Monday, July 19, 2010

Moving Forward on Madoff

From the New York Times:

The original play, with the Wiesel character, was supposed to be performed at a theater in Washington, until that production was scuttled in May under pressure from Mr. Wiesel. Stageworks/Hudson is now producing the revised work, in which “Wiesel” has been replaced by a new character, a Holocaust survivor and poet named Solomon Galkin.


The Wiesel character in the earlier script was no passing contrivance. Ms. Margolin said she had seen the character as an ideal dramatic device, a name that would instantly connote moral authority. The central scene of the original play was an imagined conversation in which Wiesel pleaded with Madoff to invest his money. It also included a sexually tinged memory of Wiesel’s time in a concentration camp, as well as readings from the Talmud and meditations on repentance.

Wiesel spent much of the play cajoling and counseling Madoff, building up to a climactic moment in which the treacherous investor considered confessing his deceit to his wise and kindly companion.

The replacement character, Galkin, is described in the script as “80 years old, Holocaust survivor, poet, translator, treasurer of his synagogue.” But much of the original Wiesel dialogue has been retained and given to him, including the concentration camp memory and several provocative passages about morality and forgiveness.

For those who would like some context original, you can check out some posts at Isaac Butler's blog Parabasis, ( here, here and here) where the playwright and Theatre J people entered the comments.

1 comment:

Ian Thal said...

I was struck how both Isaac and J. had attributed all sorts of nefarious goings-on despite the statements made by the involved parties. It was a complex enough and sad enough story without the speculation.