Sunday, October 9, 2022

"Otto Frank" ★ ★ ★ BANG

Live theater's magic is that you never know what will happen next. With a performer like Roger Guenvere Smith, in his one-man show "Otto Frank," the suspense is magnified because the man never moves. He sits behind a desk, arms for the most part glued to a corner of that desk. He whispers, he roars. He passes from reflection to prediction. He breaks our heart by breaking his own heart first. This is a piece of emotional and theatrical therapy.

It is impossible for those of us born after the horrors of the Holocaust to comprehend how it must have felt for the real Otto Frank, who survived Auschwitz dreaming of reuniting with his family in Amsterdam, only to discover them all dead upon his return. All that remained was Anne's diary, that he had given to her at age 13 and told her to fill it with her dreams as well as her nightmares. A neighbor had found it and saved it for him.

The current run at the Magic Theater for "Otto Frank" was for only three nights. His next move is to the Public Theater in New York in January.  The show is brilliant, but not for the squeamish. 


The San Francisco Theater Blog grants "Otto Frank: Three Stars with a Bangle of Praise. Go see it when you're in New York. We recommend it to anyone who wants to be transported for an hour into an actor's personal trance. You already know how the story ends - this one is about great acting. Don't miss it. 

Roger Guenvere Smith: Otto Frank"


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