Anne, A New Play

Critics

LemonMeter

88 %

Reviews: 16

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

In celebration of what would have been Anne Frank's 90th birthday this June, the Simon Wiesenthal Center presents a unique play that reframes Anne's story through an unconventional lens. In this new adaptation of the immortal Holocaust story, 13 year-old Anne Frank imagines her life as a young woman — safe in a post-war world. When she meets a publisher who expresses interest in her story, Anne looks back on the two years she spent hidden away with her family during the Nazi regime. This innovative production eschews traditional sets and costumes to place the audience and actors on the same dramatic plane as the characters — all real people under real circumstances — fighting for their lives, sanity and dreams of the future. June 16 – July 22; Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035; (310) 772-2505; www.museumoftolerance.com

Reviews

Avatar

The ensemble does a creditable acting job in bringing these characters to life...

Technically, given the limited space and production budget, Desma does a good job with her set design depicting the Frank family home in Amsterdam and the Annex hiding place where the inhabitants try to live some semblance of a normal life.

sweet - Beverly Cohn - Santa Monica Mirror - ...read full review


Avatar

Each cast member gives a memorable performance, creating each character’s legacy and imprint on us all. Leaves the audience in awe of this courageous, heroic group of people. A must see, especially in today’s world in which we live, with the resurgence of racism, anti-semitism, and senseless intolerance.

sweet - Bonnie Priever - Curtain Up - ...read full review


Avatar

INTRIGUING…

makes the main dramatic action of the play that much more poignant… the cast is excellent

sweet-sour - Patricia Foster Rye - Larchmont Chronicle - ...read full review


Avatar

Anne, A New Play” is a revelation. Beyond the excellence of the direction and the outstanding performance of the cast as a well-polished ensemble, the text breathes new life into an archetypal story.

sweet - John Lavitt - The Hollywood Times - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Sad, yes, emotionally affecting, yes, but along the way there are indelible moments of humor and the simple joy of life.

Director Eve Brandstein keeps the action crisp and balances the desperation of the situation with the every day hope of survival.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

In celebration of what would have been her 90th birthday this month (June 12), the Simon Wiesenthal Center presents the U.S. premiere of Anne, A New Play, a fresh interpretation of the diary written by Dutch playwrights Jessica Durlacher and Leon de Winter. In this version, the authors reframe Anne’s story through an unconventional lens: The budding writer and memoirist did not die of typhus at 15, but is seated at a Paris bistro table, hungry but safe as the world recovers from war and loss. A man watches her intently writing and introduces himself as a publisher who would like to see her manuscript when it is ready. For the next fast-paced 80 minutes we see her story enacted in her mind as she relates it to the publisher who, unseen by anyone else, remans onstage amidst her characters.

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

What makes this new work so fascinating is the interplay between Anne and the publisher throughout the telling of her story, with Anne speaking to him directly from within her history as it is taking place. As Anne, Ava Lalezarzadeh, a third-year Theater major at UCLA, brilliantly shares the mood swings and longings of an impetuous, spoiled and lonely teenage girl who has been forced to withdraw from the world, focusing her innermost thoughts through writing in her diary. As she shares, it is all she has to keep any sense of sanity in a world gone mad. And with an upsweep of her hair, the lowering of her voice, and wrapping herself in a lovely red coat, the older Anne steps in and out of the story to remind us of what could have been had she lived long enough to see her book published and realized how her life has made a real difference in the world. After all, that had been her fondest wish.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Rising worldwide antisemitism gives Anne Frank’s story a “now more than ever” relevance. But it’s not just relevance that makes the latest look at her life a must-see. The Diary Of Anne Frank has rarely if ever been more powerfully retold than it is in Anne, A New Play.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Gil Kaan

The U.S. premiere of ANNE, A NEW PLAY receives a sturdy mounting by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, under the strong directing reins of Eve Brandstein. The uniformly talented ensemble present most translucently the re-imagined Anne Frank's Diary of A Young Girl, in the words of playwrights Jessica Durlander & Leon de Winter (translated by Susan Massotty and adapted by Nick Blaemire). Sound designer Derek Christiansen most complementarily heightens the claustrophobic, hovering, impending doom with his ominous footsteps, bombs exploding, and static-ridden radio broadcasts.

sweet - Gil Kaan - Broadway World - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal

..these were real people trying to save their lives...Each cast member brings their character to life... - Highly Recommended

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Avatar

They all perform flawlessly...

Even if you are quite familiar with this tale, come and bring a young person who has yet to learn about a child of the Holocaust and how she coped with no freedom and no privacy nor hope for a beautiful future – which we all take for granted.

sweet - Ingrid Wilmont - Will Call - ...read full review


Avatar

Skilled director Eve Brandstein does an excellent job of creating a parallel universe as the adult Anne deals with the child Anne just beginning to come into her own. The ensemble cast does a powerful job of portraying these ill-fated participants as they survive day-to-day. Kudos to Ava Lalezarzadeh, who breathes life into Anne, a child on the brink of life – who will never make it. The actors are at turns happy, sad, hopeful, poignant, fearful – a kaleidoscope of emotions – as they just try to exist for another day. ANNE, A NEW PLAY is definitely worth an evening. It is entertaining while being thought-provoking, intense, provocative, and inspiring.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazines - ...read full review


Avatar

Even children as young as eight should see this. “It has to be retold to be remembered. This could be us.” And what we don’t remember, we are doomed to repeat – I fear.

See it once, twice or many times – and absorb it for posterity so that your children will understand and the children after them.

sweet - Serita Stevens - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar

On the positive side is the portrayal of Anne by an extraordinary young actress named Ava Lalezarzadeh, who captures Anne’s complex character, by turns romantic, selfish, idealistic, fiery and feisty, with remarkable skill and flair.

sweet-sour - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

The most effective performances are those of Rob Brownstein as Anne’s father, Otto Frank, and Kevin Matsumoto as Peter van Pels, the son of the family sharing the Franks’ hiding place. Brownstein is every inch the wise, benign leader of the group, and a loving father. His presence is gently authoritative, and he provides one of the few genuinely touching moments with his speech at the end in which, as the sole survivor, he relates his family’s ultimate fate.

sweet-sour - Iris Mann - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Director Eve Brandstein works diligently staging this new version of the Anne Frank story on a rather static playing space overpowered by projections of the city and the war, but it’s obvious the play was meant to be a more immersive and audience-interactive piece. On the wide and shallow stage of the Museum of Tolerance’s 300-seat Peltz Theatre, however, the production is hampered by its austere environment surely designed for film showings, awards nights, and speech-giving.

sweet-sour - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Avatar

The ensemble does a creditable acting job in bringing these characters to life...

Technically, given the limited space and production budget, Desma does a good job with her set design depicting the Frank family home in Amsterdam and the Annex hiding place where the inhabitants try to live some semblance of a normal life.

sweet - Beverly Cohn - Santa Monica Mirror - ...read full review


Avatar

Each cast member gives a memorable performance, creating each character’s legacy and imprint on us all. Leaves the audience in awe of this courageous, heroic group of people. A must see, especially in today’s world in which we live, with the resurgence of racism, anti-semitism, and senseless intolerance.

sweet - Bonnie Priever - Curtain Up - ...read full review


Avatar

INTRIGUING…

makes the main dramatic action of the play that much more poignant… the cast is excellent

sweet-sour - Patricia Foster Rye - Larchmont Chronicle - ...read full review


Avatar

Anne, A New Play” is a revelation. Beyond the excellence of the direction and the outstanding performance of the cast as a well-polished ensemble, the text breathes new life into an archetypal story.

sweet - John Lavitt - The Hollywood Times - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Sad, yes, emotionally affecting, yes, but along the way there are indelible moments of humor and the simple joy of life.

Director Eve Brandstein keeps the action crisp and balances the desperation of the situation with the every day hope of survival.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

In celebration of what would have been her 90th birthday this month (June 12), the Simon Wiesenthal Center presents the U.S. premiere of Anne, A New Play, a fresh interpretation of the diary written by Dutch playwrights Jessica Durlacher and Leon de Winter. In this version, the authors reframe Anne’s story through an unconventional lens: The budding writer and memoirist did not die of typhus at 15, but is seated at a Paris bistro table, hungry but safe as the world recovers from war and loss. A man watches her intently writing and introduces himself as a publisher who would like to see her manuscript when it is ready. For the next fast-paced 80 minutes we see her story enacted in her mind as she relates it to the publisher who, unseen by anyone else, remans onstage amidst her characters.

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

What makes this new work so fascinating is the interplay between Anne and the publisher throughout the telling of her story, with Anne speaking to him directly from within her history as it is taking place. As Anne, Ava Lalezarzadeh, a third-year Theater major at UCLA, brilliantly shares the mood swings and longings of an impetuous, spoiled and lonely teenage girl who has been forced to withdraw from the world, focusing her innermost thoughts through writing in her diary. As she shares, it is all she has to keep any sense of sanity in a world gone mad. And with an upsweep of her hair, the lowering of her voice, and wrapping herself in a lovely red coat, the older Anne steps in and out of the story to remind us of what could have been had she lived long enough to see her book published and realized how her life has made a real difference in the world. After all, that had been her fondest wish.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Rising worldwide antisemitism gives Anne Frank’s story a “now more than ever” relevance. But it’s not just relevance that makes the latest look at her life a must-see. The Diary Of Anne Frank has rarely if ever been more powerfully retold than it is in Anne, A New Play.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Gil Kaan

The U.S. premiere of ANNE, A NEW PLAY receives a sturdy mounting by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, under the strong directing reins of Eve Brandstein. The uniformly talented ensemble present most translucently the re-imagined Anne Frank's Diary of A Young Girl, in the words of playwrights Jessica Durlander & Leon de Winter (translated by Susan Massotty and adapted by Nick Blaemire). Sound designer Derek Christiansen most complementarily heightens the claustrophobic, hovering, impending doom with his ominous footsteps, bombs exploding, and static-ridden radio broadcasts.

sweet - Gil Kaan - Broadway World - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal

..these were real people trying to save their lives...Each cast member brings their character to life... - Highly Recommended

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Avatar

They all perform flawlessly...

Even if you are quite familiar with this tale, come and bring a young person who has yet to learn about a child of the Holocaust and how she coped with no freedom and no privacy nor hope for a beautiful future – which we all take for granted.

sweet - Ingrid Wilmont - Will Call - ...read full review


Avatar

Skilled director Eve Brandstein does an excellent job of creating a parallel universe as the adult Anne deals with the child Anne just beginning to come into her own. The ensemble cast does a powerful job of portraying these ill-fated participants as they survive day-to-day. Kudos to Ava Lalezarzadeh, who breathes life into Anne, a child on the brink of life – who will never make it. The actors are at turns happy, sad, hopeful, poignant, fearful – a kaleidoscope of emotions – as they just try to exist for another day. ANNE, A NEW PLAY is definitely worth an evening. It is entertaining while being thought-provoking, intense, provocative, and inspiring.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazines - ...read full review


Avatar

Even children as young as eight should see this. “It has to be retold to be remembered. This could be us.” And what we don’t remember, we are doomed to repeat – I fear.

See it once, twice or many times – and absorb it for posterity so that your children will understand and the children after them.

sweet - Serita Stevens - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar

On the positive side is the portrayal of Anne by an extraordinary young actress named Ava Lalezarzadeh, who captures Anne’s complex character, by turns romantic, selfish, idealistic, fiery and feisty, with remarkable skill and flair.

sweet-sour - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

The most effective performances are those of Rob Brownstein as Anne’s father, Otto Frank, and Kevin Matsumoto as Peter van Pels, the son of the family sharing the Franks’ hiding place. Brownstein is every inch the wise, benign leader of the group, and a loving father. His presence is gently authoritative, and he provides one of the few genuinely touching moments with his speech at the end in which, as the sole survivor, he relates his family’s ultimate fate.

sweet-sour - Iris Mann - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Director Eve Brandstein works diligently staging this new version of the Anne Frank story on a rather static playing space overpowered by projections of the city and the war, but it’s obvious the play was meant to be a more immersive and audience-interactive piece. On the wide and shallow stage of the Museum of Tolerance’s 300-seat Peltz Theatre, however, the production is hampered by its austere environment surely designed for film showings, awards nights, and speech-giving.

sweet-sour - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review