Thursday, January 16, 2014


Allen Theatre  
January 10-February 2, 2014

Bob Abelman

The  guy playing the rabbi was brilliant!   

To see a series of behind-the-scene articles, read Bob Abelman's feature pieces here.

Roy Berko

The opening night audience for YENTL failed to give the standard Cleveland standing ovation.  This might be construed as an omen that there was a disconnect between the viewers and the production.  It’s too bad. YENTL is an important script, which tells a fascinating story of a writer, ahead of his time, who weaves Jewish history with modern issues.  I wanted so much to really be swept away by the production. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Howard Gollop

It seems Isaac Bashevis Singer’s classic short story “Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy” is destined for the gay sensibility.  It’s not immediately apparent if director Michael Perlman is pushing a bit of sexual revisionism onto Singer’s innocent tale about a young Jewish woman in 1880s Poland who must dress and act like a male in order to study Talmud.   Fortunately, director Perlman is intelligent enough so as not to shortchange the overriding theme sof Singer’s tale – sexual equality the being true to one’s self. 

The full review is only available to subscribers of the Chronicle-Telegram

Fran Heller

Although the play is better than the movie, it remains bloated with extraneous scenes, making the 2 1/2 hour production including intermission, feel a whole lot longer.
Michael Perlman's stodgy direction lacks all traces of subtlety and mystery.
The episodic format grows tiresome.

To see a full review of this show, go to here. 

Mark Horning

If you are willing to overlook the imperfections of dialect, the dramedy tug of war and the nudity (front row patrons beware), Yentl still makes for a fine evening of entertainment.  The strength of the acting helps greatly in overcoming the weaknesses.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey
Despite a very long first act and a couple odd staging choices, the piece retains the power to make us question the death grip that attributed gender can impose on many people.
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

Andrea Simakis

Though "Yentl" is well-acted and directed with a light comic touch by Michael Perlman, that kind of authenticity is missing from other key sequences in the production. Sure, it's a dramedy, but too many lines are delivered by members of the ensemble with squints and exaggerated accents that recall Jerry's carping parents in "Seinfeld." The script is clever enough – no mugging necessary.

To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit here.