Monday, April 2, 2007
I'm having a hard time thinking of one negative comment I can make about Bernard Weinraub's The Accomplices, currently at Theatre Row in a production by The New Group. It's not a great play, but I left feeling that I had seen one of the most interesting and fascinating political dramas in a long while. Weinraub, a journalist by profession who is making his theatrical debut, tells the story of a fringe group in the early 1940s who tried to shine a light on Hitler's regime at a time when the Roosevelt administration was turning a blind eye to it. The performances are universally excellent: Daniel Sauli plays the protagonist (the son of a Palestinian rabbi) perfectly, while Zoe Lister-Jones hits all the right notes as the woman who loves him, and who has spent much of her life running from her Jewish heritage. Veteran David Margulies is superb as the Rabbi Stephen Wise, who chooses to scorn the radical movement in favor of blind support for FDR, and Jon DeVries offers great comic relief (and social commentary) as both the President of the United States and one of the movement's famous supporters, playwright Ben Hecht. Sign yourself up for this exemplary history listen.