The Man
In The
Glass 
Booth
 

by Robert Shaw

presented
March 2013


 
Off The Wall Theatre  presented one of the most important shows in it's 13 year history. The Man In The Glass Booth  by actor and playwright Robert Shaw  is an historical thriller of gigantic moral and ethical questions.  The play is at once, witty and horrifying, historical and fanciful, thrilling and educational. Few plays attempt to tackle the  questions of prejudice, guilt, responsibility, global awareness, ethnic identity, religious fraud, government cover-ups, and personal revenge, but The Man In The Glass Booth  creatively  and intelligently charges into these sensitive and volatile subjects. 

Arthur Goldman is an enormously wealthy Jewish Businessman living in New York in 1964. He is extremely eccentric and often haunted by both memories of his dead wife  and his experiences during the war in German concentration camps.  His doctor and secretary are forced to deal with his wildly diverse moods and sudden outbursts of anguish.  But Goldman is also extremely intelligent and is planning something quite audacious. His secret involves mysterious trips, firearms, and chocolate. 

And then, late one December evening, Mr. Goldman's fanciful world is blown apart when israeli commandos break into his penthouse apartment to kidnap him,  claiming that he is not really Arthur Goldman, but escaped Nazi war criminal Arthur Karl Dorff.  He will be taken to Israel and put on trial for the sadistic murder of thousands of Jews.  What follows is a stunning evening of theatre involving plot twists and shocking surprises.  The play may cause controversy, and it may start arguments. It is certain to  raise serious questions about our moral responsibilities.  And it is great theatre.

Directing this most unusual and important play and appearing in it as Arthur Goldman was Off The Wall Theatre Artistic Director Dale Gutzman.  Gutzman who appeared in2012 as Prospero in The Tempest, declares Arthur Goldman to be the most demanding and difficult role he has ever essayed. Onstage throughout the play, he talks almost non-stop for the  shows two hours. The pay also involves tremendous physical demands. Well known Milwaukee Actor Robert Hirschi played Charlie Cohen, Goldman's loyal secretary, who knows nothing of the man's personal secrets. Lawrence Lukasavage played Dr. Kissel, the patient and sensitive medical man who tends to the hysterical and histrionic patient.  Donna Lobacz played Rosy Rosen,  the powerful Israeli Agent who has dedicated her life to capturing the sadistic monster, Arthur Karl Dorf.  The talented cast also included, James Feeley as Rudin, Goldman's tailor, Thomas Welcenbach and Paul Pfannenstiel as two Jewish secret agents, Sandy Lewis and Barbara Weber as concentration camps survivors, Mark Ninneman as the presiding judge, and in a stunning special appearance, Carole Herbstreet-Kalinyen as a surprise special witness who turns the entire play on it's head.