Written, designed and directed by Wakka Wakka members David Arkema, Gabrielle Brechner, Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock, Fabrik incorporates Nordic and Yiddish folktales to tell the life story of businessman turned anti-Nazi activist, Moritz Rabinowitz. Performances began Jan. 17 and will continue through Feb. 17.
According to press materials, Rabinowitz was "a successful, immigrant, Norwegian Jew who 'built a factory from a button' only to watch his life be swept away by the Holocaust. Originally from Poland, he immigrated to Norway in 1911 to escape pogroms and persecution. In Haugesund, a small fishing village, he discovered a land rich with opportunity… He eventually built one of the largest clothing empires in the country, with department stores in several cities and his own factory. The only Jews in Haugesend, he and his family were treated as outsiders. Rabinowitz avidly wrote columns for local and national newspapers, expressing his socioeconomic ideas about commerce in Europe and Norway's natural resources. In time, the primary focus of his columns became warnings to his countrymen about the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. His portentous denunciations were ignored by everyone except the Nazis themselves, who considered him 'the leader of the Jewish resistance in Norway' when they invaded in 1940."
Wakka Wakka ensemble members also composed Fabrik's original score, which has been combined with the work of Lars Peter Hagen to incorporate industrial noise, period and folk music. Danny Goldstein serves as directing consultant.
Previous productions from Wakka Wakka include the acclaimed The Death of Little Ibsen as well as Erik the Amazing and the Shallaballah, The Untold Story of Monkey and Fattie and Skinny Show!
Tickets for Fabrik are available by calling (212) 352-5101. Urban Stages is located in Manhattan at 259 West 30th Street.