As a tribute to the late Alexander E. Racolin, a noted Off-Broadway producer of more than 200 plays, Annette Moscowitz/Play Producers Inc. and Bill Schwartz will present the drama, A Choice Of Weapons, at Off Broadway's Raw Space on West 42nd Street. The show begins previews Oct. 9, opens Oct. 11, and runs to Oct. 26.
Arthur Schwartz's play takes place in late 19th century Russia in a small village whose Jewish population suffers at the hands of a cruel Cossack. Courageous Mayer Schindel is determined to lead the entire village to a new and better life in America, so he plans a bold escape, "pitting one kind of weapon against another."
Annette Moskowitz told Playbill On-Line that A Choice Of Weapons was the last play she and Alexander Racolin committed to before he died. "Arthur Schwartz came to us with this play," she recalled. "We get hundreds and hundreds of plays, but he liked it, so we decided to do it."
Moskowitz explained that Play Producers Inc. mostly did co-productions and associate producing on shows. "We were a small office. It was his hobby, he loved the theatre. He was a theatrical lawyer and his money was in real estate."
Over the years, Play Producers Inc. involved itself in shows at Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theatre (notably David Mamet one-acts), Madison Avenue Theatre, The Mint Theatre, and 29th Street Repertory. Among notable recent productions were Willow Cabin's Who Will Carry The World and Theatre For The New City's staging of Master And Margarita. "He was a great friend of Off-Off-Broadway theatre," Moskowitz said of Racolin. "And Holocaust plays and plays with Jewish themes were his number one priority." Moskowitz said it was unlikely she would continue producing beyond A Choice Of Weapons.
Arthur Schwartz's previous plays include the comedy, An Apple A Day; director Matt Mitler has worked at La Mama and the Public Theatre's "No Shame" series.
Annette Moskowitz and Alexander Racolin were the producing team of Play Producers Inc., which staged works both in New York and London, very often concerning Jewish and/or Holocaust-related themes. Bill Schwartz is the new Producing Executive Director of San Francisco's Eureka Theatre Company.
For tickets and information on A Choice Of Weapons, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200.
-- By David Lefkowitz