Painted Into a Corner

When we think of great artists, we often think of the struggle that informs their work — their lives filled with repressed Sturm und Drang that arises whenever brush strokes canvas. Much of this inner torment comes from an abstract, undefinable place, but for the aspiring painter in Chaim Potok’s 1972 novel, My Name Is Asher Lev, his source of conflict is clear: He is an artist working in a Hasidic family in post-World War II Brooklyn, and his budding career clashes with the conservative, traditionalist views of his family. These ultimatums, between art and family and between secular and spiritual, formed the backbone of the book and now the recent stage adaptation by Aaron Posner. The playwright condenses Potok’s 369-page book to a 95-minute piece, trimming ten major characters to three and relying heavily on narration from the lead role of Asher. For its Southeast premiere at GableStage, New York-based actor Etai Benshlomo will play Asher, and Avi Hoffman and Laura Turnbull — who happen to be spouses in real life — will portray his parents.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7 p.m. Starts: Nov. 23. Continues through Dec. 22, 2013

 
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