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Theatre: Off-Broadway

The Twenty-Seventh Man


Nov 19, 2012 – Dec 16, 2012




The Public Theater

425 Lafayette St


Directions: 6 to Astor Place; R,W to 8th Street; BDFV to Broadway Lafayette




We can't say that spending time in a circa 1954 Soviet prison would have been top on our list, but after seeing the production of the Twenty-Seventh Man currently running at the Public Theater, we're thankful we made the trip. Based on a short story by decorated author Nathan Englander, who also pens the play's script, the Twenty-Seventh Man is inspired by "the Night of the Murdered Poets," a gruesome purge sanctioned by Stalin that saw the execution of a number of the greatest Yiddish writers to have ever lived. In Englander's tale, 26 Yiddish literary figures sit in prison awaiting judgment. When a 27th young unknown who has never been published is added to the cell, questions begin to fire as to why he's there. A modest yet powerful and moving production directed by Barry Edelstein and starring Ron Rifkin and Daniel Oreskes, the Twenty-Seventh Man pays tribute to the Jewish writers silenced by Stalin's insanity.

Mindy Bond, Flavorpill