Your Program Is Your Ticket host Sean Chandler sits down with Barry Levey, writer and performer of HOAXOCAUST!, to chat about this provocative solo-show returning to the New York Stage. Take a listen to the podcast, and don't forget to join us at The Theater at the 14th Street Y beginning September 5th, 2018.
To learn more about Hoaxocaust! visit hoaxocaust.com
1-In your own words, describe the production. Including key themes and conflicts…why is this the right time for this production?
It's about someone wishing away their inherited baggage, and complications that causes. I confront my family's racism when my brother and I both commit to interracial relationships (his has the benefit of being straight, but the drawback of being with an Arab). Our parents insist the Holocaust means Jews can't be safe with anyone but other Jews. Wanting a more inclusive identity, I wonder how different my life would be if the Holocaust had never happened; before I know it, I'm interviewing Holocaust deniers around the world. Needless to say, what I hear—and share—is shocking. Laughable, and yet, considering at least eight white nationalists are running for U.S. Congress in 2018, also terrifying.
2-Who are your collaborators and what do you like about working with them?
I am a geeky, loner introvert. Usually during a show I've written, I'm pacing in the back of the theater, nursing crushes on the actors. Performing, on purpose, in front of a hundred people a night, projecting confidence? I'd work with no one else but the director Jeremy Gold Kronenberg, who has known me since we were preteens and his middle name was not "Gold" and he was knitting homemade vests on the bus to school. I feel safer being naked before him than I do before most of my doctors. Especially my urologist. Jeremy's never stuck anything up my urethra.
3-Who is the typical audience for the production? What do you want audiences to get out of the show (ie: feel when they leave the theater)?
When I first started performing this show, I thought I would do it in a sort of Sacha Baron Cohen persona and present myself as a real Holocaust denier. Over the years, I've realized theater attracts more earnest, liberal Jews than it does Ali G fans, so now my audience is earnest, liberal Jews. All of them. All the synagogue-going, Haaretz-reading, Trump-hating Jews from here to Scarsdale. But also all the gays. And all the Millennials. Everyone worried about fake news and Bannon and Kushner and Russia, and everyone who listens to On the Media and On Being and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (for the yuks). Anyone who sees a terrible normalization of hate happening, and wants to engage in a 75-minute dialogue about what we need to know to fight back. At the end of each show, I want 100 people to have laughed 150 times—but to still be scared shitless. Really scared shitless. Like so scared, I thought about calling the play "Oy, Get Out Already!" But then I learned Orin Wolf has already optioned that title for a show staring Nick Kroll coming to Broadway in 2019.
4-Who is someone (or something) who has inspired you?
Deborah Lipstadt, while researching Hoaoxocaust. Mel Brooks, while writing it. RuPaul Charles, every Thursday.
5-Why theatre, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Seventh grade. I like being good at things, and it already wouldn't be sports. When my voice changed, it also wouldn't be musicals.
QUESTING BEAST PRODUCTIONS
in partnership with THE THEATER AT THE 14TH STREET Y
Written and performed by BARRY LEVEY
Directed by JEREMY GOLD KRONENBERG
SEPTEMBER 5 – 30, 2018 AT THE THEATER AT THE 14TH STREET Y
TICKETS START AT $25 | WWW.14STREETY.ORG
“We should all be glad that a challenging and intelligent solo show like Hoaxocaust! is onstage anywhere. This is worthwhile and timely theater of the highest order.” - Theatermania
“Skilfully raises questions about religion and politics with humor, earning laughs from a subject that many might think is too sacred to get such a treatment.” - Theatre Is Easy
“Uses sharp satire to pierce the gasbags… There are more controversial and provocative ideas crammed into the 70-minute Hoaxocaust! than in most plays on or off Broadway.” -Jewish Standard
“Squarely nails the inherent absurdity behind Holocaust denial.” -New Voices
Questing Beast Productions, in partnership with The Theater at the 14th Street Y, is pleased to present Barry Levey in his provocative play Hoaxocaust! directed by Jeremy Gold Kronenberg. Hoaxocaust! will play twenty three performances from September 5th through the 30th, 2018 at The Theater at the 14th Street Y (344 East 14th Street at 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003). Opening night is Wednesday, September 12th at 8:00 P.M.
Press are cordially invited Friday, Sept 7th at 7:00 pm, Saturday, Sept 8th at 2:00 pm or 6:00 pm, Sunday, Sept 9th at 2:00 pm, and Opening Night Wednesday, Sept 12th at 8:00 pm (and any subsequent performance upon request).
What roles should past horrors play in defining ourselves, our religious views, or even our politics? Is there such a thing as a contemporary Jewish identity independent of the Holocaust? Should there be? What if the Holocaust had never happened? Mahmoud Abbas has said it. Poland has said it. Some people currently running for our Congress and in our President's coalition have said it. If the Holocaust didn’t happen… what did? Join writer/performer Barry Levey on an around-the-world adventure as he tracks down deniers from Illinois to Iran, meets engineers and ex-presidents, and dodges a brother in Hungary and a boyfriend back home on a journey to discover the shocking truth.
Developed at the New Group, the cell, and Prospect Theater Company at 59E59, Hoaxacaust! previously performed at Theater for the New City and won the NY International Fringe Festival’s 2014 Overall Excellence award. It returned for the FringeNYC Encore Series: Solo in the City at the Baruch Performing Arts Center before touring to Jersey City Theater Center and Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael.
Hoaxocaust! plays the following twenty three performances through Sun, Sept 30th:
Wed, Sept 5th at 8:00 P.M.Fri, Sept 7th at 7:00 P.M.Sat, Sept 8th at 2:00 P.M.Sat, Sept 8th 6:00 P.M.Sun, Sept 9th 2:00 P.M.
Wed, Sept 12th 8:00 P.M.Fri, Sept 14th 9:00 P.M.Sat, Sept 15th 4:00 P.M.Sat, Sept 15th 8:00 P.M.Sun, Sept 16th 4:00 P.M.Sun, Sept 16th 8:00 P.M.
Thu, Sept 20th 8:00 P.M.Fri, Sept 21st 7:00 P.M.Sat, Sept 22nd 2:00 P.M.Sat, Sept 22nd 6:00 P.M.Sun, Sept 23rd 2:00 P.M.
Tue, Sept 25th 8:00 P.M.Wed, Sept 26th 8:00 P.M.Fri, Sept 28th 7:00 P.M.Sat, Sept 29th 2:00 P.M.Sat, Sept 29th 6:00 P.M.Sun, Sept 30th 4:00 P.M.Sun, Sept 30th 8:00 P.M.
Tickets start at $25.00 and are currently available to purchase by calling 646-395-4310 or by visiting www.14streety.org.Tickets may also be purchased 30 minutes before showtime.
Running Time: 75 Minutes
“Funny and engaging… something rare and wonderful to find.” -Stage Buddy
This one-man show about Holocaust deniers had so many enjoyable and provocative twists and ideas that left us in its grips for days. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a one-person show that was as thrilling and absorbing as this.” -Letters from the Mezzanine
“A compelling, thought-provoking, emotional, can’t stop thinking, how will I sleep tonight one-man show.” -Call Me Adam
“Levey’s script is beautifully structured. It’s sharp and insightful, simultaneously funny and thought-provoking.” -Woman Around Town
“Argues with great quiet force” -History News Network
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