The Diary of Anne Frank | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Diary of Anne Frank


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Building on the 1955 stage treatment by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, Wendy Kesselman's 1997 adaptation restores censored material from the diary, including descriptions of Anne's lesbian urges, her awareness of her changing body ("my sweet secret"), and her resentment of her mother. Because Anne is so complex, there's even more of her to miss. As in earlier productions, we are there as two families try to imagine a future beyond their cramped, silent rooms. Unlike the eight souls hidden in an office building annex, however, we know the outcome. Even so, the play remains a suspenseful survivor epic until the last moment. The performances in Chicago Jewish Theatre's well-cast revival, directed by Fred Anzevino and Beverle Bloch, give fresh urgency to the characters, especially Michele Gross as a bratty but vibrant Anne and Danielle Brothers as her heartbreakingly serious mother. Through 4/17: Thu and Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 and 7 PM. Red Hen Productions, Kenneth LeTraunik Theatre, 5123 N. Clark, 773-728-0599. $25.

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