Theater: Forty Years On

PINS AND NEEDLES

Music and Lyrics by Harold Rome

Every show has two settings, the one onstage and one in the society that exists behind it. Pins and Needles, at Manhattan's Roundabout Theater, is almost 41 years old; the first line of its first number is "Sing me a song of social significance." But the difference between what was socially significant in 1937 and in 1978 is so ironically perceptible as to cripple some of the numbers while endowing others with brand-new satirical bite.

A song like Sunday in the Park is a musical idyl to the garment workers' one day off, where lovers...

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