Miller in Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing!
Odets' play centers on the Bergers, a Bronx Jewish family that is struggling to make it through the Depression.
The family's matriarch, Bessie, is determined to keep them all afloat. Despite the fact that her home is already overcrowded with relatives — her husband, Myron, her two children, year-old Ralph and year-old Hennie, and her father, Jacob — Bessie takes in a boarder, Moe, to help with expenses.
There are two momentous events that advance the plot: And there are smaller important events: Ralph finds a girlfriend, then loses her; Hennie elopes with Moe.
But the movement of the play depends less on these individual events than it does on the small, constant clash and alignment of personalities in the Berger home. It is this taut blend of plot and character that has allowed Awake and Sing! Naomi Jacobson is perfect as the steely Bessie, who constantly cooks, cleans, and fusses about her children's futures.
She never wavers in her belief that she will find a rich husband for Hennie.
|Awake and Sing, a CurtainUp review||The audience is introduced to a unique family. The matriarch of the family, Bessie, had high hopes and dreams for her family; however, despite her hopefulness, her largest fear is that her family will lose their home and all their possessions.|
She never doubts that her son will marry the right Jewish girl and support his whole family. Alex Mandell is impressive as Ralph, an idealistic young man unhappily serving as a clerk.
He is frustrated that he can't see a way to alter his life without breaking away from his family. Mandell vibrantly illuminates the highs and lows of Ralph's existence, his bouts of despair giving way to euphoria.
Jacob is portrayed with wit and gusto by Rick Foucheux. Jacob is an excitable Marxist who adores the opera singer Enrico Caruso. He urges his grandson not to listen to Bessie but to strike out on his own and create the world he desires.
Jacob is a tremendously important moral force in the play, and Foucheux portrays him with passion, as a simple but deeply ethical man. Laura Harris plays Hennie effectively as a self-centered, diffident young woman who is restlessly searching for happiness.
The only weakness in this production is that we are asked to believe that there has been a serious physical encounter between Hennie and Moe Chris Genebach before the play begins. Unfortunately, there is never adequate sexual sizzle between Harris and Genebach to make that important issue credible.
Paul Morella gives a beautifully muted and humorous performance as Myron, the father of the family, a self-effacing man who spends his days remembering the past, recalling how good things were when Teddy Roosevelt was in charge. Two peripheral characters occasionally visit the Berger home.
Uncle Morty Richard Pelzman is a successful businessman who drops by from time to time. Pelzman plays him well, as a confident and untrustworthy braggart. Joshua Morgan is delightful as the perpetually frazzled Sam, an immigrant who worships Hennie. Director Serge Seiden transforms eight actors into a tight ensemble, keeping the energy flowing at a snappy pace throughout and handily emphasizing the nonstop movement between each character and his or her dreams.Directed by Robert Hopkins and Norman Lloyd, Awake and Sing, premiered on PBS March 6, This film production of the play featured Walter Matthau (Moe), Ruth Storey (Bessie), Felicia Farr (Hennie), Robert Lipton (Ralph), Leo Fuchs (Jacob), Milton Selzer (Myron), Martin Ritt (Uncle Morty), Ron Rifkin (Sam), and John Myhers (Schlosser).
Generally considered Clifford Odets' finest play, 'Awake And Sing!' is the story of the Bergers, a lower-middle-class, three-generation Jewish family living in a Bronx apartment during the Depression%(12). This is probably what makes the current Northlight Theatre production of "Awake and Sing!", Clifford Odets' Tony winning play dealing with the Depression of more meaningful today than it might have been, even during its Broadway revival in awake and sing.
(). This time, Odets takes on the effects of the Depression and what he sees as capitalistic oppression and examines it at the level of a family living in the Bronx/5. (Awake and Sing! plays at the Public Theater, Lafayette Street, through August 8, Performances are Mondays through Fridays at 7, and Saturdays at 2 and 7.
Performances are Mondays through Fridays at 7, and Saturdays at 2 and 7. Beginning after the first intermission (Awake and Sing!
is gloriously, and correctly, presented in three acts), Michael Yeargan's cramped, realistic set begins vanishing into the wings, a deconstruction not complete until Ralph solidifies his goal to take on the world in the play's final moments.
Jul 21, · This play by Clifford Odets, directed by Stephen Brown-Fried at the Public Theater, is about a struggling Bronx family with initiativeblog.comon: Lafayette St, E. Village. The only real problem with the play is towards the middle of the second act it seems that everyone has to have a monologue and some of them come across as shoehorned in. Plus, nowadays, the grandfather's rants about communism are no longer revolutionary or even timely so they fall flat. Generally considered Clifford Odets' finest play, 'Awake And Sing!' is the story of the Bergers, a lower-middle-class, three-generation Jewish family living in a Bronx apartment during the Depression%(12).