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"Bad commemorative art...The two-act play is a collection of hollow histrionics...Tolkien doesn’t fulfill his obvious good intentions, his shortfall not needing lengthy description here...Tolkien directed, once again proving that very few playwrights are adept at directing their own works...It’s often said that the Holocaust is impossible to dramatize. 'Terezin' will give no one the opportunity to argue otherwise." Full Review
“A shawl is used to simulate playing the violin while we hear the accompanying music. That is one of the most successful touches. But other examples of the approach are strained…Such surrealism is intrusive and unconvincing, even muddling…The ensemble cast excels in getting into the overall mood of the play…However, as sincere as this effort...is, the style of the production sometimes impedes evoking emotions connected to what we see, even though the horrors are forcefully referenced.” Full Review
“What makes Tolkien’s production a mesmerizing work is in how its characters rise above the brutality and sadistic mania of their captors...The ensemble’s work together is just terrific. The themes of Terezin are outstanding…Additional elements that make this production memorable are the stylized and symbolic effects…These directorial nuances and choices by the artistic team elevate this work to a fine artistic symmetry and create a poetic dramatic design.” Full Review
"It certainly can be said that Tolkien does not trivialize the Holocaust...However, the thickness of the narrative–blurred further at times by directorial flourishes–does dilute the visceral impact of the depicted terrors of Terezin. Also, there is an uneven quality to some of the portrayals in the 14-person cast...Despite its imperfections, it demonstrates enough passion and talent that would have hopefully made both Nicholas’s Roman Catholic great-grandfather and Redlich proud." Full Review
“Tolkien bites off more than he can chew...Too much time is given over to the family dysfunction of the commandant and his son, which plays more like soap opera than tragedy. The dialogue varies between anachronistic and ham-fisted…All of these issues stem from the core problem of attempting to cram in too much material so that shorthand, indication, and stereotypes are needed to move us from Point A to Point B. There is, however, a good play lying here, waiting to be born." Full Review
“The play is based very much based on reality…As expected, the end is not a happy one, though the playwright brought a butterfly into the moment perhaps to shed light and create hope just as the original poem tried so hard to do. Tolkien incorporates music and dance in the play, and the actors are all passionate and expressive…The set, costumes and lighting are bare and stripped down to tell this haunting, true story.” Full Review
"The tragic story of the people at Terezin is certainly a worthwhile subject, and Tolkien's play has merit. However, it needs further development. The staging is somewhat stylized, which only distanced me from creating an emotional connection with the characters...Least effective is the use of actors playing ghosts at various times throughout the play...For the most part, the actors do a good job with the material given and with their difficult accents." Full Review
“'Terezin' is a call to remember. I appreciate a work of art that insists we fulfill an ethical responsibility, though the performance unsurprisingly is difficult and heavy…The play is clearly meant to be brutal…Tolkien’s writing finds its full expression in the monologues, which contain an unexpected gravity and poetic imagery. They are performed deftly and with professional commitment by the large cast…The choreography is sparing but clear, at times evocative and consistently impassioned.” Full Review
See it if You like plays set against historic events. You want to see the Tolkien play. You know someone involved in the production.
Don't see it if You want a Holocaust play w/something new to say. You want multi-dimensional characters, good storytelling & acting skills.
See it if You have a desire to see any and all productions about the holocaust; want to hear a lesser known story
Don't see it if You want a tight plot, compelling writing, or strong direction; however, the actors are committed to this very flawed play
See it if You want to experience what life was like in a concentration camp. Acting, staging and set design were stupendous. Tearful, heart-wrenching
Don't see it if If you want to smile and laugh. You don't like painful topics or stories about the 3rd Reich
See it if you are interested in a theatrical recount of generally real events at a lesser known Holocaust concentration camp, profound poetry/ insight
Don't see it if you demand perfection in plot and play structure, tight writing, dramatic tension, stark/shocking realism & no anachronisms/tired metaphors
See it if Bravo to a cast that is fully on-board to a relentlessly bleak play from start to finish; choreo has occasional moments approaching beauty
Don't see it if Difficult to endure; so dark as if reality of Terezin history couldn't allow for any redemption
See it if J.R.R. Tolkein's magnetism is so powerful for you that you'd even attend a deeply flawed drama by his great-grandson.
Don't see it if you've ever seen Jerzy Grotowski or read Elie Wiesel or heard Felix Mendelssohn. There are plenty of other options on this same block.
See it if Just see it if you have any interest in the tragedy that befell millions of people while the rest of the world did nothing until the end.
Don't see it if If you want a big Broadway production. I like those but this is much deeper and poetic. Also if you want your theatre perfectly manufactured
See it if You want to learn something new about the Holocaust. You want a glimpse of what actual fascism is. Not the media version tossed around today
Don't see it if You get rattled by physical violence on stage.
See it if you want to learn some details about the holocaust you might not have known.
Don't see it if you want to experience fine acting, in-debth treatment of characterizations and a "polished" production.
See it if You know one of the cast, you have absolutely nothing else to do. I believe most of the performers were good, but poorly directed.
Don't see it if There have been numerous plays about Terezin in recent years, all far superior to this. Story unclear if you do not know the history.
See it if you enjoy a drama about a Nazi camp made to fool the Red Cross. The acting and the staging are great. Very moving and powerful play.
Don't see it if don't believe in the Holocaust. This play is a must see for Jews but even more of a must see for non-Jews. You will feel for the characters.
See it if You like an unusual, unique, artistic, take on on a subject that never seems to be handled to everyone's satisfaction.
Don't see it if You are coming to this subject with pre-conceived notions of how it should be conveyed. Just sit back and give this story a chance.
See it if You and want to see a moving drama about the Holocaust with great acting performances especially the lead actress who plays the violin.
Don't see it if you find realistic violence hard to bare.
See it if You want to see a superb ensemble cast act with heart in this incredibly well-written play to tell this tragic, intense & uplifting tale
Don't see it if Intense stories are not your thing. Terezin is definitely not light and fluffy.
See it if You are interested in the holocaust, the transformative nature of music and the power of friendship in an uncertain and heartbreaking world.
Don't see it if I think it should be seen as we should never forget the millions of lives lost. Supporting art is more important than ever!