Review: Elegy/The Elegy Project | Newcity Stage
RECOMMENDED Trying to understand the Holocaust is like staring into the sun, and to dramatize it is to minimize it. Playwright Ron Hirsen's "Elegy"—now running in a taut, eloquent production at Victory Gardens—succeeds against all odds by coming at the subject obliquely. His pointed seventy-minute script focuses on the after-effects of trauma, showing that the horror is not just in the pain that's inflicted at the time, but the numbness that follows, draining life and feeling from the world. Set in New York in the 1970s, with frequent flashbacks to the 1938 state-sponsored pogrom known as Kristallnacht, "Elegy" follows a German-Jewish survivor couple, Hilde (Iris Lieberman) and Helmut (David Wohl), and their troubled twenty-something son, Jerry (Justin Leider). Jerry finds in his parents' attic a gorgeous German poem written decades ago by his father, who now spends all his time tending the bakery that pays Jerry's medical school bills. It is inconceivable to Jerry that his gruff,