Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Off-Broadway Play Shows Us A Will To Live



A number of years ago I decided that I had read and seen enough Holocaust stories. After all, we know how things end.  

Then I saw The Boy in Blue Pajamas. What a film — and book! I have consumed many more stories regarding the near-annihilation of the Jews since then, and realize they each have value in their own way.  

A Will To Live, a play that I just saw with my 15-year-old daughter, was another reminder that each such story enriches us, that everyone has something worth sharing.   

This play is about a teenage girl’s against-the-odds story of survival after her family is killed at the start of World War II, when the Germans invade her homeland of Poland. It is about the will to live and what one can endure in order to be able to walk free. That 15-year-old girl is now 99.  

An orphan on the radar of cold, calculating, hate-driven Nazis thirsting to wipe out Jews from the face of the planet, she assumes a fake identity and lives with Germans who knew nothing of her real origin, and where her bedroom wall would hang a picture of Hitler.  

After being discovered, she amazingly survives three different concentration camps, a death march, and several intended executions. Throughout bouts of starvation and malnutrition, humiliating moments, violent assaults, forced labor, and horrible living conditions, she mustered the strength and courage to move forward.  

A Will To Live, is an excellent one-woman show performed with conviction, intensity, and raw emotion by the talented actress, Masha King, who is a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine. She previously toured the US in the role of Anne Frank. 

I don’t know how she was able to remember thousands of lines, each deserving of attention and filled with passion, allowing for the audience filling the intimate confines of the Chain Theatre in New York City with a hushed silence. It was as if she truly channeled the voice of a survivor, telling us what we did not want to hear, though knowing we needed to listen.  

Directed by Rick Hamilton, A Will To Live is based on the 1945 memoir of now-99-year-old Helena Weinrauch, who resides in NYC. It is a story of survival, hope, loss, and love, and serves as a powerful reminder of one of the darkest periods in history. 

As much as it may resemble so many pieces of other Holocaust stories, it is also unique and stunning, even for someone who thinks they have heard, read, and seen enough about the Holocaust. 

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Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  


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