Olympics Über Alles OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Carol Rosegg
  • NY TIMES

  • THEATER PIZZAZZ

Opening Night:
August 27, 2014
Closing:
September 21, 2014

Theater: St. Luke's Theatre / 308 West 46th St., New York, New York, 10036

Synopsis: 

Olympics Über Alles tells the story of the 1936 “Nazi Olympics,” when Jewish-American runners Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller became victims of hate-mongering. As Jesse Owens made the news, Marty and Sam, on the same U.S. track team, went unnoticed, while American and Nazi officials apparently conspired to bar them from the race of their lives. Why were these young men denied the opportunity to compete? Fast-forward to the present and follow a Jewish professor and a Catholic museum curator investigating the Glickman-Stoller incident, as they struggle against the prejudices of their upbringing, for the truth amid some murky Olympic history, and with the meaning of their own developing relationship. In the evocative new play, politics, religion, sports, relationships, and the roots of World War II come face-to-face in a theatrical whirlwind that will challenge and inspire.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Olympics Über Alles

    The Long History of a Famous Sprint ‘Olympics Über Alles,’ a Story of the 1936 Games

    Daniel M. Gold

    September 15, 2014: Before he became a pioneering sports broadcaster, Marty Glickman was a Syracuse University track and football star, and Olympics Über Alles, now at St. Luke’s Theater, recalls the notorious behavior that victimized him in 1936. Or would, if it could get out of its own way. Glickman, then 18, made the United States Olympic track team for the Berlin Games. Both he and Sam Stoller, a University of Michigan sprinter, were to run legs of the 4 x 100-meter relay. But the morning of the first heats, the track coaches replaced both men, the team’s only Jews, with the black runners Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. While the relay team won the gold in world-record time, Glickman and Stoller were the only two American track athletes not to compete at the Olympics. Glickman made no secret of his belief that anti-Semitism by the coaches and the head of the United States Olympic Committee, Avery Brundage, was behind the move. In particular, he felt that Brundage — after Owens’s already superb performance in Berlin — did not want to further embarrass Hitler with gold medals for Jews.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • THEATER PIZZAZZ REVIEW OF Olympics Über Alles

    Olympics Über Alles NY Theater Review

    Elizabeth Ahlfors

    September 2, 2014: Greeting the audience are Adolph Hitler’s words about the 1936 Olympics in Berlin projected on the St. Luke’s Theater screen. “The sportive knightly battle awakens the best human characteristics. It doesn’t separate, but unites the combatants in understanding and respect. It also helps to connect the countries in the spirit of peace. That’s why the Olympic Flame should never die.” Unfortunately, in Olympics Über Alles, a new play by Samuel J Bernstein and Marguerite Krupp. the irony of “respect” and “spirit of peace” fails to ignite as forcefully as it should. Olympics Über Alles centers on the “Nazi Olympics” and contains the hope, fear, and inspiration necessary for a challenging drama, with pre-World War II politics twisted into anti-Semitism and injustice. While truth struggles with personal commitments, this muddled book, overburdened with brief scenes and unclear characters, blunts the emotional and dramatic core from touching the heart.

    READ THE REVIEW

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