Mandy Patinkin Fights to Honor Anne Frank in Compulsion, Opening at the Public Feb. 17

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17 Feb 2011

Mandy Patinkin
Mandy Patinkin
Photo by Joan Marcus

A man's obsession to bring Anne Frank's story to the Broadway stage is dramatized in the New York premiere of Rinne Groff's Compulsion, starring Tony Award-winning actor Mandy Patinkin, which officially opens Feb. 17 at the Public Theater.

Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis, who staged the Yale Rep world premiere of the play, repeats his work for the Off-Broadway bow. Compulsion began previews Feb. 1 and will continue through March 13. Additional performances have been added March 4 and 5.

Patinkin originated the role of Sid Silver in Groff's drama at the Yale Repertory Theatre in early 2010 and also appeared in the Berkeley Repertory Theatre engagement in September. The play, which conjures historic characters through the use of marionette puppets, is inspired by real events surrounding Meyer Levin's battle to have his adaptation of "The Diary of Anne Frank" produced on stage.

The Public Theater run reunites the Berkeley Rep cast, including Hannah Cabell (A Man for All Seasons, In the Next Room…) and Matte Osian (Twelfth Night, Twelve Angry Men). Cabell also appeared alongside Patinkin in the Yale Rep premiere.

According to the Public, "It is 1951, and Sid Silver is on a mission to be the guardian of one of the most moving and provocative accounts of the 20th century. Deeply moved by Anne Frank's diary, he is driven to bring her story to the American masses by promoting the book's publication and adapting the diary into a work of theater… a complex and inventive telling that is part historical fiction, part investigation into what makes a man obsess, and part exploration of an untold dimension of Anne Frank's powerful and enduring legacy."



The design team includes Eugene Lee (scenic designer), Susan Hilferty (costume designer), Michael Chybowski (lighting designer), Darron L West (sound designer), Jeff Sugg (projection designer) and Matt Acheson (puppet designer/puppetry supervisor).

Patinkin earned a Tony Award for his performance as Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita and was nominated in 1984 for his starring role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Sunday in the Park with George. His numerous stage appearances also include The Secret Garden, The Tempest, Falsettos, Paradise Found, Leave It to Beaver is Dead, Hamlet, Trelawney of the 'Wells,' The Shadow Box, The Split and Savages. Among his screen credits are "Yentl," "The Princess Bride," "Dick Tracy," "Chicago Hope," "Criminal Minds" and "Dead Like Me."

For tickets phone (212) 967-7555 or visit PublicTheater.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.