A LOVE STORY
by Douglas Lackey
HEIN-BENNETT - NEW YORK THEATRE WIRE
"Author Douglas Lackey and director Alexander Harrington have managed
to extract a thought provoking stimulating performance from two of the
most controversial public intellects of the twentieth century: Hannah
Arendt (1906-1975), a German-Jewish philosopher and social theorist and
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), one of the most renowned German philosophers
to have succumbed to Nazism. The subject of their romantic entanglement,
in conjunction with their political trajectories over the course of forty
years, from the mid 1920s to 1964, is the dramatic core of this play in
a series of 23 concisely scripted scenes." By Beate Hein Bennett.
the full review.
The Odd Couple
of Philosophy: A Play About Arendt and Heidegger
Despite their incompatible
viewpoints, two of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers —
Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt — maintained a lifelong relationship,
first as lovers and later as friends. Yet, it’s puzzling how Arendt,
a Jew and one of the seminal writers on morality, could continue being
so close to Heidegger, who famously supported the Nazis ahead of World
War II and never publicly denounced them after it.
Baruch College, The Graduate Center
RUBIN - THEATRECRITICISM.COM
A Love Story," though small scenewise, is huge in its character-driven,
thought-provoking ideas, many of which, like racism (both genuine and
opportunistic), along with the emergence of right-wing autocratic nationalism,
like a virus gone wild, appears to be on the rise around the globe. It
is a timely play to say the least.
Read the full review.
REPLAND - EYES ON WORLD CULTURES
This play is mesmerizing in its many now-familiar aspects
to our current situation. The casting is perfect, making the story ever
the full review.
by Ronald Gross
York Theater Buying Guide
[a newsletter - subscription
September 30, 2018
BOTTOM LINE: Our highest recommendation! A thoroughly enthralling
drama of ideas, romance, and politics – worthy of the great
tradition of Shaw and Ibsen. This show will engage your heart and
your mind at the deepest levels.
Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt were leading intellectuals of
the twentieth century. In the 1920s, they had a passionate affair.
In the 1930s, Heidegger became an ardent Nazi while Arendt became
an ardent Zionist, whose report on the Eichman Trial in Jerusalem
in the New Yorker roiled Manhattan’s intellectual world. Nevertheless,
after the war, they still continued to correspond and to meet.
The play is first and foremost a compelling love story. It dramatizes
the powerful combination of sexual and intellectual attraction.
The playwright explains helpfully on the play's website, "Arendt
connected with Heidegger physically, emotionally and intellectually.
This is a story of a woman in love, no ordinary woman and no ordinary
As a young student, Arendt first seizes her professor’s attention
with an act of sexual daring – but by the end of the play
she has commanded his deepest respect as the towering philosopher
she has become. It’s an unforgettable transit to witness.
Alyssa Simon as Arendt bestrides the stage as she enacts her character
from 19-year old prodigy to a premier public intellectual. Simon
displays both astounding emotional range and incisive skill in delivering
Joris Stuyck overcomes daunting challenges in portraying Heidegger,
since his character was, in life, uncharismatic and unattractive
– except on the lecture platform where he mesmerized students.
Stuyck make us care about this brilliant but tragically-flawed human
being – just as Arendt did in real life. (And “care”
was, for Heidegger, a cardinal element in what makes us human, and
not merely homo sapiens.)
Special kudos to Stan Buturla as Ernst Cassirer, a third philosopher,
who has two show-stopping scenes: a famed debate at Davos in which
he defends the great European tradition of rationalism and liberalism
against Heidegger’s espousal of the non-rational and nationalistic,
and one with Arendt at Princeton, in which he exemplifies more personally,
the classic virtues of tolerance and optimism.
Is all this relevant to our present “moment”? Of course
it is. As the playwright has noted: “The play explores the
possibility that Heidegger’s decision to join the Nazi party
and tout Hitler was self-serving. This begs comparison with the
determination of so many conservative ideologues, who previously
denounced Donald Trump, to support him. History does not repeat,
but it instructs. We are living in a time when autocratic nationalism
and open racism (both genuine and opportunistic) are re-emerging.”
I and my companions left the theater and spent several hours at
a back booth in a nearby tavern, thoughtfully pondering the implications
and what we felt called-upon to do – as the TV over the bar
reported on the Kavenaugh hearings.
TIP: To “brush up your Heidegger”, treat yourself to
the superb 10-minute video by the playwright and director, at http://www.arendt-heidegger.com/,
before seeing the show. It’s a gem of an introduction to this
rewarding theater piece.
to October 14, 2018
Theater for the New City
155 First Ave (between 9th and 10th Sts.)
Thurs - Sat at 8:00 PM, Sun at 3:00 PM
$15 general admission, $10 seniors and students
Box office: (212) 254-1109
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