Thursday, October 20, 2011

Diary of Anne Frank

commemorating Hanukkah

Ego Po classic theater has begun its Festival of Jewish Theater with its production of The Diary of Anne Frank. Staged in the intimate space on the second floor of The Prince Music Theater, located at 1412 Chestnut Street, this classic can be seen through November 6. Making a success of a work that is not new to the stage can be a formidable task. Scenic Designer Matthew Miller and Lighting Designer Matt Sharp not only meet expectations, but exceed them. The two walls to the set which serve as walls in the attic hiding place are  reminiscent of peeling plaster with exposed netting underneath. Action takes paces in six different areas of the set. Each area is alternately lit to highlight a character or a group of characters. At times a few areas are backlit to give a hint of what characters are doing in this small attic space. The audience’s attention constantly shifts to follow the light and herein lies the foundation for some of the excitement  of this piece. Natalie De La Torre, Costume Designer, does her part as well, by having characters wear demure undergarments from the 1940’s and changes of clothes that are appropriate for that time period. Perhaps because of this authenticity, perhaps because of the intimacy of the theater, perhaps because there are seats on two sides of the stage so the characters have to move and face the audience at all times, perhaps for all of these reasons, you nearly forget that you are watching The Diary of Anne Frank. You almost believe that you are in the attic, hiding with the Frank and Van Daan families. Clever props are used to indicate passage of time… the two families light a menorah commemorating Hanukkah; family members wear winter coats in the attic; Anne tells her diary that she has been in the attic for 1 year, 6 months and 25 days; newscasts on the radio tell of German successes, then of the arrival of Allies. The acting of this ensemble cast is masterful under the direction of Lane Savadove.. Sara Yoko Howard, a recent Temple University graduate, portrays a very convincing 13 year old Anne Frank, who is just beginning to discover herself and the stirrings in her body. Rob Kahn, who plays Otto Frank, is dynamic throughout, but his final soliloquy is nothing short of mesmerizing. In short this is a riveting production that you won’t want to miss. For tickets, call 800-595-4TIX or visit online at

1 comment:

  1. Hi Judy. I'm here via your comment on Popps's bits and bobs blog in relation to our shared receipt of an email from Serge L of JOOBLE. Out of curiosity I set myself the task of following up on all those who announced themselves as recipient's of the email. I wanted to see what links us, other than chance. I suspect now after several visits to blogs who share the dubious honour it is chance rather than our expertise that brings us together. In any case I'm pleased to meet you.