To kick off Mosaic Theater's Catalyst New Play Festival, Max & Willy's Last Laugh, a new play with music, will be presented January 19-20 at the Edlavitch DC Jewish Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.
The Jake Broder and Conor Duffy-penned play is based on the true story of entertainers Max Ehrlich and Willy Rosen, who for 18 months performed the funniest cabaret in Europe to ensure their safety at the Westerbork Transit Camp during World War II.
In the play Ehrlich and Rosen are told that if they perform a weekly cabaret that is funny enough to make them entertainment assets, they will not be sent to the concentration camps. The comedy segments in Max & Willy's Last Laugh will incorporate some of the actual sketches, songs, and jokes that were performed over 70 years ago.
The performances will be directed by Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall) and will feature music direction by Grammy-winning conductor and composer John McDaniel (Bonnie and Clyde, Annie Get Your Gun). The readings will feature Jason Graae (A Grand Night for Singing, Falsettos) and David Turner (Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George) as Max and Willy, accompanied by a six-piece orchestra.
The United States Holocaust Museum will facilitate talkbacks following the performances. To purchase tickets and see the roster of other events participating in the Catalyst New Play Festival, click here.