Sunday, Oct 13, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 45 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 4, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 40
No need to go to NYC: Indecent at the Rep is just as great!
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
No need to go to NYC: Indecent at the Rep is just as great!

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

INDECENT
SEATTLE REPERTORY THEATRE
Through October 26


First, you should know that this is one of the seminal productions in Seattle stage history and you should not miss it!

Paula Vogel has crafted a deeply Jewish play about deeply Jewish issues. She's told a kind of 'back story' about a play that Yiddish writer Sholem Asch wrote in 1906, God of Vengeance, that made its way to Broadway in 1923, only to be shut down abruptly as obscenity! But through writing about all the issues this particular play raised in the Jewish community, she also explores, in specificity, issues that bleed out into every specific culture in the world.

In Indecent, Vogel shows Asch, as a 21-year-old, having his play read aloud in the house of I.L. Peretz, another famous Yiddish writer, and getting the reaction from the men present that the play is a shocking depiction of Jewish life and they think it will cause people to judge Jews harshly, keenly aware as they are to anti-Semitism and the negative, embedded prejudices of the general population.

The play is about a visibly-moral Jewish family whose income comes from the immoral ways of prostitution. In that dark world, Rivkele, the daughter of the family falls in love with a prostitute, Manke, who shows her how pure love can be in the midst of a life of darkness.

But the play is also about false piety and class struggle and corruption, as demonstrated by the father, Yankl. That is less apparent in Indecent than in synopses of the actual Asch play, but those issues are the ones that worried Jews who thought it would boomerang onto the Jewish community.

Most marginalized communities have struggled with art created with layered and less than perfect characters. White, majority populations can have art that ranges, like Shakespeare, from royal to scandalous, because there is so much of it that a few immoral characters don't reflect on a whole community. But if there are few pieces of art to begin with, how then is it acceptable to show prostitution and lesbianism and a family man that purports to follow God's law, but instead is making money from 'debauchery?'

Don't we have to show ourselves in our best light? After all, if someone doesn't know any Jews (Blacks, Latins, Asians, etc.), maybe they'll think we are all like that!

But Asch's play was apparently so moving that it played (in Yiddish) all over the world to acclaim. In Indecent, Vogel demonstrates that a lot of that acclaim comes from the 'rain' scene that so affected people emotionally that they forgave any perceived flaws in the rest of the play.

Yet, while Vogel presents tidbits of the actual Asch play, we don't get to see the 'rain' scene until the last moments of her play. Indeed, at that moment, it seems impossible not to be moved by the love and purity and sanctity of the moment.

When the Seattle Rep announced they were going to do Indecent, even the knowledge that Sheila Daniels would direct didn't instantly bring security to the notion of an all-Jewish play being done properly in Seattle. Seattle has a history of Jewish 'erasure,' somehow thinking that if Judaism is a religion (only), then any white person can play a Jew. I've seen it quite a few times, here, to the failure of the production. Having 'good intentions' isn't enough.

The experience, however, is sublime, and the production is transporting and as good as I can imagine the play being presented. The cast is uniformly excellent, led by the exquisite trio of musicians, Alexander Sovronsky (violin), Kate Olson (clarinet) and Jamie Maschler (accordion). This play's resonance would be nothing without the living sound of klezmer from these versatile players.

The seven main actors play dozens of roles, with each inhabiting one or two key memorable roles. Bradford Farwell mainly plays the narrator role of Lemml, Ron Orbach mainly plays Yankl the pimp, Julie Briskman mainly plays his wife. Antoine Yared mainly plays Asch and Nathaniel Tenenbaum has a key riveting moment as a rabbi in NYC who so disapproves of the play that he reports it to the authorities.

Even as they are ensemble players, compelling Cheyenne Casebier plays Manke and riveting and heartbreaking Andi Alhadeff plays Rivkele. They play these two roles even as they also play different characters who play those play-within-a-play characters.

Yep, that's a confusing sentence, but you'll know what I mean when you see the play. L.B. Morse has created a versatile set that combines a suitably frayed, rundown look of torn fabrics but allows for needed projections of translated text and other uses the script calls for, as time and location change in instants and the audience needs an assist. Costume designer Beth Goldenberg had to include quick changes for the actors who become many different characters, also in an instant.

The script is not without a few small flaws, one of which is that it seems like it has at least three endings before it ends. But there is so much innovation and heart that it's almost not worth picking at. You should know that it purports to be an hour and 45 minutes long without intermission, but opening night was slightly longer. That's a long sit.

However, it seemed like the minutes flew by. There is no wasted moment in the production. This play is worth seeing more than once, and I can count on one hand, probably, the plays I have felt this way about in years.

It is complicated, asks much of an audience member, includes multiple other languages and accents, and maybe introduces a culture you know little about. Embrace it and go!

For more information, call 206-443-2222 or go to www.seattlerep.org.

Discuss your opinions with SGNCritic@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/SeattleTheaterWriters. More articles can be found at MiryamsTheaterMusings.blogspot.com.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

PNB's Agon and Carmina Burana an exciting evening of dance
------------------------------
October 2019 theater openings - spooks edition
------------------------------
No need to go to NYC: Indecent at the Rep is just as great!
------------------------------
Portland Erotic Ball returns for Halloween 2019
------------------------------
NW Orchid Show & Sale Oct. 5 & 6
------------------------------
Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
------------------------------

------------------------------
24th annual Seattle Queer Film Festival preview
------------------------------
Gritty Joker an overtly theatrical piece of clownish performance art
------------------------------
Animalistically risqué Death of Dick Long a potently mordant kick to the head
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2018 - DigitalTeamWorks 2018

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News