In my 10th grade AP English class at Fairfax High, I was given a reading list with The Chosen by Chaim Potok as my favorite pick! Now, from page to screen to stage, The Fountain Theatre presents The Chosen, directed by Simon Levy and starring Jonathan Arkin, Alan Blumenfeld, Dor Gvirtsman, and Sam Mandel.
The play opens with Reuven Malter (Mandel) and Danny Saunders (Gvirtsman)meeting on the baseball field, antagonistic toward each other at first, but then leaning in to understanding and ultimately a deep friendship. Both with Orthodox upbringings, Danny is a genius, with secular, worldly interests, a passion for psychology, and only speaks with his father, Reb Saunders (Blumenfeld), when engaging in Talmud; while Reuven comes from a Zionist family, with a kind, empathetic father, David Malter (Arkin), a modern Orthodox Rabbi. I recommend this play to all ages, genders and religions for its universal appeal. Much more than sports rivalries, the story delves into religious differences including dogma, faith, and tradition. The amazing friendship that these two young men develop is the essence of the story and their connection is truly palpable. The passages of dialogue (and even sounds of silence) reflect the profound rite of passage from boyhood to young adulthood, particularly between the sons and their fathers. These characters bring to life onstage the fictional world that Potok conjured.
through March 25. Saturdays 8pm; Sundays 2pm; Mondays 8pm
The Fountain Theatre. 5060 Fountain Ave