“THIS IS THEATER AS A CHANCE TO BEAR WITNESS.” -THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Last Cyclist, written in Terezin during the Holocaust, is a daring absurdist comedy in which bicyclists are blamed for all of society’s ills. While nothing in the play talks about the Holocaust or Jews or Nazis, its anti-Nazi allegory was so overt that it was banned following its dress rehearsal and never performed.
The script, nearly lost to time, was painstakingly reconstructed and reimagined by the writer and producer Naomi Patz, beginning in 1995 and eventually made its way to the stage.
Weinstein JCC’s Jewish Family Theatre is proud to bring its performance of The Last Cyclist to the Richmond community on Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m., thanks to the generous support from Rhona and Irving Blank as well as the Henry and Gertrude Kupfer Holocaust Education Fund of Richmond Jewish Foundation.
The play, in commemoration of Yom Hashoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day and directed by Debra Clinton with musical accompaniment by Natan Berenshteyn, allows audiences to bear witness, as if they, too, are attending that fateful dress rehearsal in the concentration camp.
It brings to light the dangers of totalitarianism, herd-like behavior and the frightening extremes to which bullying can lead. Talkback with Naomi Patz, writer and producer of The Last Cyclist, will immediately follow the performance.
For those who are interested in viewing a livestream JCC performance, contact Lisa Looney at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the performance at the Weinstein JCC and to purchase tickets, visit www.weinsteinjcc.org.
Additional performances of Jewish Family Theatre’s 90-minute production of The Last Cyclist will take place at the Virginia Holocaust Museum on Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m., and Congregation Beth Ahabah on Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m. All performances will be in person.
At the VHM, 2000 E. Cary St., Richmond, tickets are $20, and all the event details are at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-last-cyclist-tickets-288547913577
At Beth Ahabah, 1121 Franklin St., Richmond, the in-person performance will be in the Sanctuary. Tickets are $18 per person for adults; $15 each for students. It also will be live-streamed; virtual tickets at $10 per person.
For tickets, visit bethahabah.org/the-last-cyclist-2022.