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re: Natalie Portman Diary of Anne Frank (ending?)
Last Edit: Delvino 07:15 am EDT 05/22/22
Posted by: Delvino 07:08 am EDT 05/22/22
In reply to: re: Natalie Portman Diary of Anne Frank (ending?) - writerkev 06:20 am EDT 05/22/22

I have the same memory of Lavin. Her sense of doom and horror filled the theater.

The new ending eliminated Otto Frank's arguably sentimentalized optimism, and the penultimate beat includes arresting Nazis, never before physically witnessed (though the sounds of the doors breaking in and shouts were harrowing.) The play is also considerably tighter. It was always a long, somewhat repetitive piece, as well-intended as every minute of stage time was. I worked on it in community theater it in my youth -- with amateurs, almost 3 hours -- and appreciated the later effort made to sharpen the focus in places.

Wendy Kesselman revised the Goodrich and Hackett text. It's the only one licensed now.

As Brantley wrote of the revision:

"Ms. Kesselman's reworking of the original script, which incorporates new material from the complete editions of the diaries made available in the last decade, goes a long way in redressing such objections. The Goodrich-Hackett script, under the director Garson Kanin's supervision, had bleached out much of its source's specific ethnic content for fear of alienating mainstream audiences. Correspondingly, the unspeakable destiny that awaited Anne was eclipsed by a disproportionate emphasis on the girl's idealism.

This new interpretation never relaxes its awareness of the hostile world beyond the attic that was the Franks' sanctuary and prison for two claustrophobic years, nor of the religious identity that made them a quarry. The earlier version began in a scene of sentimental hindsight, with Anne's father discovering her diaries; this one leaps, with a gripping immediacy, into medias res."
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