Why does Sonny have bottlecaps in New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House?

Sonny is the oldest Smaldone son in New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House. The party can’t start until Sonny arrives, momma tells her somewhat jealous daughters as they wait for him on New Year’s Eve 1960.

Come see our show Nov. 3-18, and you’ll hear Sonny get kidded repeatedly about the bottle caps he had as a kind growing up during the depression. Why would he have bottle caps?

To answer that, you need to know a little something about the history of street games played by New York children from the great depression into the 1970s. With very little money to buy toys, children made the best of what they had. A broom handle became a bat for the street version of baseball — stickball, which you’ll also hear about in our play.

And kids also played a game called skully, or skelzies, the name varied depending on the neighborhood. This involved drawing a chalk court on a street and using soda and beer bottle caps of the day to play. Caps were free, you could grab some from the soda machines at the local candy store.

So when Sonny gets kidded about his bottle caps, that’s what’s being discussed. You can read more about it on Wikipedia by clicking here. Or catch a glimpse of it in this video about New York Street games.

Better yet, come see New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House, by the 2nd Act Players, Nov. 3-18. Click on the Buy Tickets button on this page. .

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