A Shayna Maidel

This small, perfect play tells a very big story of a family reunited—fitfully, painfully—in 1946 New York after the Holocaust. Beyond the familiarly tragic, heartbreaking and psychologically devastating elements of a kind of Sophie’s Choice dramatic construction, the 1985 work by Barbara Lebow tries to come to terms with so-called survivor’s 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 spared—denied, if you will—because of her father’s 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

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