Fighting to Save a Sleazy Motel in Boston in the 1940s
by Bruce Chadwick
Motel Rasdell June Havoc Theater Midtown International Theater Festival 312 W. 36th Street New York, N.Y.Each summer, the festival presents fifty or so plays with a variety of themes as well as historyIn the 1940s, all proper Bostonian scoffed at the sleazy Motel Rasdell, a fictional hotel on the edge of the city. It was home to drug dealers, drug addicts on their “reefers,” derelicts, the homeless and hard edged hookers. Nobody ever mistook it for a dorm at Harvard, on the other side of the Charles River.It is also home to a bouncy new musical, Motel Rasdell, with an exuberant cast, a solid book and a charming, if harrowing, story.John is a reporter for a Boston newspaper and a womanizer in his personal life. He begins an affair with a hooker, Eve, who works at the Rasdell. He learns all about the wild life at the motel, and the illegality of just about everything that goes on there and writes a story about it. At the same time, his wife Jane catches him in his double life and leaves for Cape Cod, where she sulks on the beach. His two teenaged kids then try to run the house without her.
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