The Trials of John Demjanjuk: A Holocaust Cabaret
Harbourfront, Vancouver’s Chutzpah
Festival + Victoria’s Intrepid Theatre
2 Dora Award Nomination
Christine Brubaker + Allen Cole
Christine Brubaker, Dmitry Chepovetski, Dov Mickelson, Michael Rubenfeld
Frank Moore, Clinton Walker
Andjelija Djuric, Sandra Marcroft
Developed at the NAC, Banff, Rhubarb + Ashkenaz
In 1987 Demjanjuk was accused of being Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka and brought to trial. Was he guilty ...and of what? THE TRIALS probes the nature of guilt, and our need for retribution. The style is cabaret and the place is on the cutting edge as the next generation steps into the ring in the arena of the theatre.
Warning: Live accordion.
“There's nothing finer, for those with strong nerves, than cabaret that's the real thing. In this unstable alchemy, everything becomes furiously beautiful and cruelly funny.... an acidic script...Brubaker and Cole offer a furiously energetic musical pastiche, which ranges from a mock love ballad sung by Ivan the mass murderer to a wild Yiddish dance performed by battling Israeli lawyers...a powerful cast "
Globe and Mail
"Everything about The Trials of John Demjanjuk is correct. Not politically correct....But a blistering 90-minute production proves to be so true to the spirit of classic antiestablishment cabaret...Theatre Asylum assaults us with a clever, caustic event that, in examining the bizarre show-trial of accused war criminal John Demjanjuk, reveals as much about his accusers as it does about the accused....Director Jen Herszman Capraru pays strict attention to the dictates of cabaret; Brubaker addresses us directly, the simple tunes she plays carrying strong words that drive the story forward. The cast moves in and out of many little scenes with a well-rehearsed choreography, and every moment is made memorable by the stark imagery of Nazis and their victims. From self-righteous Christians to self-hating Jews, no one is spared in this beautifully bitter stew of ideas."
"THE TRIALS OF JOHN DEMJANJUK QUITE POSSIBLY THE SHOW OF THE YEAR....A gripping, thought-provoking and highly entertaining conflux of music, history, politics and theatre, Trialsrecaps the true story of John Demjanjuk....Using a Brechtian cabaret style, the outstanding cast of six took the audience back and forth through time, history and memory....Periodic bursts of song and dance - led by surreal accordion mistress Christine Brubaker and the equally outrageous Clinton Walker - provided some much welcome humour.... Director Jen Herszman Capraru deserves credit for bringing playwright Jonathan Garfinkel's Trialsso ably to life with such a mix of drama, humour, and soul. "
Monday Magazine, Victoria BC
"Is Nazi-hunting about justice or revenge? For a younger generation of writers the far more important question is: from Treblinka to Bosnia and Rwanda, why do god-fearing, decent men commit heinous crimes against humanity? These are the questions that Jonathan Garfinkel poses in his edgy, Brechtian-style cabaret. Like all good cabaret, the fun is on the surface but the undercurrents are deep, dark and disturbing.... The Trialspersuades us to examine our personal potential for brutality: What would it take?"
“ ...When grim subject matter is married to a playfully decadent form, the result is strange and absorbing theatre. A few jokes are so dark you may surprise yourself by laughing ...this show is clear-eyed about the circus-like aspects of Demjanjuk's show trial ...the talented cast and the director's assured grip keep us enthralled.”
Eye Magazine, Toronto