Review: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY at American Conservatory Theatre

Performing at A.C.T.'s Toni Rembe Theater Through June 23, 2024

By: May. 30, 2024
Review: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY at American Conservatory Theatre
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.




Existing user? Just click login.

A fresh off the boat Jewish immigrant from Bavaria stands in awe of the musical box that is New York City in 1884. All he can repeat is Baruch Hashem (Blessed be God) and is amused when an immigration officer changes his name so easily from Chaim to Henry. This man is Henry Lehman who, along with his two brothers will create a financial firm that figured prominently in American history prior to its spectacular collapse triggering the largest financial crisis in history.

Review: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY at American Conservatory Theatre
John Heffernan (Henry Lehman) in The National Theatre and Neal Street Productions’ critically acclaimed, fivetime Tony Award® winning production, The Lehman Trilogy, performing at A.C.T.’s Toni Rembe Theater now through Sunday, June 23, 2024.

This epic story, written by an Italian and originally translated to French, is a quintessential American Horatio Alger tale full of magnificent success, epic failures, inspiration, and creativity brilliantly realized by Director Sam Mendes and a stellar cast of three actors playing at last a dozen roles. Winner of five Tony Awards and the Drama League Award for Best Play and six Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Play, this production, running in three acts at about three hours not only demands your attention, its absolutely deserves it.

The extraordinary cast is Aaron Krohn (Mayer Lehman), Howard W. Overshown (Emanuel Lehman), and John Heffernan as Henry Lehman. Their performances cannot be topped as they seamlessly change characters and genders to represent the Lehman progeny and major firm partners. Each narrates the story that spans 163 years of rich family history as well as decisive moments in US history. Starting off as cotton fabric merchants, the family creates the role of the middleman and become major brokers of cotton. Rising the social strata, we watch as these religious Jews maneuver their way into the upper echelons of society becoming wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

Review: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY at American Conservatory Theatre
(L-R): Howard W. Overshown (Emanuel Lehman), Aaron Krohn (Mayer Lehman), and John Heffernan (Henry Lehman) in The National Theatre and Neal Street Productions’ critically acclaimed, five-time Tony Award® winning production, The Lehman Trilogy, performing at A.C.T.’s Toni Rembe Theater now through Sunday, June 23, 2024.

From cotton to coffee to railways to oil to banking, the Lehman Brothers weather the Civil War, Yellow Fever, and the Great Depression to become a major force in American finance. They helped change the dynamic of ‘buying without need,’ that for good or bad, changed spending habits while creating both the credit and housing collapses. The Lehman Brothers dynasty rivals the greatest American success families like Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie.

Review: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY at American Conservatory Theatre
Howard W. Overshown (Emanuel Lehman) in The National Theatre and Neal Street Productions’ critically acclaimed, five-time Tony Award® winning production, The Lehman Trilogy, performing at A.C.T.’s Toni Rembe Theater now through Sunday, June 23, 2024.

The production’s other major characters must be sleek, glass walled, rotating office set designed by Es Devlin the atmospheric video designs by Luke Halls, and Jon Clark’s beautiful lighting design). Simple piano accompaniment is provided by Rebekah Bruce. From Montgomery Alabama to the modern offices of NYC, from the original three brothers to their lineage, The Lehman Trilogy is epic in scope and fantastically absorbing theatre. They represent our American royalty and whether you agree or disagree with their effect on society, you can’t deny their gumption and courage in going for their dream.

The Lehman Trilogy continues through June 23rd. Tickets available at http://www.act-sf.org/lehman.

Photo credit: Kevin Berne




Comments

To post a comment, you must register and login.



Videos