The Minneapolis Jewish Theater Company is one of the best theater companies in one of the best theater cities in the world. Seriously. Producing plays out of the 149-seat Hillcrest Center Theater in St. Paul, it consistently produces plays far better than it has any business doing. Last year, My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding won an Ivey award, the theater has won two more Ivey awards, earned a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Arts Achievement Award in 2010, and has had its praises sung by Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press, and even the Pope! That’s what that Latin was all about in his resignation speech: “I’m resigning so I can actually use my season tickets to the Minneapolis Jewish Theater Company.”
Opening this weekend is a new play called Compulsion or the House Behind.
“In 1951, a Jewish writer in America is deeply moved by Anne Frank’s diary and is earnestly determined to share her story honestly and truthfully. When he embarks on a journey rife with publishers and producers, his keen interest quickly turns to an obsession and he becomes embroiled in litigious battles that straddle a fine line between idealism and fanaticism. Compulsion or the House Behind is a rich mix of history, entertainment gossip, and one man’s obsession over a young girl’s work of art that doesn’t really belong to him.”
Oh, it also has puppets. Marionettes, rather.
“In Compulsion or the House Behind, Anne Frank and her family live vividly in the writer’s mind and visit him as marionettes. Although visibly small, these puppets loom large in guiding his fate. They haunt his desire to do good, yet he becomes entangled within the strings of his own insecurity and struggles to find faith in humanity, something that was at the core of Anne’s existence. As time goes on, he looks increasingly to his vision of Anne as a source of inspiration.”
Scratch that, it has Anne Frank marionettes. If this show doesn’t blow your socks off, then I don’t know what will.
On with the show!
TC Jewfolk has a pair of free tickets to give away to one of the three opening weekend shows (Saturday, March 2nd at 8pm, Sunday, March 3rd at 1pm or 7pm). Just write in the comments below, or on our Facebook page, an answer to the following: Other than Anne Frank, who is the most compelling figure in Jewish history? A winner will be drawn at random Friday morning.
Compulsion or the House Behind
Saturdays (8pm) and Sundays (1pm and 7pm) in March
Hillcrest Center Theater (1978 Ford Pkwy, St. Paul)