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ROSE Jewish Repertory Theatre/ The Maxine & Robert Seller Theatre
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Feb 7, 2018, 12:54
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Through February 25
ROSE Jewish Repertory Theatre/The Maxine & Robert Seller Theatre

Rose Rose has plumbed the heights and depths of the 20th Century.
She survived the Russian Civil War in Ukraine, the Warsaw Ghetto, the death camps, Britain’s quest to keep Jews out of Palestine, immigrant life in the US, success as a hotelier and finally a split with her family over Israeli treatment of Palestinians.
And, she tells the story in two hours with intermission.
“Rose,” Martin Sherman’s look at one person in a violent century is a one woman show, here Tina Rausa reprising her performance from the early years of the Jewish Repertory Theatre.
Director Saul Elkin and Sherman’s script try to ease the pressure of the show on one woman remembering it all by giving her shticks to delay, especially the constant refilling of a water glass.
This is an elderly Rose in her apartment above the tumult of Miami’s South Beach, living in the hotel she once ran, talking about a life often unhappily lived.
She survived and that’s Rose’s story.
It’s slightly implausible that one person would have lived all of this although many survived much of this history and a few survive to tell their stories either live or on tape for the future.
Rose lost her closest, husbands, child, family and kept on moving, putting one foot in front of another, no matter what.
She wouldn’t give up.
That’s really Sherman’s message.
No matter the awful things which happen to this daughter, wife, mother and businesswoman, she never gives in.
Even if fictional, we could learn from Rose Rose.
Sherman balances the bad with the good, evil and a good heart, views of the moment with basic good beliefs.
Most of the audience the night we saw the show was old enough to remember much of the history or knew people who had lived through it.
In a sense, they aren’t the audience for this look at good and evil because they have been there for so much.
Instead, “Rose” is for those who are too young to have lived through had times and hard choices and tragedy.
Rausa was clearly tiring late in the show and losing her concentration.
That happens, without destroying the performance.
The saga of “Rose” is worth seeing by all of us.

A.W.

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