Recommended Theater: THE PIANIST (George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ)

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by Gregory Bernard on August 1, 2023

in Theater-New York,Theater-Regional

George Street Playhouse is offering THE PIANIST, a play with music, based on the memoir The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman and directed and adapted for the stage by Emily Mann (Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire, Having Our Say, Anna and the Tropics). THE PIANIST begins previews on September 26, 2023 with an official opening night set for September 29. The play runs through October 22 at 11  Livingston Avenue at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

THE PIANIST is a new stage adaptation of Szpilman’s harrowing account of the annihilation of Jewish life in Warsaw during World War II and his remarkable survival through the transcendent power of music.​ Szpilman was the most acclaimed young musician of his time until his promising career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. He played the last live music heard over Polish radio airwaves before Nazi artillery hit. Though he escaped deportation, Szpilman was forced to live in the heart of the Warsaw ghetto. The play follows Szpilman’s heroic and inspirational journey of survival with the unlikely help of a sympathetic German officer. (Szpilman’s memoir inspired the 2002 Oscar-winning film starring Adrien Brody.)

Daniel Donskoy (Wladyslaw Szpilman)

THE PIANIST stars Ukrainian-Russian Jewish actor Daniel Donskoy (A Small Light; The Crown) as Wladyslaw Szpilman in his American stage debut and features Claire Beckman (The Torch-Bearers) as Mother, Austin Pendleton (Between Riverside and Crazy; The Minutes; The Little Foxes) as Father, Paul Spera (On The Basis of Sex) as Henryk, Arielle Goldman (The How and the Why) as Regina, Georgia Warner (Broadway: All My Sons) as Halina/Woman, Charlotte Ewing (Law and Order: SVU) as Magda/Boy, Tina Benko (Broadway: The Rose Tattoo) as Janina and others, Robert David Grant (Succession) as Majorek and others, and Jordan Lage (Broadway: Glengarry Glenross) as Jaworski.

Directed and adapted by Mann, the play features an original score by Iris Hond (headliner at the Royal Concert Hall in Amsterdam and New Church in The Hague) and choreography and assistant direction by Terry Berliner (The Lion King resident director; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife). THE PIANIST has scenic design by Tony Award Winner Beowulf Boritt (New York, New York; Come From Away), lighting design by Japhy Weideman (Dear Evan Hansen; Shucked), costume design by Tony Award Winner Linda Cho (A Gentlemen’s Guide…; POTUS), co-sound design by Mark Bennett (The Coast of Utopia; Vanya and Sonia…) & Charles Coes (Sing Street; Golden Child), and video and projection design by S. Katy Tucker (Letters From Max; Elektra directed by Francesca Zambello).

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