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Review: THE SOAP MYTH at Southampton Cultural Center

Review: THE SOAP MYTH at Southampton Cultural Center

Running through August 28th at the Southampton Cultural Center.

Indeed, The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen is probably one of the most important pieces of theatre. Running through August 28th at the Southampton Cultural Center, the insense and affecting play is expertly directed by the incomparable Harris Yulin. All I can really say is get your tickets now, folks.

The tale by Mr. Cohen takes us into the conflict between Holocaust scholars/historians who look for proof when determining the history of the Holocaust and survivors/eyewitnesses to the horrors. A larger question that is explored is who has the right to determine the truth and the right to write history. Also explored is the scourge of antisemitisim.

The cast is extraordinary.

Maddie Rubin excellently portrays Annie Blumberg, a young journalist - and the story's narrator - who helps Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman, brilliantly portrayed Tony nominee Bob Gunton, get the atrosity of Soap displayed in Holocaust museums. It is thrilling to see Mr. Gunton back on the stage. Milton is fiercly adamant that this soap is made from the bodies of thoes murdered in the Holocaust. In the course of the investigation, Annie is soon caught between Saltzman and the position of scholars who fear publishing anything related to soap as fact without coroberation could embolden Holocaust deniers.

Rounding out the astonishing cast is a brilliant performance by Tony and Drama Desk Award winner John Rubinstein who has multiple roles in this production. Primarily Mr. Rubinstein portrays historian Daniel Silver. And the great Carolyn McCormick also has a couple of roles. One is a Holocaust scholor, Esther, working with Mr. Rubinstein's Daniel and the other is Brenda, a Holocaust denier. The delivery in the contrast of the roles they portray is inspiring. No wonder the engaged audience gave a well deserved a standing ovation in the end. You'll also find an involved audience at the talk-backs after the performance.

On Mr. Yulin's superb creative team is set designer Andrew Boyce, Tony nominated lighting designer Dennis Parichy, and costume designer Krista Pineman. Mr. Boyce's set for the intimate Long Island venue is brilliantly minimal; a few chairs that are arranged around the stage throughout the show. This allows the story and the actors' fierce delivery to take center stage leaving the audience truly shaken.

And so, The Soap Myth is definitely a must see this season. This is an incredible piece that educates you and you're left spellbound. A gripping story, this incredible cast, and the beautiful Southampton Cultural Center make for an emotional night of theatre.

Photo Credit: Jimmy Burke

Regional Awards


From This Author - Melissa Giordano

Melissa has been covering theatre for BroadwayWorld for the past eight years and has loved every second of it. She is consistently inspired by the talent of the artists of her beloved Long Island a... (read more about this author)


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