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Thursday, 02 April 2009 09:53

Review: Irena's Vow


Tovah Feldshuh in Irena's Vow

Irena's Vow is a serious story with real tales of terror, horror and apprehension.  If only the play had told the story that way.  Written by Dan Gordon, it tells the story of Irena Gut Opdyke, a Polish-Catholic nurse played with earnestness by the talented Tovah Feldshuh(Golda's Balcony, Yentl).  While a member of a Polish underground unit Irena was caught by invading Russians and ultimately raped, beaten and forced to work in a medical unit.  Later, as a slave laborer running a laundry room with Jewish workers she is reassigned to a conflicted SS major, played by Thomas Ryan, as his housekeeper and major domo.  As she is preparing to leave her current assignment she overhears a conversation wherein she learns that the Nazi's plan is that by July 21st there will be no more Jews alive in the region.  She witnesses this first-hand when forced out of a store to watch as the Nazi's carry out their plan, lining up Jews in front of a pit and shooting them into it.  Irena returns to her employees in the laundry intent on hatching a plan to save them from certain death.  Her ultimate solution is to hide them in the house of her new employer, Major Rugemer.  This works out fine until the Major comes home to find two of the Jewish women helping Irena dust the house.  He promises to keep her secret if she will become his mistress.

Published in 2008-2009 Season