SNOW IN AUGUST
SNOW IN AUGUST
Book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein
Music by Peter Melnick
Snow in August is a musical based on the Pete Hamill novel of the same name. Set in 1947 Brooklyn, Snow tells the story of Michael Devlin, a Catholic altar boy whose father died in the war fighting the Nazis, and his friendship with Rabbi Judah Hirsch, a Czech refugee whose wife was also murdered by the Nazis. Michael worships his father’s memory, and puts him in the same league as Shazam, Captain Marvel and Jackie Robinson, who just became the first person of color to play ball in the majors. Not all of Brooklyn shares Michael’s love for Jackie Robinson, however, least of all the gang of bigoted Irish toughs known as the Falcons. When the Falcons start terrorizing the neighborhood, Michael is forced to choose between his Irish roots – according to which, you never snitch, no matter what – and the Rabbi’s own hard-earned conviction that when you keep silent in the face of evil, you allow evil to grow.
The climax of Snow in August comes on a magical August day when the stifling summer heat suddenly breaks, and a freak blizzard blows through the streets of Brooklyn - the day when Michael Devlin makes his stand and evil takes a powder. Snow in August is a story that has great heart, about fighting bigotry and hatred, and about doing the right thing. Most of all, it’s about believing – in magic, in Jackie Robinson, in goodness and niceness. Pete Hamill wrote his wonderful novel 22 years ago, but the story is timeless, and never more relevant than today. Oh, and not for nothing… there really was a freak snow storm that blew through Brooklyn in August 1947.
- Concert reading, Second Stage Theater, New York (2017)
- Recipient of the American Harmony Prize, honoring a new musical that dramatizes an aspect of the experience of Irish Americans. The prize includes a concert reading at the Kweskin Theater in Stamford, CT (2015)
About my Snow in August Collaborators
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (book) is an award-winning playwright, comic book and screenwriter. His many plays include Abigail 1702 (NYS&F), Great Boys and True (2nd Stage) and King of Shadows (Theater for the New City). He was part of the team brought in to overhaul Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. For MGM Films, he wrote a new version of both Carrie and The Town That Dreaded Sundown. In his role as chief creative officer for Archie Comics Publications, he is creator and show-runner of CW series Riverdale, and Sabrina, on Netflix.
Mindi Dickstein (lyrics) is perhaps best known for the Broadway musical Little Women. She is currently writing lyrics for Benny & Joon, based on the MGM film, which has been developed at Transport Group, NAMT, The Old Globe and, this spring, The Paper Mill Playhouse. Her work has been commissioned, produced, and developed widely, including by Disney (Toy Story – the musical), Second Stage (Snow in August), Playwrights Horizons, The Kennedy Center, ASCAP Workshop, Goodspeed Johnny Mercer Colony, Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, Theatreworks Silicon Valley, Lincoln Center (“Hear and Now: Contemporary Lyricists”), and London’s Bridewell Theater. Honors include a Larson Foundation Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowships, and a Second Stage Klinsky Award. She is on the faculty of the NYU Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, and I know for a fact that she is a deeply committed, inspiring teacher.