Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Name Is Asher Lev ***

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
Aaron Posner's adaptation of Chaim Potok's novel about a young Hasid in 1950's Brooklyn who is driven to become an artist despite the conflicts it will create with his family and his community is both intellectually and emotionally satisfying. The title character ages roughly 15 years the course of the play from childhood to young adulthood. Ari Brand, through quiet intensity,  mostly meets the challenge of portraying several ages convincingly. Mark Nelson skillfully creates the roles of his father, his mentor and the rebbe with equal impact. Jenny Bacon is fine as his long-suffering mother, a gallery owner and a model. Eugene Lee's dark wooden set serves well as the Levs' apartment and an art studio. Ilona Somogyi's costumes and David Bova's wigs effectively delineate the characters. Gordon Edelstein's direction hits the right notes. The script's use of narration is greater than I would have preferred, but that did not significantly diminish my enjoyment. Running time: 90 minutes without intermission.

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