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  New Jerusalem at Pico Playhouse

New Jerusalem

Pico Playhouse
10508 W. Pico Blvd Los Angeles

In “New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch De Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656,” the New Jerusalem of the title is indeed the Dutch city of Amsterdam. The Netherlands had become a place of refuge for Sephardic (Spanish and Portugese) Jews fleeing the horrors of the Inquisition after Spain under Isabella issued the Alhambra Decree in 1492. Jews found their homes and belongings seized by the Catholic Church and were forced to undergo conversion. Many were slaughtered en masse, burned alive. Others were expelled, and the expulsion of Jews from Spain lasted four centuries.

Thru - Apr 1, 2012

Price: $20-$30

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 323-821-2449

  New Jerusalem Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Not Recommended

"...Breathing life into those ideas, however, requires performers who understand them. Setting aside flubbed lines, cadences and delivery frequently do not reflect a good handle on their meaning. Instead, emotional peaks arrive at arbitrary overacted moments, with insignificant sound and fury."
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Philip Brandes

LA Weekly - Somewhat Recommended

"...Ives strives to make the theological debate as compelling dramatically as it is intellectually, but the attempt tends to fall flat, the result of overwritten dialogue and characters who represent philosophical points of view rather than people. Still, Fancy’s ‘s towering turn as the rabbi who finds himself challenging his own tightly held beliefs is powerful."
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Paul Birchall

Backstage - Recommended

"...This imaginative play of ideas receives a striking West Coast premiere that may leave its audiences reeling, thanks to director Elina de Santos and a dream cast."
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David C. Nichols

Stage and Cinema - Not Recommended

"...And while the bulk of the play is taken up by good actors speaking intelligent dialogue about weighty matters, this production is content to let that be that. It is as if the director said, “A good play is its own reward.” Well, it is, when you read it. When you stage it, though, you have responsibilities, such as framing the important instants that make up a story; otherwise your audience would be better served by a trip to the library than to the theater."
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Jason Rohrer

LA Splash - Recommended

"...West Coast Jewish Theatre’s production of David Ives’ brilliant, exquisitely written “New Jerusalem,” on stage at the Pico Playhouse, is pure theatrical and intellectual magic."
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Beverly Cohn - Recommended

"...This is “historic” drama I highly recommend."
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Carol Kaufman Segal

Examiner - Not Recommended

"...Set and costume designer Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, Lighting Designer Leigh Allen, and Sound Designer Bill Froggatt have enhanced the production as much as is possible in a single setting, but Elina de Santos, a much-acclaimed director, has faltered a bit here because the very nature of the play virtually ensures that it will come off as static and overly complicated. And that’s a hard act to overcome."
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Cynthia Citron

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