EAST OF BERLIN by Hannah Moscovitch, directed by Alisa Palmer (Tarragon, 30 Bridgman). To February 8. $15-$45. 416-531-1827. See Continuing. Rating: NNNN
East Of Berlin is a Holocaust play with a difference. It's set not in the 40s, but rather two decades later, examining the next generation of Germans, those whose parents were elite members of the Nazi party and who resettled in Paraguay.
Its central figure, Rudi (Brendan Gall), learns from his intellectual friend Hermann (Paul Dunn) that Rudi's father was a doctor in Auschwitz. Shocked, he plots revenge on his stoic parent by beginning an affair with Hermann. Later fleeing to Germany, Rudi meets and becomes involved with Sarah (Diana Donnelly), an American Jew researching her German mother's history.
This remount of Hannah Moscovitch's fascinating script, again directed by Alisa Palmer, gives further layers and depth to Hermann and Sarah, while Gall's nervous, ironic Rudi retains his biting humour and insolent defiance.
Though the play is intentionally filled with ambiguities, the production is visually grounded in Camellia Koo's Dora Award-winning set, atmospherically lit by Michael Walton. A cross between a library and a museum exhibit, it gives physical life to Rudi's memories and becomes a storage room of his past.