‘The Red Dress’ written by Tania Wisbar is a semi-autobiographical play that tells the story of Tania’s mother, Eva who was born in Berlin Germany during the Nazi era and lived thorugh the tumultous years when Hitler tried to form a ‘new’ Germany, a country of blond, blue eyed Aryans. Unfortunately for Eva, she happened to have a Jewish mother in an era when intermarriage was definitely frowned upon and eventually became illegal.
When ‘The Red Dress’ opens we meet Alexandra Schiele (Laura Liguori) a famous film actress from a prominent Jewish family who falls in love with a down-on-his-luck World War 1 vet, Franz Weitrek (J.B. Waterman). Franz is able to parlay his wife’s connections into work as a film director. But when his career takes off making Nazi propaganda films, Alexandra becomes a liability.
We follow the various characters including Alexandra’s close friend, Sybil Stein (Rebecca Larsen) and Rachel (Shanti Reinhardt) through the unfolding of this tragic era between 1924 and 1936 after Hitler’s rise to power but before his policies were fully implemented.
We watch how tyranny, hate, censorship and fear slowly starts to take over Germany. During this time the people still had a choice to leave or to stay. Seating in my seat, I became so engrossed in the drama unfolding that I found myself screaming silently for the characters to get out.
The whole cast is excellent, especially Dylan Wittrock as Officer Dieter Keller as a Nazi officer. The scenes between him and Alexandra are absolutely terrifying. ‘The Red Dress’ directed beautifully by Kiff Scholl will stay with you long after you’ve left the theatre.
‘The Red Dress’ opened at the Odyssey Theatre, located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles on October 28th and the remaining shows are Friday and Saturdays, November 11th, 18th at 8pm and November 12th and 19th Sundays at 2pm. To purchase tickets call 323-960-5521 or www.play411.com/reddress. All performances are $30.00