I finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn this afternoon. I had never read it before, but on its reputation as a wildly popular autiobiographical novel, i put it on my syllabus. I wanted something that would cover urban literature, class & gender, and also be a good test case for New Historicism. The last time I taught AmLit 2, I chose The Grapes of Wrath, and while feel good deep down inside for having taught such a serious work, I was hoping that this time around, a coming-of-age novel would appeal to the students more directly.
I had known about the Elia Kazan film (I caught the last half of it on cable years ago, though now I see the movie covers only part of the book). But I didn’t know of the theatrical versions. And what do you know, there’s an off-Broadway revival gearing up right now.
For the first time in 60 years, the first fully-staged, full-length revival of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, a musical based on Betty Smith’s iconic American novel of the same name, will open in New York City March 20, 2011. Presented by the award-winning Peccadillo Theater Company, previews begin March 12 at Theatre at St. Clement’s (423 W. 46th Street).