Anne Frank: The Last Two Years
By Natalie Vilkoff
This is possibly the one of the most emotional plays you will ever see.
I went out to see The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett on April 15th at the Gladstone Theatre. It is a story about Anne (played by Marie-Pier Jean), a joyful 13 year old girl who has to go into hiding with her family during WWII. In the attic there are two families: the Franks and the Van Daans. The two families do not get along very well, but everything seem to be alright until Mr. Kraler (Joel Rahn) needs to go to the hospital due to his ulcers. Everyone starts to panic, but Otto Frank (Bill Horsman) tells everyone that things will turn out okay, and they continue living in the attic for a couple more months. But one evening, the Nazis come and take everyone away to concentration camp. Otto Frank is the only survivor.
The set consists of a table, four chairs, an upper level room, and two side wings that are all very detailed. All of the scenes are in the room behind the bookshelf, and even though setting is always the same for three hours, this play is by far the one of the most interesting productions I’ve ever seen. One unexpected element is that there is a screen and, at the end of every scene, an entry from Anne’s diary would be projected on it. This, in my opinion, worked well with the rhythm of the show and added a new feel to the play.
What I liked most about this play was that all the actors seemed really into character and played their role accordingly, therefore making the play much more engaging. Horsman is the most into his character, for example when his character is upset, it looks like he actually has tears dripping down his face and many people in the audience also teared up whenever he appears in a sad scene. Upon hearing about the play, one might think that it would be boring, because the set and scenery stay the same over the course of the three hours, but don’t get me wrong, this is probably one of the best play you will ever see.
There aren’t any “special effects” used in this play, (for example smoke machines or special lighting) so the play has a very simple, minimalistic demeanor, which actually makes the play all the more interesting to watch. The audience mainly consisted of older people but I would recommend this play to people of all ages, because it is family friendly and isn’t violent.