This small, perfect play tells a very big story of a family reunitedfitfully, painfullyin 1946 New York after the Holocaust. Beyond the familiarly tragic, heartbreaking and psychologically devastating elements of a kind of Sophies Choice dramatic construction, the 1985 work by Barbara Lebow tries to come to terms with so-called survivors guilt through resurrection. Polish-Jewish father Mordechai Weiss, haunted by a dead wife and child (murdered in Auschwitz) while raising his other, sheltered beautiful girl, struggles to accept the suddenly real-life daughter he betrayed. Lovely, innocent American daughter Rose meets her long-lost refugee sister, and the family confronts a whole other way of understanding the horrors of a history Rose has been spareddenied, if you willbecause of her fathers pride and shame. Until a letter appears. And a list is read. And redemption, almost a character itself, arrives to confront and challenge.
A Shayna Maidel at International City Theatre, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 436-4610; www.ictlongbeach.org. 8 p.m.; check website for additional dates and times. $29. Tue., June 8, 8 p.m.; Wed., June 9, 8 p.m.; Thursdays, 8 p.m.; Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: June 8. Continues through July 5, 2010