top of page

WHAT THE JEWS BELIEVE – Berkshire Theatre Group

“What the Jews Believe” is a heartfelt, coming-of-age memory play told by the 12 year old Nathan (Logan Weibrecht), as he prepares for his bar mitzvah as an only child in the only Jewish household in a small town in central Texas in the 1950s. It’s based on the real-life upbringing of playwright Mark Harelik, who also directs, and is a sequel of sorts to his earlier play “The Immigrant” about his Jewish Russian grandfather.

Mr. Harelik creates several story lines. Nathan’s father Dave (Benim Foster) is a non-practicing, secular Jew; he resisted being bas mitvahed but he insists Nathan is for “continuity’. Besides the religious angle, the dominate plot line that emerges is the late-stage cancer of Nathan’s mother Rachel (Emily Donahue). A counseling session with a visiting rabbi (Robert Zukerman) goes badly. Rachel’s’ aunt, Sarah (Cynthia Mace), who’s been taking care of Nathan, intervenes. Her spiritual counseling is fundamentalist Christian Science. Mr. Harelick packs a lot of cross-cultural conflict into two-acts.

Fortunately, playwright/ director Harelik - also an accomplished actor (Broadway credits include “The Normal Heart” and “Light in the Piazza”) - has cast his play perfectly and gets the best from every performer. Ms. Mace’s performance, however, is the outstanding; she has impeccable timing and creates a perfect character study of zeal tempered with both genteel demeanor and steely purpose. And the young Mr. Weilbrecht, recruited from the local Lenox high school, has a stage presence that matches all the other seasoned performers. We should be seeing more of him on Berkshire stages.

Featured Posts
Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page