From 1937 to 1941, Pins & Needles was a hit musical comedy revue running on Broadway. But this was no ordinary Broadway musical: It was written for and performed by members of The International Ladies Garment Workers' Union. With songs by Harold Rome, ILGWU members sang out for all the people fighting for jobs, housing, a minimum wage, immigrants' rights and economic justice, and performed sketches that satirized the European fascists and the U.S. right-wing reactionaries who rose up against FDR's New Deal.
Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll (The Foundry Theatre's Telephone; Will Eno's Middletown), FUREE on Pins & Needles is no ordinary musical either. It's a new comic adaptation of the original--this time performed by members of FUREE, this time in Brooklyn, this time satirizing our own reactionaries. FUREE on Pins & Needles community musical, performed by a community that knows what they were singing about in 1937 and what they are singing about in 2011.
The Foundry/FUREE adaptation of Pins & Needles maintains the spirit of the original. It aims to connect theater and social justice in a way that is entertaining more than message-based. Twelve of the approximately 20 songs and sketches that make up FUREE on Pins and Needles come from the original, while other music reflecting the African American experience of that period has been added (songs by Josh White, Leadbelly and Jim Garland to name a few.) Some of the text of original songs and sketches have been updated, referencing, for instance, Trump, Ratner, and the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
Visit the FUREE on Pins and Needles: A Revolutionary Musical in Brooklyn website: