The Chosen

Critics

LemonMeter

98 %

Reviews: 22

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

A silent father, an ancient tradition and an unexpectedly important game of baseball forge bonds of lifelong friendship between two Jewish boys from “five blocks and a world apart” in this funny, poignant, timely and timeless father-son story about recognition and acceptance of “the other.” Jan. 20–June 10: Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sat. April 21 at 2:00 pm; Sundays at 2 p.m. & Mondays at 8 p.m.; $20-$40; Every Monday night is Pay-What-You-Want; Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave. (at Normandie), Los Angeles, CA 90029; (323) 663-1525; www.FountainTheatre.com.

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Reviews

Jordan Young
"“The Chosen,” based on Chaim Potok's classic novel about two brilliant young men growing up five blocks and worlds apart in World War II Brooklyn, has been transformed into a play that's somehow even more compelling than the book.... The cast of four, fleshed out by fathers David Malter (Jonathan Arkin) and Reb Saunders (Alan Blumenfeld), is uniformly excellent; Blumenfeld's outsized performance almost knocks you out of your seat."

sweet - Jordan Young - Acting Solo - ...read full review


"Here, the fire of the play's language reflects some of the heat we may feel today about our Jewish identities and how they relate to a Jewish state. On stage, as the rabbis gave their positions with anger and passion, with a few changes, they could have been seated at our dinner table debating the two state solution. "

sweet - Edmon Rodman - Megil LA - ...read full review


"Director Simon Levy deftly moves his characters across the stage set with a backdrop filled with books recreating the scholarly offices of the two fathers. All four actors were convincing, but I was particularly touched by Dor Gvirtsman's interpretation of Danny's search to find his own identity. I also found Jonathan Arkin's characterization of Reuven's father warm and convincing."

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


"I recommend this play to all ages, genders and religions for its universal appeal."

sweet - Bonnie Priever - ...read full review


"I was thoroughly absorbed in every minute of the two-hour story, and was struck by it's relevance to the differences in our current political atmosphere, which seem insurmountable."

sweet - Carol Edger-Germain - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


"As is so often the case at The Fountain, the production is rewarding... The acting is equally balanced, as are the production values. It's another win for this little engine that can."

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Rob Stevens
"It's a heartwarming and deeply felt story brought wonderfully and vividly to life by Levy's spot on direction and the superb talents of his quartet of actors...The Chosen is sure to be chosen as one of 2018's best. Don't miss it!"

sweet - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Michael Van Duzer
"I find myself equally transported by the exquisite and heartfelt production of Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok's adaptation of the novel playing at the Fountain Theatre. Under the precise and emotionally expansive direction of Simon Levy, this seemingly insular story becomes a universal paean to the values of friendship, family, and identity."

sweet - Michael Van Duzer - ShowMag - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"As gripping, edifying, and moving a production as any I've seen at the Fountain, The Chosen is a must-see for audiences of any age, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. Even atheists may end up in tears"

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


"Under Simon Levy's direction, the action gently builds, recedes, then builds some more toward a deeply emotional resolution. In such shortened form, the story occasionally lacks sufficient explanation. Still, this production richly engages its audience in a broad range of topics, including the nature of friendship — the ideal of which, Reuven's father suggests, is "two bodies with one soul.""

sweet - Daryl H. Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


"The Fountain Theatre's West Coast Premiere of “The Chosen,” adapted for the stage Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok—author of the original work—is a well-deserved celebration of the novel's 50 year anniversary. An evening of theatre at its finest, Director Simon Levy succeeds in that rarest of feats, making two hours fly by only to leave his audience wishing for a third."

sweet - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"“The Chosen” pits two young men against the certainties of their fathers, two very different rabbis. David Malter, played by Jonathan Arkin, is a modern rabbi, an ardent supporter of Israel and a man who contemplates the future with equanimity and hope. The other rabbi, Reb Saunders, played by Alan Blumenfeld, looks to the past and agonizes over it. Reb Saunders is expecting his son to succeed him as a bridge between the people and God. But his son Danny wants to become a psychologist. Malter's son Reuven is responsive to the wisdom and warmth of his father, but he has no intention of following his father's profession. The four participants, under the superb direction of Simon Levy, present their opposing positions convincingly and forcefully, dealing with everything from the concepts and admonishments of the Torah to its arcane minutiae."

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"The ultra-Orthodox father and son are portrayed with a great depth of understanding by Alan Blumenfeld as Reb Saunders and Dor Gvirtsman as his son Danny, BWW Review: THE CHOSEN Proves There is More Than One Way to Raise Your Son to be a Manwith the more modern yet still very traditional duo portrayed thoughtfully and realistically by Jonathan Arkin as David Malter and Sam Mandel as his son Reuven. The most telling moment when you can really see how differently the boys are being raised occurs when the two fathers and sons appear simultaneously on opposite sides of the stage with Danny and his rabbi father studying religious texts but never speaking to each other while Reuven and his father freely express their opinions loudly with each other, each listening intently to the other. But is one way really better that the other when it comes to raising sons to become intelligent and free-thinking individuals, confident to pursue their dreams? The answer appears to be that although there are two different ways to look at all things, each way can be correct simultaneously."

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"Under the passionate leadership of director Simon Levy, this resurrection of Chaim Potok's great classic is welcome indeed. Nothing is lost from the beauty and simple truths revealed as two observant Brooklyn teenage boys navigate their future and their faith in the shadow of the Second World War, as Europe is being lit by massive firebombs and six million Jews are systematically being eliminated."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


"The first thought I had while watching "The Chosen," now playing until March 25 at the Fountain Theatre, was "How did they get such authentic New York Jews?" For the Fountain has cast four superb actors in their adaptation of Chaim Potok's novel about Jewish families in 1940's Brooklyn. On the theater's intimate stage, I was convinced that I was watching their own stories in their own living rooms."

sweet - Bill Garry - Discover Hollywood - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal
"This story, told through the eyes of Reuven, makes the point of the importance of allowing people to understand one another, friends with different backgrounds. fathers and sons. The powrrful cast brings each of these characters to life with their remarkable performances."

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - ...read full review


"MESMERIZING… A universal story of relationships in their multitude of forms makes this play something for everyone – Jewish or not."

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


"This one, directed sensitively by Simon Levy, is as fresh and meaningful as today's headlines."

sweet - Morna Martel - Theatre Spoken Here - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman
"The Chosen is very much about fathers and sons; it depicts a circumscribed world in which women and non-Jews and secular Jews conspicuously play no part. That's bothersome. On the other hand, its characters are all good people, striving for an ethical life. That's a consoling motif in our current world, where callousness and chicanery seem to find new ways to triumph daily."

sweet - Deborah Klugman - StageRaw - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"The experiences depicted in The Chosen are very specific ones, and as a young, non-Jewish woman who not raised in the 1940s, I found it difficult to connect to on a detailed level. Part of the feeling of specificity comes from the story containing only male characters and focusing on relationships that feel uniquely father and son rather than parent and child. That being said, when you look at the play on a more broad level, the general themes—friendship, communication, forming your own identity separate from familial expectations—are far more universal."

sweet-sour - Erin Conley - On Stage and Screen - ...read full review


"This production resonates on so many levels. For me, it is both antidote and bittersweet reminder of what our society has lost in its race to exalt the lowest common denominator. Yet it also depicts an intensity of family life that I, and I suspect most of us, have never experienced. As I left the theater, I found myself shocked to realize I was jealous of both boys. I'd have taken either one of those dads."

sweet - Samuel Garza Berstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"With deftness and savvy, director Simon Levy keeps the action brisk and the performances heartfelt. The creative team for The Chosen is first rate with a scenic design and props by DeAnne Millais."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - ...read full review


Jordan Young
"“The Chosen,” based on Chaim Potok's classic novel about two brilliant young men growing up five blocks and worlds apart in World War II Brooklyn, has been transformed into a play that's somehow even more compelling than the book.... The cast of four, fleshed out by fathers David Malter (Jonathan Arkin) and Reb Saunders (Alan Blumenfeld), is uniformly excellent; Blumenfeld's outsized performance almost knocks you out of your seat."

sweet - Jordan Young - Acting Solo - ...read full review


"Here, the fire of the play's language reflects some of the heat we may feel today about our Jewish identities and how they relate to a Jewish state. On stage, as the rabbis gave their positions with anger and passion, with a few changes, they could have been seated at our dinner table debating the two state solution. "

sweet - Edmon Rodman - Megil LA - ...read full review


"Director Simon Levy deftly moves his characters across the stage set with a backdrop filled with books recreating the scholarly offices of the two fathers. All four actors were convincing, but I was particularly touched by Dor Gvirtsman's interpretation of Danny's search to find his own identity. I also found Jonathan Arkin's characterization of Reuven's father warm and convincing."

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


"I recommend this play to all ages, genders and religions for its universal appeal."

sweet - Bonnie Priever - ...read full review


"I was thoroughly absorbed in every minute of the two-hour story, and was struck by it's relevance to the differences in our current political atmosphere, which seem insurmountable."

sweet - Carol Edger-Germain - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


"As is so often the case at The Fountain, the production is rewarding... The acting is equally balanced, as are the production values. It's another win for this little engine that can."

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Rob Stevens
"It's a heartwarming and deeply felt story brought wonderfully and vividly to life by Levy's spot on direction and the superb talents of his quartet of actors...The Chosen is sure to be chosen as one of 2018's best. Don't miss it!"

sweet - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Michael Van Duzer
"I find myself equally transported by the exquisite and heartfelt production of Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok's adaptation of the novel playing at the Fountain Theatre. Under the precise and emotionally expansive direction of Simon Levy, this seemingly insular story becomes a universal paean to the values of friendship, family, and identity."

sweet - Michael Van Duzer - ShowMag - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"As gripping, edifying, and moving a production as any I've seen at the Fountain, The Chosen is a must-see for audiences of any age, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. Even atheists may end up in tears"

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


"Under Simon Levy's direction, the action gently builds, recedes, then builds some more toward a deeply emotional resolution. In such shortened form, the story occasionally lacks sufficient explanation. Still, this production richly engages its audience in a broad range of topics, including the nature of friendship — the ideal of which, Reuven's father suggests, is "two bodies with one soul.""

sweet - Daryl H. Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


"The Fountain Theatre's West Coast Premiere of “The Chosen,” adapted for the stage Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok—author of the original work—is a well-deserved celebration of the novel's 50 year anniversary. An evening of theatre at its finest, Director Simon Levy succeeds in that rarest of feats, making two hours fly by only to leave his audience wishing for a third."

sweet - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"“The Chosen” pits two young men against the certainties of their fathers, two very different rabbis. David Malter, played by Jonathan Arkin, is a modern rabbi, an ardent supporter of Israel and a man who contemplates the future with equanimity and hope. The other rabbi, Reb Saunders, played by Alan Blumenfeld, looks to the past and agonizes over it. Reb Saunders is expecting his son to succeed him as a bridge between the people and God. But his son Danny wants to become a psychologist. Malter's son Reuven is responsive to the wisdom and warmth of his father, but he has no intention of following his father's profession. The four participants, under the superb direction of Simon Levy, present their opposing positions convincingly and forcefully, dealing with everything from the concepts and admonishments of the Torah to its arcane minutiae."

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"The ultra-Orthodox father and son are portrayed with a great depth of understanding by Alan Blumenfeld as Reb Saunders and Dor Gvirtsman as his son Danny, BWW Review: THE CHOSEN Proves There is More Than One Way to Raise Your Son to be a Manwith the more modern yet still very traditional duo portrayed thoughtfully and realistically by Jonathan Arkin as David Malter and Sam Mandel as his son Reuven. The most telling moment when you can really see how differently the boys are being raised occurs when the two fathers and sons appear simultaneously on opposite sides of the stage with Danny and his rabbi father studying religious texts but never speaking to each other while Reuven and his father freely express their opinions loudly with each other, each listening intently to the other. But is one way really better that the other when it comes to raising sons to become intelligent and free-thinking individuals, confident to pursue their dreams? The answer appears to be that although there are two different ways to look at all things, each way can be correct simultaneously."

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"Under the passionate leadership of director Simon Levy, this resurrection of Chaim Potok's great classic is welcome indeed. Nothing is lost from the beauty and simple truths revealed as two observant Brooklyn teenage boys navigate their future and their faith in the shadow of the Second World War, as Europe is being lit by massive firebombs and six million Jews are systematically being eliminated."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


"The first thought I had while watching "The Chosen," now playing until March 25 at the Fountain Theatre, was "How did they get such authentic New York Jews?" For the Fountain has cast four superb actors in their adaptation of Chaim Potok's novel about Jewish families in 1940's Brooklyn. On the theater's intimate stage, I was convinced that I was watching their own stories in their own living rooms."

sweet - Bill Garry - Discover Hollywood - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal
"This story, told through the eyes of Reuven, makes the point of the importance of allowing people to understand one another, friends with different backgrounds. fathers and sons. The powrrful cast brings each of these characters to life with their remarkable performances."

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - ...read full review


"MESMERIZING… A universal story of relationships in their multitude of forms makes this play something for everyone – Jewish or not."

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


"This one, directed sensitively by Simon Levy, is as fresh and meaningful as today's headlines."

sweet - Morna Martel - Theatre Spoken Here - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman
"The Chosen is very much about fathers and sons; it depicts a circumscribed world in which women and non-Jews and secular Jews conspicuously play no part. That's bothersome. On the other hand, its characters are all good people, striving for an ethical life. That's a consoling motif in our current world, where callousness and chicanery seem to find new ways to triumph daily."

sweet - Deborah Klugman - StageRaw - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"The experiences depicted in The Chosen are very specific ones, and as a young, non-Jewish woman who not raised in the 1940s, I found it difficult to connect to on a detailed level. Part of the feeling of specificity comes from the story containing only male characters and focusing on relationships that feel uniquely father and son rather than parent and child. That being said, when you look at the play on a more broad level, the general themes—friendship, communication, forming your own identity separate from familial expectations—are far more universal."

sweet-sour - Erin Conley - On Stage and Screen - ...read full review


"This production resonates on so many levels. For me, it is both antidote and bittersweet reminder of what our society has lost in its race to exalt the lowest common denominator. Yet it also depicts an intensity of family life that I, and I suspect most of us, have never experienced. As I left the theater, I found myself shocked to realize I was jealous of both boys. I'd have taken either one of those dads."

sweet - Samuel Garza Berstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"With deftness and savvy, director Simon Levy keeps the action brisk and the performances heartfelt. The creative team for The Chosen is first rate with a scenic design and props by DeAnne Millais."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - ...read full review