Feature

The Accomplices

<em>The Accomplices</em> disappoints, but Bernard Weintraub deserves kudos for dramatizing real-life activist Peter Bergson's attempt to raise awareness and concern over the fate of Europe's Jews during World War II.&nbsp;</p&

The Accomplices
Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles
(323) 663-1525

*

“The story of American indifference to saving Europe’s Jews from Hitler is one deserving, even demanding,” a thoughtful retelling, said Bob Verini in Variety. In The Accomplices, Bernard Weinraub attempts, and ultimately fails, to convincingly dramatize this “well-documented blot on America’s honor.” The former New York Times reporter turned playwright tells the story from the perspective of real-life activist Peter Bergson, whose efforts to raise awareness of the Holocaust were met by officials’ reactions ranging from indifference to outright bigotry. Unfortunately, however, the play devolves into a “cardboard historical pageant” and feels like a “blanket indictment” of the power elite of the time. Weinraub deserves kudos for the bravery of his debut effort, but “his command of characterization doesn’t match his research skills and passion.” He’s just not a playwright.

“Like any muckraker worth his salt, Weinraub knows how to level accus­ations and make them sting,” said Charles McNulty in the Los Angeles Times. No one here gets off the hook. Franklin Roosevelt, played amiably by James Harper, wants to avoid political damage. The powerful American Jewish leader Rabbi Stephen Wise, played by Morlan Higgins, seems preoccupied with his own political position. Even Weinraub’s former employer, The Times, is implicated for indifference to these historical events. Bergson comes across as a noble obsessive, but there’s an unbridgeable distance between his passion and the “phony telegraphic manner” in which Steven Schub portrays him. Halfway through this production, you wish you were reading “a more polished magazine account of the saga by Weinraub,” rather than sitting through a subpar play.

Recommended

Returning the Crown Jewels
Queen Elizabeth.
Briefing

Returning the Crown Jewels

10 things you need to know today: September 27, 2022
A woman casts her ballot in Mariupol
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: September 27, 2022

What happened at the 77th UN General Assembly?
The United Nations.
Briefing

What happened at the 77th UN General Assembly?

17 killed, dozens wounded in school shooting in Russia
Worried parents at School No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia.
mass shootings

17 killed, dozens wounded in school shooting in Russia

Most Popular

7 toons about DeSantis and Abbott's migrant relocation
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about DeSantis and Abbott's migrant relocation

New Pacific island forms after underwater volcano erupts
Home Reef Erupts
Speed Reads

New Pacific island forms after underwater volcano erupts

Arizona judge bans abortion statewide by reinstating 1864 law
Pro-choice rally in Tucson
Abortion Fights

Arizona judge bans abortion statewide by reinstating 1864 law