Nashville’s ‘A Stoop on Orchard Street’ Now in Philadelphia Run

Orchard 1Ten years after its birth in Nashville, a hit Off-Broadway musical has returned to the stage for a lengthy engagement in Philadelphia and nearby cities that once again involves several members of the Nashville theater community.

A Stoop On Orchard Street, with book, music and lyrics by Nashville resident Jay Kholos, takes a nostalgic look at tenement life on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, circa 1910. The musical comedy follows the trials and tribulations of the Lomansky family and neighbors as they adjust to a new life and new home in America, so different from the shtetls of Eastern Europe they left behind.

Orchard 2The current production previewed with shows in Wilkes-Barre, Penn. and New York City on Oct. 6 and 7, respectively. It opened Oct. 10 at the Dell Theater in Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History where it runs through Dec. 30. During its Philadelphia engagement, the show will also be performed in nearby cities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

A Stoop On Orchard Street was first performed in a workshop at Nashville’s Gordon Jewish Community Center (GJCC) in Nov. 2002. It featured such well-known Nashville actors as Danny Proctor, John Silvestro, Kaine Riggan, and the late Anne Tonelson and Lon Gary.

Orchard 3It then premiered at New York City’s historic Mazer Theater in July 2003 and enjoyed a remarkably successful 16-month run – the longest-running show in the theater’s history. A second company launched Stoop at the Stage Door Theatre in South Florida starring current Nashville actress Vicki White where it ran for 5 months, eventually launching a 30-city tour across North America.

Kholos’ second musical, My Catskills Summer, premiered at the GJCC in March 2010. This sequel to Stoop looked at the next generation of Jewish-Americans, who had become successful, moved to the suburbs, and were largely (but not completely) “assimilated.” Barry Williams (from TV’s “The Brady Bunch) starred in this production, which included such Nashville-based talents as Dan McGeachy, Mike Baum, Patrick Kramer, Alan Lee, Howard Snyder, and Stoop veterans Silvestro and White.

Orchard 4The new production of A Stoop On Orchard Street includes a cast and production team that come from the Nashville and Philadelphia areas. Lee (under his stage name B.D. Boudreaux) is directing and stars in the show that is produced by Kholos.

The other Nashville-based production members include musical director Mark Beall, choreographer Kim Kinsley, set designer Anthony Popolo, associate producer Noel Henebury-Farmer, and dramaturg/music supervisor/assistant producer Snyder. In addition to Lee, castmembers from the Nashville theater community include Mia Rose, Francine Berk, and Snyder.

Orchard 5Show information:

Cast list and production team information:

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*Archival production photos courtesy Big Apple Musicals and A Stoop on Orchard Street production team.

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About Evans Donnell

Evans Donnell is the chief theater, film and opera critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He wrote reviews and features about theater, opera and classical music for The Tennessean from 2002 to 2011. He was the theater, film and opera critic for from 2011 to 2012. Donnell has also contributed to The Sondheim Review, Back Stage, The City Paper (Nashville), the Nashville Banner, The (Bowling Green, Ky.) Daily News and several other publications since beginning his professional journalism career in 1985 with The Lebanon (Tenn.) Democrat. He was selected as a fellow for the 2004 National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) arts journalism institutes for theater and musical theater at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2006 and classical music and opera at the Columbia University School of Journalism in 2009. He has also been an actor (member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA), founding and running AthensSouth Theatre from 1996 to 2001 and appearing in Milos Forman's "The People vs Larry Flynt" among other credits. Donnell is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (


  1. Anne and Lon, I love you!