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UNDER THE CROSS NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW
Opening Night: June 3, 2011
Did He Like It?*
Set in the 1920's, Under the Cross centers on the troubled relationship between successful businessman Moshke Ferapontov and his son, Yakov. Moshke was born and raised Jewish until his rebellious behavior got him sent off to the Russian army, after which he converted to Christianity, settled in a rural village & married a devout Christian woman with whom he had Yakov. 25 years later, Moshke has found a young Christian bride for his son and underlying tensions between the two men erupt when Moshke begrudgingly opts to harbor a young Jewish woman fleeing a pogrom. Unbeknownst to Moshke, the woman was raped by his own vengeful son. During this first contact with a Jew in twenty-five years, Moshke confides in her his secret longing to renounce his Christian conversion and take his family to Palestine. But when he realizes that his son was an active participant in the pogrom, he loses his mind and makes the ultimate sacrifice.
Religion and Family at Odds (With Blacks Playing Jews)
*By RACHEL SALTZ
Published: June 13, 2011
"If I. D. Berkovitch’s play “Under the Cross” feels like a theatrical missive from another time and place, that’s because it is. It hails from the vanished province of Yiddishland and considers the problem of how to be a Jew in a world hostile to the very idea. "
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