BWW Review: MY NAME IS ASHER LEV at GSP is a True Gem at GSP

BWW Review:  MY NAME IS ASHER LEV at GSP is a True Gem at GSP

"A great artist is tied to his art."

-My Name is Asher Lev

My Name is Asher Lev is onstage at George Street Playhouse (GSP) now through May 1st. This poignant drama is directed by the theater's Director of Education and Outreach, Jim Jack. Written Aaron Posner, it is adapted from the best-selling novel by Chaim Potok. The play stars Bob Ari, Miles Jackson and Lena Kaminsky in a show that reveals the spirit of artist, Asher Lev whose religious values conflict with the aesthetics of his work. Wonderfully staged and beautifully performed, it is a gem of a show. Bravo to GSP for making it available to the metro area audience.

My Name is Asher Lev tells the story of a young, observant Jew growing up in post-war Brooklyn. It depicts Asher Lev's remarkable artistic talent from early childhood through adulthood. In spite of his family's conservative religious views and traditional background, Asher realizes that he must create art that captures his view of life, even if it goes against the will of his mother and father and the values of their Orthodox Jewish community. Asher is greatly influenced by renowned artist, Jacob Kahn who mentors him for five years telling him that his art is "a religion called painting." This is a very universal story that speaks to family ties, the expectations of others and individuality.

GSP has assembled a cast of three extraordinary actors for My Name is Asher Lev. Miles G. Jackson captures the demanding role of Asher Lev. His portrayal is heartrending, at times humorous, but always completely authentic to the character of the budding Jewish artist. Bob Ari plays "The Men" so deftly that you will believe that there is a much larger cast. Alternating between the role of Asher's authoritarian father, Aryeh Lev, Jacob Kahn and a few more essential male characters, Ari masters each role perfectly. Lena Kaminsky's wonderful portrayal of Asher's mother, Rivkeh brings real heart to the show. Kaminsky also assumes the roles of a gallery owner and artist's model.

The design team has brought My Name is Asher Lev to life on the New Brunswick stage with scenic design by R. Michael Miller, costume design by David Murin, lighting design by Christopher J. Bailey, original music/sound design by Sott Killian and hair and wig design by Jared Janas. The Production Stage Manager is Thomas Clewell and the Production Manager is Christopher J. Bailey. Casting is by McCorkle Casting.

See My Name is Asher Lev. It is an affecting play that is thoughtful, captivating and relatable. George Street Playhouse has given their audiences another great show this season so come out and enjoy.

My Name is Asher Lev runs through May 1st. The show is 1 hour and 40 minutes without an intermission. Tickets starting at $25 are on sale. Contact the George Street Playhouse Box Office at 732.246.7717 or visit The Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick in the heart of the city's vibrant dining and entertainment district with convenient parking and mass transit options.

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

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