Eight Nights

Critics

LemonMeter

93 %

Reviews: 15

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Fri Dec 13, 8:00pm
Sat Dec 14, 8:00pm
Sun Dec 15, 2:00pm
Mon Dec 16, 8:00pm

The heartfelt, lyrical portrait of a German Jewish refugee haunted by her past, but resiliently moving toward the future, witnessed over the course of generations of the same family that inhabits a single apartment from 1949 to 2016. Set during the eight nights of Chanukah, and spanning eight decades of the protagonist’s life, Jennifer Maisel’s play lyrically weaves together heart-aching moments with life-affirming humor to call out the trauma experienced not only by concentration camp survivors, but by African American descendants of slavery, by interned Japanese Americans, and by current victims of war in Africa and the Middle East. Developed in the Antaeus Playwrights Lab. Oct. 31-Dec. 16; $15-$35; Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205; (818) 506-1983 or www.antaeus.org.

Reviews

Avatar

I found the play to be thoughtful and hauntingly moving.  Antaeus Theatre Company has recently relocated to Glendale where it offers theatergoers serious but life affirming dramas.

sweet - Marilyn Tower Oliver - Los Feliz Ledger - ...read full review


Avatar

The drama shown during the performance can become tense at times, yet it never loses the grip of the sense of hope and forgiveness, even if that hope becomes positioned within an apprehensive state of consciousness.

The cast of the six other players, some appearing in multiple roles, work well with one another that do reflect for the life and times of Rebecca, thanks to Emily Chase’s stage direction...

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Avatar

Weaving these disparate cultural threads involves some narrative artiface, but director Emily Chase and her cast bring the human reality of persecuted refugees to life with breathtaking emotional impact.

sweet - Philip Brandes - LA Times - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis

Eight Nights at Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale covers very powerful subject matter. But even the high caliber cast couldn’t get the narrative to feel more authentic.

sweet-sour - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - ...read full review


Avatar

Skillfully directed by Emily Chase, EIGHT NIGHTS is an emotional roller coaster beautifully depicted by an uber-talented cast. Edward E. Haynes, Jr.’s scenic design is the perfect setting for this engrossing story... Alex Jaeger’s costumes are also well conceived, epitomizing the play’s eight decades. Further kudos to projection designer Adam R. Macias, sound designer Jeff Gardner, and lighting designer Karyn D. Lawrence. EIGHT NIGHTS is a formidable collaboration between author, director, actors, and production team.

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


Avatar

Overall, this is a well-written play that avoids easy answers, assumes we are able to keep up, and presents us with questions, which is ultimately ideal.

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Michael Van Duzer

Jennifer Maisel’s Eight Nights is a ghost story. Not a stately Gothic haunting featuring long-dead strangers, but a visceral visitation from the recent past. In the play’s opening scene, the visibly traumatized Younger Rebecca (Zoe Yale) stands, unspeaking, in her father Erich’s (Arye Gross) Lower East Side apartment while the ghost of her mother watches. It is the first night of Hannukah, and the play will unfold over another seven Hannukah nights spanning nearly seven decades of Rebecca’s life.

sweet - Michael Van Duzer - Show Mag - ...read full review


Avatar

Although it’s hard to see innocent family members struggle with the burden of trauma in their lives long after the war is over, we must not turn away. The play is set in a Brooklyn apartment over eight nights of Hanukkah that span several generations from the end of the war to almost the present day. Hence, Jennifer Maisel’s new play performed by the Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale shows how the legacy of historical trauma affects a single Jewish family over time.

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


Avatar

Yet, the full potential of Maisel’s masterfully crafted script, which is suffused with an element of magical realism, is only intermittently realized in this world premiere production by Antaeus Theatre Company. Director Emily Chase stages the work smoothly, but under her direction some of the actors, several of whom play multiple roles, fail to explore the depths of trauma implicit in the theme. As a result, the production falls short of eliciting the deep emotional response the subject matter warrants...

Despite this and other shortcomings in the production, the finely conceived, sensitively written story is one the public needs to hear.

RECOMMENDED

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


Avatar

Eight Nights does work in one aspect: its power as a ghost story. Not only does it deal with the ghosts that haunt victims’ minds, it literalizes ghosts of those who’ve passed...

...Despite setting itself up for easy wins through atrocities and shared humanity, it’s surprisingly lacking in its ability to genuinely move us. While its ending packs the most punch, the play’s distracted focus leaves us wondering what the point is beyond a “Rebecca Blum, This Is Your Life” retrospective filled with a forced cast of characters.

sweet-sour - Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

Under the artful yet unobtrusive direction of Emily Chase, the actors invest their characters with an abundance of charm and humanity that make us overlook the play’s occasional clunkiness. Arye Gross, as the gone-too-soon Erich, and Karen Malina White as Rebecca’s friend and business partner Arlene were, for me, the stand-outs in a strong supporting cast... - Recommended

sweet - Guy Picot - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

As we desperately try to wake from our own current greed and racially-fueled nightmare at the hands of another historically dangerous madman and the cronies who let him destroy everything for which we stand, only by listening and taking heed in what such stories as Jennifer Maisel’s epic play have to share can we be reminded that we can be equally as brave and strong and unstoppable as her richly evocative characters. Barreling on to the year’s end and its inevitable universal holiday plea to be kind to one another and work together to find world peace on both the global and the most intimate of levels, this should be a required event for every schoolkid and civic group in Los Angeles this “festive” season. It’ll destroy you, but it’s pure theatrical magic from start to finish.

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


Gil Kaan

Antaeus Theatre Company's stunning world premiere of Jennifer Maisel's EIGHT NIGHTS vividly details the life of Holocaust survivor Rebecca Blum from the day she arrives to New York City at age 19, through significant life milestones, to becoming a great-grandmother at age 86. And all this accomplished rather smoothly with increasing intensity and gravitas in less than two hours without an intermission! Developed in Antaeus Playwrights Lab, the play's title EIGHT NIGHTS, I believe, refers to the eight individual nights/scenes during Chanukah over a period of 67 years, spanning four generations. Or, more literally, the eight-day, Jewish wintertime festival of lights.

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


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Eight Nights is awesomely complex and superbly directed by Emily Chase. The emotional impact of the show is enormous and gripped this theatre goer from beginning to end. The power of the players is extraordinary.

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


Steven Stanley

Like Jennifer Maisel’s The Last Seder (“You don’t have to be Jewish to fall in love with The Last Seder”) and #athespeedofjake (“Theater at its life-affirming best”), Eight Nights will make you laugh, make you cry, make you think, make you feel, make you stand up and cheer.

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


Avatar

I found the play to be thoughtful and hauntingly moving.  Antaeus Theatre Company has recently relocated to Glendale where it offers theatergoers serious but life affirming dramas.

sweet - Marilyn Tower Oliver - Los Feliz Ledger - ...read full review


Avatar

The drama shown during the performance can become tense at times, yet it never loses the grip of the sense of hope and forgiveness, even if that hope becomes positioned within an apprehensive state of consciousness.

The cast of the six other players, some appearing in multiple roles, work well with one another that do reflect for the life and times of Rebecca, thanks to Emily Chase’s stage direction...

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Avatar

Weaving these disparate cultural threads involves some narrative artiface, but director Emily Chase and her cast bring the human reality of persecuted refugees to life with breathtaking emotional impact.

sweet - Philip Brandes - LA Times - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis

Eight Nights at Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale covers very powerful subject matter. But even the high caliber cast couldn’t get the narrative to feel more authentic.

sweet-sour - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - ...read full review


Avatar

Skillfully directed by Emily Chase, EIGHT NIGHTS is an emotional roller coaster beautifully depicted by an uber-talented cast. Edward E. Haynes, Jr.’s scenic design is the perfect setting for this engrossing story... Alex Jaeger’s costumes are also well conceived, epitomizing the play’s eight decades. Further kudos to projection designer Adam R. Macias, sound designer Jeff Gardner, and lighting designer Karyn D. Lawrence. EIGHT NIGHTS is a formidable collaboration between author, director, actors, and production team.

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


Avatar

Overall, this is a well-written play that avoids easy answers, assumes we are able to keep up, and presents us with questions, which is ultimately ideal.

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Michael Van Duzer

Jennifer Maisel’s Eight Nights is a ghost story. Not a stately Gothic haunting featuring long-dead strangers, but a visceral visitation from the recent past. In the play’s opening scene, the visibly traumatized Younger Rebecca (Zoe Yale) stands, unspeaking, in her father Erich’s (Arye Gross) Lower East Side apartment while the ghost of her mother watches. It is the first night of Hannukah, and the play will unfold over another seven Hannukah nights spanning nearly seven decades of Rebecca’s life.

sweet - Michael Van Duzer - Show Mag - ...read full review


Avatar

Although it’s hard to see innocent family members struggle with the burden of trauma in their lives long after the war is over, we must not turn away. The play is set in a Brooklyn apartment over eight nights of Hanukkah that span several generations from the end of the war to almost the present day. Hence, Jennifer Maisel’s new play performed by the Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale shows how the legacy of historical trauma affects a single Jewish family over time.

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


Avatar

Yet, the full potential of Maisel’s masterfully crafted script, which is suffused with an element of magical realism, is only intermittently realized in this world premiere production by Antaeus Theatre Company. Director Emily Chase stages the work smoothly, but under her direction some of the actors, several of whom play multiple roles, fail to explore the depths of trauma implicit in the theme. As a result, the production falls short of eliciting the deep emotional response the subject matter warrants...

Despite this and other shortcomings in the production, the finely conceived, sensitively written story is one the public needs to hear.

RECOMMENDED

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


Avatar

Eight Nights does work in one aspect: its power as a ghost story. Not only does it deal with the ghosts that haunt victims’ minds, it literalizes ghosts of those who’ve passed...

...Despite setting itself up for easy wins through atrocities and shared humanity, it’s surprisingly lacking in its ability to genuinely move us. While its ending packs the most punch, the play’s distracted focus leaves us wondering what the point is beyond a “Rebecca Blum, This Is Your Life” retrospective filled with a forced cast of characters.

sweet-sour - Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

Under the artful yet unobtrusive direction of Emily Chase, the actors invest their characters with an abundance of charm and humanity that make us overlook the play’s occasional clunkiness. Arye Gross, as the gone-too-soon Erich, and Karen Malina White as Rebecca’s friend and business partner Arlene were, for me, the stand-outs in a strong supporting cast... - Recommended

sweet - Guy Picot - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

As we desperately try to wake from our own current greed and racially-fueled nightmare at the hands of another historically dangerous madman and the cronies who let him destroy everything for which we stand, only by listening and taking heed in what such stories as Jennifer Maisel’s epic play have to share can we be reminded that we can be equally as brave and strong and unstoppable as her richly evocative characters. Barreling on to the year’s end and its inevitable universal holiday plea to be kind to one another and work together to find world peace on both the global and the most intimate of levels, this should be a required event for every schoolkid and civic group in Los Angeles this “festive” season. It’ll destroy you, but it’s pure theatrical magic from start to finish.

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


Gil Kaan

Antaeus Theatre Company's stunning world premiere of Jennifer Maisel's EIGHT NIGHTS vividly details the life of Holocaust survivor Rebecca Blum from the day she arrives to New York City at age 19, through significant life milestones, to becoming a great-grandmother at age 86. And all this accomplished rather smoothly with increasing intensity and gravitas in less than two hours without an intermission! Developed in Antaeus Playwrights Lab, the play's title EIGHT NIGHTS, I believe, refers to the eight individual nights/scenes during Chanukah over a period of 67 years, spanning four generations. Or, more literally, the eight-day, Jewish wintertime festival of lights.

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


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Eight Nights is awesomely complex and superbly directed by Emily Chase. The emotional impact of the show is enormous and gripped this theatre goer from beginning to end. The power of the players is extraordinary.

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


Steven Stanley

Like Jennifer Maisel’s The Last Seder (“You don’t have to be Jewish to fall in love with The Last Seder”) and #athespeedofjake (“Theater at its life-affirming best”), Eight Nights will make you laugh, make you cry, make you think, make you feel, make you stand up and cheer.

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