Friedman and Strathairn Are Hannah & Martin Off-Broadway

News   Friedman and Strathairn Are Hannah & Martin Off-Broadway
Melissa Friedman will play historian and author Hannah Arendt, and David Straithairn will be her philosopher-lover Martin Heidegger, in Hannah and Martin, a new play by Kate Fodor, getting its New York premiere March 20 at the Bank Street Theatre.

Performances of the Epic Theatre Center production production run through April 25. Ron Russell will direct a cast which also includes Todd Cerveris, Laura Hicks, Teri Lamm and James Wallert.

Arendt, born in Germany, was part of New York intellectual circles in the '40s and '50s. The thrust of much of her studies was the place of Jews in the larger world, with a specific focus on World War II and the Holocaust. Her 1951 work "The Origins of Totalitarianism" is considered a classic study of its type. Her 1963 book "Eichmann in Jerusalem" covered the trial of the former Nazi and is famous for coining the phrase "the banality of evil."

Arendt met Heidegger, one of the foremost philosophers of the 20th century, in Germany in 1924, when he was a 35-year-old married professor at the University of Freiburg and Arendt was a first-year student. Their affair began a year later. The relationship continued through 1933—the year Arendt fled to France, and when Heidegger became a member of the Nazi Party, announcing that "the Führer and he alone is the present and future German reality and law."

Strathairn last appeared on the New York stage in the Broadway production of Oscar Wilde's Salome (dubbed "the reading," which also featured Al Pacino) and, before that, Dance of Death. Off Broadway, he's been seen in Hapgood and Stranger.

Tickets are $40. Call (212) 279-4200.

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