Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay

The Unveiling
Phoenix Theatre
Review by Richard Connema | Season Schedule

Also see Richard's reviews of Thomas and Sally, The Mineola Twins, Barbecue, and Christopher M. Nelson: Love, Losses & Longings

Richard Aiello
Photo by Colin Hussey
Phoenix Theatre is presenting the world premiere production of Linda Ayes-Frederick's riveting drama The Unveiling with a superb cast of six splendid actors.

The drama begins in the autumn of 1963 and journeys to 1943, 1938 and 1973. Herschel Rabinovitz (Richard Aiello), a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, has a deep down secret about surviving in the prison camp.

Herschel's younger brother-in-law Shmuel (Evan Sokol) arrives in America, a ghost from the past, and long-held guilt-ridden secrets will not stay buried in Herschel's mind. He is seizing the opportunity to clear himself of the secret on the altar of the synagogue where he served as president, which seems like the right choice, but the consequences for his two daughters, Sadie (Juliet Tanner) and Natalie (Valerie Weak), are stronger than he bargained for.

The Unveiling is a fascinating two-hour with intermission drama that explores this and other issues of deeply felt loyalties, love, and differing abilities to forgive.

Richard Aiello is outstanding as Herschel. He dominates the intimate stage with his presence and his powerful voice. Juliet Tanner and Valarie Weak give wonderful performances as Herschel's daughters. Evan Sokol, with his striking vocal cords, gives a terrific portrayal of Shmuel. Linda Ayres-Frederick, as Mrs. Goldfarb the upstairs neighbor, has a fabulous Molly Goldberg voice and she rocks. Rounding out the cast as a Nazi guard and Karl Krueger is Michel Shipley, who gives a great performance as well.

The Unveiling is a riveting play performed by an impressive cast.

The Unveiling runs through October 22, 2017, at the Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason Street, 6th floor, San Francisco. For tickets and information, visit or call 800-838-3006.