Share, , , Google Plus, Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon

Print

Posted in:

Grant Golden Review: Rose at JRT

THE
BASICS:
The Jewish
Repertory Theatre opens its diminutive 2009-2010 season with a one-woman show
by Martin Sherman (“Bent”). It plays weekends (no Fridays) through
November 1st, at the Alleyway Theatre. Directed by JRT’s artistic director Saul
Elkin and starring Christina Rausa, Rose
runs about two hours, with one fifteen minute
intermission.

THUMBNAIL
SKETCH:
Rose Rose, an
eighty-year-old Jewish woman of Ukrainian descent, sits on a bench and tells us
the story of her life. It’s really quite an epic, and serves, perhaps too
obviously, as a microcosm of the 20th century Jewish Experience. From childhood
pogroms to the terrors of the Warsaw Ghetto to safe havens in Jewish America
and beyond, the story has plenty of sweep, a multitude of characters, and some
truly emotional moments. But it is what it is–a woman on a bench on a nearly
bare stage, talking to us for a couple of hours.

THE CAST:
Christina Rausa, a
talented and well-respected actor, has the lead role here. She gives a very
competent, actorly impersonation of the woman in question. It’s a well-modulated
and well-paced performance, with pleasing peaks and valleys. But Miss Rausa is
never quite the genuine article, as the JRT’s many Jewish patrons will surely
see. And this works against the enterprise pretty significantly. Maybe, given
the fact that only one thespian was required here, they should have gone
shopping in New York City…

PRODUCTION
VALUES:
Director Elkin
has keeps things rolling right along. It’s never tedious, although I will admit
to phasing out a little bit here and there. A cloudy backdrop, apparently
designed by Elkin, is mysterious, attractive–and nicely widens the play’s
scope. Another Elkin, Emily, has provided some soulful cello passages.

FINAL
THOUGHTS:
A lot of
what Rose
tells us,
via playwright Sherman, would be better on the Big Screen, but the ending,
which packs a small wallop, is good theater, and sends us into the chilly
Buffalo night with something to think about. For this reason alone, the play is
worthy of your time.

RATING:
THREE BUFFALOS
(out of
five). 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for three.jpg

 

Hide Comments
Show Comments