The Good and the True OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Jeremy Daniel
  • The Good and the True
  • NY TIMES

  • TM

Opening Night:
August 3, 2014
Closing:
September 14, 2014

Theater: Daryl Roth Theatre / 101 E. 15th St., New York, NY,

Synopsis: 

A remarkable piece of theatre, The Good and the True weaves the true testimonies of two extraordinary people. Athlete Milos Dobry and actress Hana Pravda spent their working lives building suspense, knocking crowds into submission and drawing gasps from onlookers. Both endured the impossible challenges of being born Jewish in 1920s Europe. True survivors in every sense of the word. Did they possess exceptional qualities, or was their survival just “good luck”?

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Good and the True

    Recounting a Tragic Past Through the Eyes of Survivors ‘The Good and the True’ Recounts the Holocaust

    Alexis Soloski

    August 3, 2014: Milos Dobry and Hana Pravda have apparently never met. Possibly Milos saw one of Hana’s early films, like Marijka the Unfaithful. Maybe she strolled past a Prague soccer field where Milos made save after save at goal. Or maybe, a few years later — now wretched, terrified, half-starved — they might have crossed paths at Auschwitz. The Czech director Daniel Hrbek has twinned their stories in The Good and the True, at the DR2 Theater, a documentary drama assembled from testimony by Ms. Pravda, who died in 2008, and Mr. Dobry, who died in 2012. Here, little unites the lives of the actress Hana (Hannah D. Scott) and the athlete Milos (Saul Reichlin) except their Jewry and the horrors they suffered and witnessed. This brisk 70-minute drama begins with a few particulars of birth and upbringing, but almost immediately it shifts to the camps. At Terezin, the so-called model ghetto, there’s fear, abuse and privation, but also soccer and amateur theatrics. Predictably the story turns far grimmer as the setting shifts to Auschwitz. Milos recalls his arrival: “The doors crashed open. People fell and jumped from the train in the dark, gasping for air. Then searchlights, the dogs and the stamping of boots of the SS men, marching toward us.”

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF The Good and the True

    This Czech drama, chronicling the lives of two Holocaust survivors, surmounts some hardships of its own in its American premiere

    Hayley Levitt

    August 3, 2014: Sometimes, the best way to serve a story is to get out of its way. Creators Tomas Hrbek, Lucie Kolouchova, and Daniel Hrbek have held this philosophy at the core of The Good and the True, which weaves the firsthand accounts of two unrelated Holocaust survivors into a single staged piece. Translated by Brian Daniels for its American premiere at DR2 Theatre, the creative team handles the pair of testimonials with delicacy, abstaining from manipulative embellishments in favor of raw depositions, allowing the simple yet haunting stories to radiate with unadulterated authenticity. The Good and the True takes its name from its two historical centerpieces — Czech athlete Milos Dobry and Czech actress Hana Marie Pravda — both of whom were imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Dobry, whose surname in Czech means "good," was born with the name "Gut" (the German word for "good"), which he translated after the war in order to separate himself from all things German. Pravda's name, meanwhile, translates in her native Czech to "true." The principle behind the piece is as profoundly simple as its title. On a stage split down the center by a train track covered in stray shoes, Dobry and Pravda take turns delivering excerpts from their stories to the audience through a barbed-wire fence (a striking design by director and cocreator Daniel Hrbek). Karel Simek's lighting design shifts our focus back and forth between their tales, while also adding dramatic accents to the details of their stories — though not much accenting is needed for their impact to land with full force — just a pair of capable storytellers.

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