Unknown Soldier OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Paul Fox
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    July 30, 2015
    Closing:
    August 9, 2015

    Theater: Williamstown Theatre Festival / 1000 Main Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 01267

    Synopsis: 

    In this haunting new musical created by writer Daniel Goldstein, Obie Award-winning composer Michael Friedman, and director Trip Cullman, Ellen Rabinowitz sets out to understand her past after she discovers an enigmatic photograph while cleaning out her deceased grandmother’s home. As she chases the truth about the soldier featured in the photo, Ellen is drawn into a tangle of historical facts and mysteries that lead her to surprising love stories and unexpected truths. Bringing together three WTF alumni, Unknown Soldier delves into memory and family mythology, asking how – or even whether – the past shows us who we are.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Unknown Soldier

    In ‘Unknown Soldier,’ a War Echoes Through Generations

    Alexis Soloski

    August 10, 2015: About 10 million soldiers never came home from World War I. Many who did left something behind on those battlefields — skin, bone, spirit. In Michael Friedman and Daniel Goldstein’s affecting new musical, “Unknown Soldier,” which just closed a brief run at the Williamstown Theater Festival, an amnesiac in military dress (Derek Klena) is found in 1918, wandering around Grand Central Terminal without identifying papers. (The story seems inspired by an actual case that captivated postwar France.) Seventy-five years later, Ellen (Jessica Phillips), a Manhattan obstetrician, is upstate, cleaning out her childhood home after the death of the grandmother, Lucy (Estelle Parsons), who raised her without much sympathy or affection. Ellen chances on a newspaper clipping headlined “Has Unknown Soldier Found True Love?” The picture shows that amnesiac man picnicking with a young woman. She is Lucy. (Her younger version was played here by Lauren Worsham.) From the first scenes, you can already trace the arc of the show. In coming to understand her grandmother’s life, Ellen, frustrated with both her career and her marriage, will better understand her own. “Unknown Soldier” delivers on that promise.

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