Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 11 October 2010 01:00

Asher Lev's leap to stage falls short

Written by Bob Wilcox
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

Asher Lev's leap to stage falls short
John Lamb/newjewishtheatre.org

My Name Is Asher Lev has been adapted for the stage by Aaron Posner from the novel of the same name by Chaim Potok. But it hasn't been adapted enough.

The novel and play tell the story of Asher Lev, a child of a Hassidic family in Brooklyn who has been blessed with extraordinary artistic talent. In the way of such stories, Asher's gift leads to estrangement from his parents, especially his father, who has difficulty discovering a place in Orthodox Jewish life for a painter and his paintings, especially when they depict nudes and crucifixions. It's a familiar story, given local color by its Hassidic setting, with some interesting explorations of the meanings of art and of the calling of an artist.

But too much of what we see at the New Jewish Theatre still comes to us as narration, interspersed with occasional dramatic scenes of Asher with his mother and father and with the painter who tutors him.

Both the narration and the scenes, under Deanna Jent's direction, are extremely well done. Robert Thibaut clearly and sensitively recites the incidents in Asher's life and his inner struggles. In the dramatic scenes, Thibaut amazingly and quite convincingly plays Asher from young child to young man.

Terry Meddows always impresses, here as several distinctly drawn characters, especially Asher's father and Asher's mentor. Lee Anne Mathews also plays several characters, of which Asher's mother is the most fully and sympathetically drawn.

All three actors do lovely work. Dunsi Dai has given them a flexible setting for the play's many scenes, clarified by Glenn Dunn's lighting, and Michele Friedman Siler's costumes allow for quick, distinguishing variations for the various characters. Supportive sound design is by Michael Perkins. But playwright Posner has not quite turned Potok's novel into a play.

Additional Info

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr
KDHX Blog

Local Artist Spotlight


Tok Releases Gold Dollar Hen House Volume 3

Tue April 8
Tok is a Festus based rock band who has been rocking St. Louis for 20 years. They are due to release their third installment of their Gold Dollar Hen House collection on February 28, 2014 at Schlafly's…

KDHX Recommends

April
Friday
18

The Minus Five

KDHX welcomes The Minus Five to Off Broadway on April 18th.   For more info, offbroadwaystl.com.


April
Saturday
19

Get Down To Business: Getting Booked Locally and Beyond

Ever wondered how to get that talent buyer to open your emails?  KDHX is here to help.   Join St. Louis promoters Steve Pohlman of Off Broadway, Brian McCormac of The Old Rock House, and Mike Cracciolo of The...


April
Tuesday
22

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions: Worm-A-Rama

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions presents Earth Day Worm-A-Rama with Jean Ponzi on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30pm at The Stage. This visual-musical celebration of living on earth will feature musical guest, Augusta Bottoms Consort, tuneful...


Online Users

0 users and 7945 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook