Old World hatreds collide with New World ambitions in Strike! - an epic story of courage, passion and hope on a collision course with power.
It's 1919. Brisbane, Seattle, Barcelona - workers demand their share of the post-war pie but big business and big government say "No" to crippling general strikes. But in Winnipeg, the "Chicago of the North," the entire city shuts down for six weeks and becomes the nation's battleground for the democratic dream.
Mike Sokolowski and his godson Stefan have escaped Europe only to become "enemy aliens" in Canada. But where Stefan finds social justice in the strike, Mike sees a threat to his slave-wage job - his only hope of saving his family from revolution in Ukraine. When Stefan falls in love with Rebecca, the pro-strike Jewish suffragette, making a deportation target for them all, Mike turns against the strikers and their growing hope of changing the world.
Mining the historic divide between Ukraine's Jewish and Catholic emigres, Strike! incorporates the real-life story of New York Jewish leader, Moishe Almazoff, and Ukrainian immigrant everyman, Mike Sokolowski. A warts-and-all portrayal of post-WW1 society rife with anti-Semitism and Bolshevik angst, the musical's over-arching theme is overcoming one's personal prejudices towards religion, class and ethnicity.
Strike! may be performed with as few as ten actors, with musical accompaniment on CD or via three- to ten-person orchestra. Promo CDs and scripts available on request.
"One wonders if Evita will impress as much..."
- Saskatoon Star Phoenix
"An improbably compelling piece of musical theatre"
- The Globe & Mail
"There's nothing small in mind, body or heart about Strike!"
- Edmonton Journal
"Strike! Has Important Message for Humanity"
- Winnipeg Free Press
"Strike! makes haters of musicals and history see the error of their ways"
- University of Saskatchewan Sheaf