-inspired restaurant located at 251 Broome Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan is now open. On January 26, they held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Review: Cullberg in HORSE, THE SOLOS AT The Joyce TheaterReview: Cullberg in HORSE, THE SOLOS AT The Joyce Theater
February 3, 2023

Emerging from a string of eerie, dim lights appears Johanna Tengan in bright red, articulating every joint from the bottom of her feet to the vertebrae of her cervical spine. Inviting, confusing, and luminous, Cullberg's 'Horse, the solos,' debuts at The Joyce after its world premiere in March 2021 at Dansens Hus, Stockholm. Hay derives her vision for 'Horse, the solos' from the effects of climate change in America. Her inspiration? All that is unseen in a single blade of grass.

BEACH WHISKEY for Smooth Sipping and Fantastic CocktailsBEACH WHISKEY for Smooth Sipping and Fantastic Cocktails
February 3, 2023

Are you looking for a cinnamon whiskey that actually includes whiskey? Look no further! We want our readers to know about Beach Whiskey Bonfire Cinnamon by Darco Spirits.

DOGFISH HEAD Presents Drinkable Cards and Refreshing Drinks for Valentine's DayDOGFISH HEAD Presents Drinkable Cards and Refreshing Drinks for Valentine's Day
February 2, 2023

Dogfish Head has drinkable cards and other products to celebrate Valentine's Day.

CAFE MISH MOSH New Lebanese Restaurant Opens in NYCCAFE MISH MOSH New Lebanese Restaurant Opens in NYC
February 1, 2023

Café Mish Mosh Lebanese restaurant is now open.