JET, Metro Detroit's Jewish Ensemble Theatre, will put a live cello into the world of Arthur Miller's Broken Glass March 8, when the resident company revives the drama about personal paralysis in the context of Germany's infamous "Night of Broken Glass."
Cellist Mifa Vortsman will play Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom's brooding incidental music behind one of several plexiglass panels on designer Monika Essen's set. The original Long Wharf Theatre staging also had a cellist on stage, said JET artistic director Evelyn Orbach, who stages the Detroit premiere, but the Broadway production did not.
Bolcom, of nearby Ann Arbor, and Orbach have been in touch and he will attend a performance.
"In my mind, the presence of the cellist represents the woman who is going through trauma, who becomes paralyzed," Orbach told Playbill On Line. "The cello is her secret voice."
The plexiglass panels that define the JET playing areas are used to underline how Miller suggested "world events come in through the windows and under the doors," Orbach said. The cast includes Joe Haynes, Chris Ann Voudoukis, Mark Rademacher, Cynthia Blaise, Kelly Pino and Phil Fox.
Official opening is March 12. Performances continue to April 9.
Tickets are $15-$25. JET performs at the Aaron DeRoy Theatre, Maple and Drake, in West Bloomfield, MI. Call (248) 788-2900 for tickets.
JET is going into residence at the Anderson Theatre at the Henry Ford Museum on the campus of Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI, in March and April with The Diary and Anne Frank, directed by Lavinia Moyer.
-- By Kenneth Jones