LEAH, THE FORSAKEN Finds a New Home at Metropolitan Playhouse

By: Jan. 08, 2017

LEAH, THE FORSAKEN is a tale of forbidden love, treachery, and redemption from 1862. Leah, a Jewish refugee fleeing persecution in Hungary, is forbidden by law to pass the night in an Austrian town. But there she wins the love of Rudolf, a Christian citizen. But when a particularly zealous persecutor convinces Rudolf she will betray him for gold, he quickly renounces her. Bestowing her curse on him and his progeny, Leah retreats to her exile. Five years later, now bound for a better life in America, she finds Rudolf has prospered with his new family, but also become a devoted champion of justice for Austrian Jews. Reconciled to a degree, the couple find grace in forgiveness and contrition, though equality is an elusive treasure.

Both abroad and at home, LEAH's themes are those of today's headlines. In its unparalleled theatricality, the play fully embraces the savage suspicions of "the other," the bitter resentments born of fear, the craven betrayals engendered by persecution, and the ugly inhumanity that flourishes in mobs. But just as bold are its promises of the benefaction found in courage, compassion, and love. And contemporary audiences will be surprised at its nuanced affirmation of each individual's potential for goodness, once freed from the burdens of ideology and custom.

An adaptation of Salomon Hermann Mosenthal's DEBORAH, Leah, the Forsaken was hugely popular in New York and London with Kate Bateman in the lead in the 1860's and 70's. The play was made into a film, starring Mary Fuller, in 1908. The play was last revived in the US in 1966, to the best of Metropolitan's knowledge.

Augustin Daly (1838-1899) was one of the grandest theatrical impresarios of the late 19th Century and is considered by many to be the first modern American director. While his exceptional success as a producer chiefly owes to the smash success of Under the Gaslight (1867, and revived by Metropolitan in 2009), he began his career in 1859 as a drama critic for several New York papers. Already writing and producing adaptations and new plays, he assured some favorable press by writing his own reviews. He went on to manage successful venues such as the Fifth Avenue Theatre, in two locations, and then a Daly's Theatre in New York and a second in London. In New York, he gathered his own company of actors, including luminaries such as Ada Rehan, Clara Morris, Maurice Barrymore, Fanny Davenport, Tyrone Power, Sr., Isadora Duncan, and many more. Known for both the authenticity of his settings and his sensational effects, insistence on justified behavior on stage, and a propensity for exte
nsive alteration of even the most sacred theatrical works (such as Shakespeare), Daly was a driving force in American theater for nearly half a century.

LEAH, THE FORSAKEN is directed by Francis X. Kuhn ( McCarter Theatre, Princeton Rep, Delaware Theatre Company, Sacramento Opera, Virginia Opera, OPERA Delaware,). The production stars Regina Gibson (A Man's World and East Village Chronicles at Metropolitan, The Golden Bride for Folkesbiene) with NOELIA ANTWEILER, JON BERRY, Joe Candelora, MARGARET CATOV, MATT DELUCA, RAY FIELD, JEFFREY GROVER, Melissa Hurst, John Ingle, and RON NUMMI. Set design is by MICHAEL LEBRON (End of Summer). Lighting by Samantha Davis and PATRICK MAHANEY (Alison's House, The Hero). Costumes by NYIT Award winner Sidney Fortner (End of Summer, O'NEILL (Unexpected), Walk Hard). Stage Manager is INGRID PIERSON.

METROPOLITAN PLAYHOUSE explores America's theatrical heritage through forgotten plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. Now in its 25th season, the theater received a 2011 OBIE Grant from The Village Voice for its ongoing productions that illuminate who we are by revealing where we have come from. Called an "indispensable East Village institution" by nytheatre.com and "invaluable" by Back Stage, Metropolitan has earned accolades from The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The New Yorker. Other awards include Outstanding Performing Arts Group from the Victorian Society New York, and 18 nominations for NYIT Awards since 2010, with winners Lenore Wolf for short script, Sidney Fortner for costumes, Frank Anderson for lead actor. Recent productions include END OF SUMMER, O'NEILL (Unexpected), WALK HARD, ALISON'S HOUSE, INJUNCTION GRANTED, THE MAN OF THE HOUR, ICEBOUND, WITHIN THE LAW, THE HERO, A MAN'S WORLD, BOTH YOUR HOUSES, THE HOUSE
OF MIRTH, DEEP ARE THE ROOTS, THE JAZZ SINGER, ONE-THIRD OF A NATION, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, and DODSWORTH, as well as the Alphabet City and East Village Chronicles series.

$30 general admission, $25 students/seniors, and $10 children 18 and under.
Preview admission prices are $20.00 for those over 18; $10 for children.
To purchase tickets online visit www.metropolitanplayhouse.org/tickets, or call 800 838 3006.

February 10th - March 12th, 2017
Thursday - Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm; and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 pm

Additional Performances
Monday, February 13th at 7:30 pm (Pay What You Will)
Wednesdays, March 1st and 8th at 3:00 pm
Saturdays, March 4th and 11th at 3:00 pm

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