The Diary of Anne Frank is one of those shows where you go into it knowing some of the subject matter, but you walk out with a whole new view of what people went through simply because of their beliefs. This show was INCREDIBLE! You could hear a pin drop during some of the more emotional scenes, and I left with tears in my eyes. I knew the story of Anne Frank well before seeing this show, however, I learned so much more from The Rose’s production. The casting decisions by Director Rachel Grossman were spot-on and each character had their own beautiful takes on these deeply emotional roles.
The story itself was told by a diverse cast of actors, including Sophie Williams (Anne Frank), Belle Rangel (Margot Frank), Dani Cleveland (Edith Frank), Wai Yim (Otto Frank), Otto Fox (Peter van Daan), Kim Clark-Kaczmarek (Mrs. van Daan), Kevin Ehrhart (Mr. van Daan), Raydell Cordell III (Mr. Dussel), Brian Guehring (Mr. Kraler/Officer), Myeisha Essex (Miep Gies/Officer) and Jesse Groff (Officer). The Rose’s production attempts to take this historic story and put a modern twist on it. Grossman adds an element of text messaging and modern music to the beginning of the show, to keep the young audiences engaged and help them relate. It’s a horrifying story of survival in a time when Anne and her family and friends were sought for concentration camps simply because of their religion. They spend a little over two years in hiding, and thankfully, Anne was able to write all her daily thoughts down in her diary, which as we know today, was iconic.
The simplicity of the set design was a unique touch and complimented the distraught times of the early 1940’s. It really brought you into the room and made you feel every second and emotion the families felt during their time in the Secret Annex. The color palette of the costumes, designed by Zach Kloppenborg, also added a modern touch with each character getting their own color scheme. Some bright, some muted, but all unique. The Rose’s production staff always does a wonderful job bringing stories to life, and The Diary of Anne Frank in particular, was one they designed to perfection.
This story is one you do not want to miss on stage. The Rose does a fantastic job with such devastating subject matter. They brought this story to life in the most amazing way, and Mr. Frank’s final monologue was the most moving thing I have heard in years. I left a better dog than I went in, and I will spread the message to anyone I meet!
Until next time,
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