“The Soap Myth” Reading in Marin

Living on the West Coast, it is inevitable that I will sigh over the theatre news and missed opportunities for limited engagement theatre in New York I would very much like to see.  One of those I was sorriest to miss was the 2012 National Jewish Theatre Foundation’s Off-Broadway production of Jeff Cohen’s The Soap Myth.

Donald Corren

Donald Corren

A four actor show (including my friend since high school, Donald Corren, who the New York Times review called “a chameleonic wonder” in performing his several roles),  the play is about whether the claim that the Nazis made soap from Jewish bodies during the Holocaust would be included in a museum exhibit or excluded from lack of evidence other than stories from survivors.

The Soap Myth was so good that it was filmed and broadcast nationally by American Public Televion on PBS (but not in northern California) and is the first American production on Britain’s prestigious Digital Theatre.  I still managed to miss it.  So, here’s our chance!

Ed Asner

Ed Asner

Marin Theatre Company and the Marin Academy are co-producing a one-night only reading of The Soap Myth on February 21, 2017.  Donald Corren will reprise his stage roles, and will be joined by Ed Asner, Tovah Feldshuh and Blair Baker. Please note that this is a play reading and not a fully staged production with costumes and sets.  But I think with this play and this cast, your mind’s eye will create all the production values you need to enjoy this story.

Here’s MTC’s description of the play:

Journalist Annie Blumberg is looking for a story, and Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman has a story to tell: Nazi-produced soap, made from the flesh of their Jewish prisoners. When a group of well-meaning Holocaust scholars say Milton’s testimony isn’t backed by the facts, it is up to Annie to untangle the reasons why.

Jeff Cohen’s provocative drama examines where the line between experience and evidence is drawn, and the reasons why history demands to be shared–and sometimes demands to be protected.”

Based on prior reviews, this is a haunting and moving play – “the theatre of witness at its best – provocative and morally ambiguous that raises more questions than it answers”.

The reading will be held at the Performing Arts Center at Marin Academy in San Rafael at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21.  Entrance will be general admission (no assigned seating) and FREE but must be reserved through Marin Theatre Company’s box office.  You can request a limit of two reservations  per person by emailing:  boxoffice@marintheatre.org.

See you there!

[Also, you can catch Donald Corren in another West Coast appearance in April playing Avram in the cast of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's production of Rags -- a musical about immigrant America (with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz!).   Rags plays April 5 - 30, 2017 at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts;  you can get tickets here.]

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