Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Indecent is a unique play that tells the story of a Yiddish play written in Warsaw in 1907 and the troupe that performed it for years. It spans all the way until 1952 and takes place in Europe and America.

The play itself, The God of Vengeance, takes place in a Jewish brothel and has a central love scene between two women, and because of this the Yiddish theater initially rejected it for making Jews look bad. However in spite of this it became a hit in Jewish theater throughout Europe.

Throughout Indecent we see snippets of the play performed and become familiar with the plot. The controversial scene is called the rain scene, where the two women make love. This is not actually shown until the end but is referred to for it's beauty and depiction of pure love (when we do see it, it's kind of ridiculous, but it's okay). In the US the cast is prosecuted on obscenity charges.

Indecent takes place in the context of serious anti-semitism and is about a specific era of Jewish history that came to an end with the Holocaust. The last third of the play is grim yet beautiful. Because of ingenious and beautiful and dark and haunting staging, the final years of the troupe chill the audience with an awed impact. I found this a singularly powerful play (in spite of a few cliches here and there).

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