A review of the play awake and sing

Lilienthal, the Bergers' cramped apartment is set beneath three stories of identical rows of closed doors rising high above the stage floor, as if the tenement were a physical weight to be carried on their backs. Matriarch Bessie Ronit Asheri holds the family together like glue with her strong will and ever-present fear of the unknown, including possible eviction and losing her family to assimilation.

Review: Awake and Sing!

You always believe that she believes her choices are for the best, which makes it impossible to completely reject her often monstrous actions: Director Stephen Brown-Fried has guided this production so that the modern audiences can see that A review of the play awake and sing play is not just about a Jewish family, but more broadly, an American family.

For more information visit newyiddishrep. To some she affects, it's as though she's wrecking their lives: The matriarch of the family, Bessie, had high hopes and dreams for her family; however, despite her hopefulness, her largest fear is that her family will lose their home and all their possessions.

But these familiar types quickly become something more, in part due to the excellent dialogue of Clifford Odets, a playwright from the s and 40s, who wrote Waiting for Lefty, Golden Boy, and several Broadway hits and screenplays. Miller in Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing!

One of the most interesting characters is Moe Axelrod, a boarder in the Berger home, extremely well played by David Agranov.

The Berger house is therefore divided into idealists and realists, much like society as a whole. Jakob, who would abolish families, gives Ralph the wherewithal to marry and create a family. As a progressive Jew living in Brooklyn, I am fortunate to hear Yiddish everywhere.

Play Review: “Awake and Sing!” at the Odyssey

But this cheapens, rather than enhances, the play: Bessie ridicules her father for his beliefs and to get away from her tongue-lashings, he takes refuge in his tiny room playing Caruso records and reading books.

He also shows how values can become blurred and perceptions can change with experience. But Raffalo's charm and charisma, and that of his castmates, keep Odets's messages about the possibilities of life wide awake and singing melodiously.

His bustling, busy staging of the fifth-floor walk up family home perfectly situates the Bergers in locale and era, he treats them with great respect and poignancy, and his work with most of the actors excepting Schreiber and a hysteric Richard Topol as Hennie's harried husband results in a generally exquisite ensemble.

This fear stems from a woman down the street who had this exact thing happen to her. She knows that when one lives in the jungle one must look out for the wild life. She is fearful that she, like an old woman on nearby Dawson Street, will be evicted from her home, her belongings put out on the street around her.

The final principal character is Sam Feinschreiber, well-played by Gary Patent. She loves lilfe, likes to laugh, has great resourcefulness and enjoys living from day to day.

Awake and Sing!

Sound Design by Jesse Freedman. He is full of resentments and is still upset that he never even received roller skates as a child. With her subdued husband Myron Eli Rosena law school dropout who relies on gambling for any semblance of a financial future, Bessie has two children, Hennie Mira Kessler and Ralph Moshe Lobel.

She rules the family with an iron fist without the velvet glove. He is an unattractive recent immigrant whose English is flawed. Lighting by Christopher Akerlind.

Jacob is a Marxist and is dissatisfied with the state of the country. Nor do audiences choosing to attend an Odets play today need help understanding it, at least until though those rising walls make it impossible to focus on the crackling dialogue that should blow down the family's walls with no help from scenery.

The only real problem with the play is towards the middle of the second act it seems that everyone has to have a monologue and some of them come across as shoehorned in. He is ardent, he is romantic, he is sensitive. Ralph's attempts to break free of his constrictive upbringing has no emotional impact when we're not allowed to be immersed in that world.

Awake and Sing!

He would like to be a leader. As she herself states, she is not only the mother in this home, but also the father.

Awake and Sing! Summary

Her physical life consisted of prancing around the stage assuming various poses, more appropriate for a photo shoot than a family drama.

The production shines when we see the scenes focusing on the young people: Miller creates the most complex and memorable character, the disabled war veteran, Moe Axelrod, out to grab what he can. All he wants now is a pair of black and white shoes and to have his own room.

The play tells the story of the Berger family in the Bronx, a working-class Jewish family concerned with survival and importance. Themes Odets brings to the table the issues of the importance of appearances in relation to respectability in society - how we appear to society is how we improve and gain status - as well as the contrasting worlds of idealism and realism.

May be inappropriate for 13 and under. But this cheapens, rather than enhances, the play: Michael Goldsmith is the downtrodden Ralph, never breaking out of expectations until the drastic ending:Beginning after the first intermission (Awake and Sing!

is gloriously, and correctly, presented in three acts), Michael Yeargan's cramped, realistic set begins vanishing into the wings, a deconstruction not complete until Ralph solidifies his goal to take on the world in the play's final moments. Jul 21,  · This play by Clifford Odets, directed by Stephen Brown-Fried at the Public Theater, is about a struggling Bronx family with urgenzaspurghi.comon: Lafayette St, E.


Awake and Sing! (New Yiddish Repertory)

awake and sing. (). This time, Odets takes on the effects of the Depression and what he sees as capitalistic oppression and examines it at the level of a family living in the Bronx/5. Reviews Awake and Sing! Dreams and nightmares are brought to life in Clifford Odets' timeless American drama.

Directed by Robert Hopkins and Norman Lloyd, Awake and Sing, premiered on PBS March 6, This film production of the play featured Walter Matthau (Moe), Ruth Storey (Bessie), Felicia Farr (Hennie). This is probably what makes the current Northlight Theatre production of "Awake and Sing!", Clifford Odets' Tony winning play dealing with the Depression of more meaningful today than it might have been, even during its Broadway revival in

A review of the play awake and sing
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