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ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT The Brazen-Faced Varlets/Alleyway Theatre
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Oct 15, 2021, 11:00
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Through October 24
ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT Brazen-Faced Varlets/Alleyway Theatre

Just another woman in peril story, you know women who are threatened by men, basically because they are female and the men have plans for them.
That’s not what Shirley Lauro’s “All Through the Night” is about.
Instead, this is women preying on women in the long years of Nazi Germany’s Third Reich.
While the story revolves around four young women who start out as students in a school which has just been “cleansed” of Jews, at the time of the Night of the Long Knives, the core of the show is Kathleen Rooney, initially as their teacher.
She’s four different awful women, dedicated to Der Fuehrer.
Rooney’s four women show the importance of them to the success of the Reich, from the teacher preaching propaganda instead of Bonhoeffer to students to the woman in the concentration camp who helps operate the death machine.
Autocracy and a losing war endlessly narrow life for the other women in the show, the nurse, the village baker, the student who gets pregnant by a Roma and the woman who takes up with Rooney’s SS woman.
The story starts bad and gets worse as Hitler drags Germany into war and destruction and the lives of all the woman continue toward disaster.
The stumbling shambles of a court system put together by the victors lets some of the most vicious escape the judgment they deserve.
Lauro’s play is a fascinating take on a truly bizarre, psychopathic era.
It’s a strong cast, almost overshadowed by Rooney, because of the viciousness of her characters in a society which prided itself on viciousness.
You get the sense of a life not going as planned, from the young woman in the castle to the young woman best known in the school for her voice.
This is a society re-shaped by politics and nightmares.
This is a rebuttal to the argument that if women ruled, things would be more peaceful, although Margaret Thatcher or Indira Gandhi might disagree.
Director Lara D. Haberberger never loses control of the material, even with its frightening aspects
“All Through the Night” is worth seeing as long as you know where you are going in those Alleyway seats.
It’s a past world not to be forgotten.

A.W.

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