Why, Mother, do you sit up so late? You cry so much, and look so white—Mother, do not cry. Is it because Father does not come home to bring us bread? We shall find Father bye and bye.

From temperance club to neighborhood pub, these heart-searing words have echoed in countless performances since they were put down more than a century ago by an actor named William Sedley and picked up by P. T. Barnum, first big producer of The Drunkard, or The Fallen Saved. Last week The Drunkard's lachrymose prose reverberated no more in Los Angeles, where the show...

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