Claire Elizabeth Saxe's poignant lead performance drives this earnest, moving revival of the classic play. A high school senior, Saxe is utterly convincing as the intelligent, mercurial Jewish teenager in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam--
willful and tender, sassy and insecure, rebellious and desperate for acceptance. The always awkward transition to maturity is especially touching in the tense circumstances Anne endures, hiding for two and a half years with her parents, sister, and four other people in a cramped office-building annex. Wendy Kesselman's 1997 revision of Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett's 1955 Broadway hit explores Anne's burgeoning sexuality and celebrates her Jewish identity, and director Tina Landau and her excellent ensemble root the story's universals in the specifics of the characters' clashing personalities and shared faith. a Through 6/10: Tue-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat-Sun 3 and 7:30 PM, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, downstairs theater, 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, $20-$65.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Brosilow.