Fresh from his 2000 Pulitzer Prize win for Dinner With Friends, playwright Donald Margulies premieres his adaptation of the Yiddish classic God of Vengeance at Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre, April 13. Performances began April 7 for a run through May 7. ACT artistic director Gordon Edelstein directs.
The turn-of-the-century drama centers on a father, devoted to preserving his daughter's innocence in his home and increasing his reputation as an honorable man in the community, even as he runs a brothel in the basement. When the 1906 play was first translated into English in 1923 and performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, the producer, theatre owner and cast were arrested and found guilty of presenting an "immoral" entertainment.
Margulies won an Obie Award for his play Sight Unseen, produced at South Coast Repertory and Manhattan Theatre Club, as was his Collected Stories, which starred Uta Hagen in a subsequent Off Broadway run. His Dinner With Friends is currently running Off-Broadway and in Paris.
Matthew Boston, Nike Doukas and Rachel Miner (The Diary of Anne Frank on Broadway) star as father Yankel, his wife Sara and their daughter Rivkele. Naama Potok and Johanna Melamed play two of the brothel's working girls, Manke and Hindl, with Mikael Salazar as Hindl's sometimes boyfriend, Shloyme. Also in the cast are Betsy Schwartz, Tricia Rodley, Larry Block, Sol Frieder, Andrew Traister, Mike Christensen, Ilene Fins, Jay A. Hurqitz, Hinda Kipnis, Frank Krasnowsky, Ian Nelson Roehl, Matt Purvis, Scott Ross, Joe Shapiro, Wauchor Stephens and Mary Unruh.
Designing Vengeance are Hugh Landwehr (sets), Anna Oliver (costumes), Robert Wierzel (lighting) and John Gromada (sound, original music). Fight choreography is by Geoffrey Alm. Anne Kearson is the stage manager. Tickets are $42-$23. For reservations, call (206) 292 7676. A Contemporary Theatre's website is located at http://www.acttheatre.org.
-- By Christine Ehren