Well excuse me if I go a little hyperbolic here, but I'm still living in the aura of GableStage's “Indecent,” a heart breakingly joyous presentation of "The True Story of a Little Jewish Play."
Written by Paula Vogel, co-directed by Joseph Adler and Julie Kleiner, and starring seven actors playing forty-seven roles, “Indecent” also has three musicians providing a constant overlay of spirit.
A long one act (1:45 no intermission) “Indecent” spins from 1906 to the mid fifties, following the trail of “God of Vengeance” written by Scholem Asch, a Polish Jew. Reviled by many as anti-semitic, it also shocks with its Jewish brothel owner who keeps prostitutes in the basement of his home. “On your backs, on your knees.” There's also more than a little eye popping at the love affair between his daughter and one of the downstairs women.
Despite objections, “God of Vengeance” is a success in Europe and, with its original cast, eventually moves to the USA, a place not enamored of lesbians fondling, kissing and being soaked by rain whilst wearing flimsy white night gowns. Of course the actors are charged with obscenity.
The brilliant cast? Irene Adjan, Alex Alvarez, Hannah Benitez, Avi Hoffman, David Kwiat, Peter Librach, and Kelly Pekar.
Each brings enormous power to their work, solo and ensemble. They are playing a play within a play, engulfing the audience in the ways of the vaudevillians of the time.
The opening scene is a large hall chaotic with overturned chairs and scattered suitcases. Lights blink to reveal the actors, exhausted, strewn raggedly over the wreckage. The show is set: dramatic, comedic, tragic. “Pay us with bread.” Think your heart is hard? Not in this theatre.
The musicians, Lisa Gutkin, (co-composer, music director, violin), Nancy 3 Hoffman (accordion), and Glen Rovinelli (clarinet etc) are integral and their extraordinary talents highlight the many dances and songs.
“Indecent” is a spectacular show. Many scenes, many actors, much action, songs, dances, stylized movement, and guess what? It's GableStage, so every little thing is just right. Direction by Joseph Adler, co-direction and choreography by Julie Kleiner, set by Lyle Baskin, lights by Jeff Quinn, and sound by Matt Corey.
Playing at GableStage at the Biltmore through Feb. 24. 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables, Fl. 305-445-1119. www.gablestage.org