It is difficult to imagine a richer, more complex backdrop for Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok's "The Chosen." Two father-son relationships are tracked during the period when World War II raged on, Franklin Roosevelt died, the Holocaust killed 6 million Jews, and the struggle began to create a Zionist state in Palestine.
As if those world dramas weren't enough, the two Brooklyn families represent two opposing sects of Judaism.
The piece traces the powerful moments of closeness and separation of the two boys.
It is rare today to find stories where society's upheavals have such a profound effect on young people's fates. The products of a culture struggling to end bitter centuries of exile, both young Reuven and Danny question their own life purposes amid dangerous turmoil and uncertainty.
Brenda Williams directs the all-male cast with a sure hand, letting them fully play critical moments when messages are nonverbal. Josh Cain's set and Danyel Siler's costumes capture the dark, wooded look and styles of the Forties. The spotlighted Hebrew text on two sides of the arena stage serves to remind viewers of the confines of that world.
Matthew Minor and Mark Fairchild play off each other so genuinely, their unlikely friendship becomes completely believable. Minor uses an endearing na