Refugees welcome at Metropolitan in LEAH, THE FORSAKEN

By: Jan. 28, 2017

Closed Borders and Religious Profiling are at Heart of 1862 Melodrama
First US Revival in 51 years


February 10 - March 12, 2017

As Washington closes the door on refugees, Obie Award winning Metropolitan Playhouse welcomes LEAH, THE FORSAKEN, Augustin Daly's trenchant drama of Jewish refugees in Austria, directed by nationally renowned Francis X. Kuhn, at The Playhouse: 220 E 4th Street, New York City.

Previews begin 2/10/17
Opening 2/17/17
Closing 3/12/17

Tickets are $30 general; $25 students/seniors; $10 children, and may be purchased online at or by telephone at 800 838 3006

LEAH, THE FORSAKEN is a tale of forbidden love, treachery, and redemption from 1862. Leah, a Jewish refugee fleeing persecution in Hungary, is forbidden by law to pass the night in an Austrian town. But there she wins the love of Rudolf, a Christian citizen. When a particularly zealous persecutor convinces Rudolf she has betrayed him, he quickly renounces her. Leah retreats to her exile, but only after bestowing her and her people's curse on him and his progeny. Can there be any light in such a darkened time, and what could possibly light it?

Both abroad and at home, LEAH's themes are those of today's headlines. In its unparalleled theatricality, the play fully embraces the savage suspicions of "the other," the bitter hatreds born of fear, the craven betrayals engendered by persecution, and the ugly inhumanity that flourishes in mobs. But just as bold are its promises of the benefaction found in courage, compassion, and love. And contemporary audiences will be surprised at its nuanced affirmation of each individual's potential for goodness, once freed from the burdens of ideology and custom.

An adaptation of Salomon Hermann Mosenthal's international sensation DEBORAH, Leah, the Forsaken was hugely popular in New York and London with Kate Bateman in the lead in the 1860's and 70's. The play was made into several films, one starring Mary Fuller, in 1908. The play was last revived in the US in 1966, to the best of Metropolitan's knowledge.

Augustin Daly (1838-1899) was one of the grandest theatrical impresarios of the late 19th Century and is considered by many to be the first modern American director. While his exceptional success as a producer chiefly owes to the smash success of Under the Gaslight (1867, and revived by Metropolitan in 2009), he began his career in 1859 as a drama critic for several New York papers. Already writing and producing adaptations and new plays, he assured some favorable press by writing his own reviews. He went on to manage successful venues such as the Fifth Avenue Theatre, in two locations, and then a Daly's Theatre in New York and a second in London. In New York, he gathered his own company of actors, including luminaries such as Ada Rehan, Clara Morris, Maurice Barrymore, Fanny Davenport, Tyrone Power, Sr., Isadora Duncan, and many more. Known for both the authenticity of his settings and his sensational effects, insistence on justified behavior on stage, and a propensity for exte
nsive alteration of even the most sacred theatrical works (such as Shakespeare), Daly was a driving force in American theater for nearly half a century.

LEAH, THE FORSAKEN is directed by Francis X. Kuhn ( McCarter Theatre, Princeton Rep, Delaware Theatre Company, Sacramento Opera, Virginia Opera, OPERA Delaware,). The production stars Regina Gibson (A Man's World and East Village Chronicles at Metropolitan, The Golden Bride for Folkesbiene) with NOELIA ANTWEILER, JON BERRY, Joe Candelora, MARGARET CATOV, TALIA CUOMO, TERRENCE DINEEN, MATT DELUCA, RAY FIELD, JEFFREY GROVER, Melissa Hurst, John Ingle, RON NUMMI, and KATI SCHWARTZ. Set design is by MICHAEL LeBRON (End of Summer). Lighting by Samantha Davis and PATRICK MAHANEY (Alison's House, The Hero). Costumes by NYIT Award winner Sidney Fortner (End of Summer, O'NEILL (Unexpected), Walk Hard). Stage Manager is INGRID PIERSON.

METROPOLITAN PLAYHOUSE explores America's theatrical heritage through forgotten plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. Now in its 25th season, the theater received a 2011 OBIE Grant from The Village Voice for its ongoing productions that illuminate who we are by revealing where we have come from. Called an "indispensable East Village institution" by and "invaluable" by Back Stage, Metropolitan has earned accolades from The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The New Yorker. Other awards include Outstanding Performing Arts Group from the Victorian Society New York, and 18 nominations for NYIT Awards since 2010, with winners Lenore Wolf for short script, Sidney Fortner for costumes, Frank Anderson for lead actor. Recent productions include END OF SUMMER, O'NEILL (Unexpected), WALK HARD, ALISON'S HOUSE, INJUNCTION GRANTED, THE MAN OF THE HOUR, ICEBOUND, WITHIN THE LAW, THE HERO, A MAN'S WORLD, BOTH YOUR HOUSES, THE HOUSE
OF MIRTH, DEEP ARE THE ROOTS, THE JAZZ SINGER, ONE-THIRD OF A NATION, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, and DODSWORTH, as well as the Alphabet City and East Village Chronicles series.

$30 general admission, $25 students/seniors, and $10 children 18 and under.
Preview admission prices are $20.00 for those over 18; $10 for children.
To purchase tickets online visit, or call 800 838 3006.

February 10th - March 12th, 2017
Thursday - Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm; and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 pm

Additional Performances
Monday, February 13th at 7:30 pm (Pay What You Will)
Wednesdays, March 1st and 8th at 3:00 pm
Saturdays, March 4th and 11th at 3:00 pm

Opening Night: Friday, February 17th at 7:30 pm
Closing: Sunday, March 12th at 3:00 pm

Photo: Regina Gibson as Leah
photo: Alex Roe