Theater teaches us life lessons about following our dreams and about how telling lies is fine if you wear a costume. Learn the secrets of the stage with this Groupon.
- $45 for one ticket to see My Name is Asher Lev (up to a $96.25 value)
- Where: Westside Theatre Upstairs
- Section: orchestra rows A–T
- Door time: 30 minutes before showtime
- Ticket values include all fees.
- Click here to view the seating chart.
- Click here to see all available dates and times.
A boy torn between the demands of his upbringing and his desire to follow his heart: it's an old tale, but its familiarity makes My Name is Asher Lev no less poignant. Adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok, the story follows the title character as he grows up in a Jewish family in 1950s Brooklyn. Though secluded in his insular religious community, Asher is drawn to art a young age, mystifying his strict parents who expect him to follow a life of studying and politely telling people his name. His existence becomes no easier when an unobservant Manhattan painter takes him under his wing, offering an outlet for his talent but rendering the divide between his calling and faith ever more severe.
My Name Is Asher Lev's three-person cast renders Asher's sense of cultural claustrophobia all the more real. The roles are demanding—especially for star Ari Brand, who plays Asher from kindergarten through adulthood. He brings special depth to the role: he recently told TheaterMania.com that he based his rendering on the life of his own father, "who had maybe a more similar experience with his parents—his father didn't approve of the path that he was taking."
The play's actual father figure, Mark Nelson, has racked up credits including everything from The Invention of Love to a recurring role on Law & Order. As the New York Times put it, Nelson "shines both as the father and as Jacob." Meanwhile, third member Jenny Bacon "works up some shattering moments as Asher’s brittle mother, and provides a few moments of much-needed levity as the various goyische women who flit around the edges of Asher’s increasingly secular life," noted New York Magazine. Indeed, the production has been widely praised as a whole: together, the three actors make for a "starkly moving moving family drama," according to Time Out New York.