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DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, THE - Review - Theater - New York ...

http://theater2.nytimes.com/mem/theater/treview.html?_r=2&res=9...

Ms. Yager and Mr. Kaplan, as the Van Daan son with whom Anne discovers love, provide affectingly restrained portraits of adolescence cramped and frustrated by circumstance. Ms. Portman's comparative lack of stage experience shows, but in a strange way, this works to her advantage.

Even when her line readings are stilted, her delicately expressive face never fails her. It becomes, as it should, the evening's barometer of the changing moods in the annex. She has, moreover, an endlessly poignant quality of spontaneity, and of boundless energy in search of an outlet, that is subtly modulated as the evening goes on.

In Philip Roth's short novel ''The Ghost Writer,'' the narrator speaks of Anne the writer in her diaries. ''It's like watching an accelerated film of a fetus sprouting a face,'' he says. Without ever toning down her innate vitality, Ms. Portman does indeed progress from self-centered girlishness to the cusp of self-aware womanhood. To learn again that she will not be allowed to go further still shatters the heart.

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett; newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman; directed by James Lapine; sets by Adrianne Lobel; costumes by Martin Pakledinaz; lighting by Brian MacDevitt; sound by Dan Moses Schreier; hair and wigs by Paul Huntley; production stage manager, David Hyslop; general management, Stuart Thompson; technical supervisor, Gene O'Donovan. Presented by David Stone, Amy Nederlander-Case, Jon B. Platt, Jujamcyn Theaters and Hal Luftig, in association with Harriet Newman Leve and James D. Stern. At the Music Box Theater, 239 West 45th Street, Manhattan.

WITH: Natalie Portman (Anne Frank), George Hearn (Otto Frank), Linda Lavin (Mrs. Van Daan), Harris Yulin (Mr. Van Daan), Austin Pendleton (Mr. Dussel), Sophie Hayden (Edith Frank), Missy Yager (Margot Frank), Jessica Walling (Miep Gies), Jonathan Kaplan (Peter Van Daan), Philip Goodwin (Mr. Kraler), Peter Kybart (First Man), James Hallett (Second Man) and Eddie Kaye Thomas (Third Man).

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