|The cast. Photo: Carol Rosegg|
By Paula Vogel
Directed by Rebecca Taichman
Created by Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman
Choreographed by David Dorfman
By Lauren Yarger
Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Paul Vogel (How I Learned to Drive) makes her Broadway debut with the tale of a tale that was labeled Indecent.
Creator/Director Rebecca Taichman brings history to life on the stage by combining three musicians (Matt Darriau, Lisa Gutkin and Aaron Halva) and an ensemble of actors who play various roles as a (Matt Darriau, Lisa Gutkin, Aaron Halva, Katrina Lenk, Mimi Lieber, Max Gordon Moore, Tom Nelis, Steven Rattazi, Richard Topol and Adina Verson) to tell the story of the mounting of the Yiddish play God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch.
Containing the first on-stage kiss between two women, the play, which premiered in 1907 in Poland. and enjoyed success touring across Europe. In 1923 it was translated into Englaish and got a Broadway run -- until it was cut short when the cast was arrested for indecency.
Vogel's play focuses on how God of Vengence touched the lives of those involved, including two actresses who find love as they play the characters who dare to explore their lesbian attraction. Interestingly, God of Vengeance itself recently had an acclaimed run in New Yiddish Rep in New York, where in 2017, nothing is considered indecent.
The play, in a brisk 100 minutes, is a fine blend of music (Co-Composed and Music Directed by Gutkin and Halva), movement and strong acting by all of the ensemble members. The Yiddish tunes, choreography by David Dorfman and costuming by Emily Rebholz set the mood, complimented by expert Lighting Design by Christopher Akerlind. Riccardo Hernandez creates a backstage set and Projection Design by Tal Yarden keeps us up to date on dates and locations.
The play, which won last year's CT Critics Circle Award for its premiere at Yale Repertory and had a successful Off-Broadway run this season before transferring to Broadway, Taichman and Akerlind all have been nominated for Tony Awards.
Indecent plays at the Cort Theatrem 138 West 48th St., NYC. Ticjets are $39-$129: indecentbroadway.com
-- Sexual Activity
-- God's name taken in vain