The Diary of Anne Frank has been produced on Broadway several times beginning on this day in 1955. While always a hit the reviews have been mixed. The 1997 New York production, which had a script reworked by Wendy Kesselman, met with harsh criticism from Cynthia Ozick and Vincent Canby as described in Today in Literature:
Ozick says of the 1997 production:the Diary had been "bowdlerized, distorted, transmuted, traduced, reduced; it has been infantilized, Americanized, homogenized, sentimentalized; falsified, kitschified, and, in fact, blatantly and arrogantly denied."
Canby complains in a similar vein when he describes the "earnestly artificial" Anne as "having been directed to behave in a fashion that might have embarrassed even Sandra Dee's Gidget."But the part of the story I wanted to share was the incident which Canby relates in the same review:
Anne and Margot Frank in 1933Sometimes I wonder...
This production will be of interest mainly to those who have never before encountered "The Diary," like the woman in her 20s who sat in front of me the night I saw the play. As her escort was whispering in her ear just before the performance began, she suddenly drew back and stared at him in surprise. "You mean," she said, "she dies at the end?"
For more about Anne Frank visit the Anne Frank Museum website.