The Train to Zakopane is
a new play by Henry Jaglom making its world premiere at The Edgmar
Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. It takes place in Poland in 1928
and is based on a true story about his father, a happening that he
remembered during his entire lifetime.
As the train was crossing
Poland on its way to Warsaw, three strangers are sitting comfortably in
a compartment for four travelers. They are Father Alexandrov (Stephen
Howard), Mme Nadia Selmeczy (Kathy Arden), a bygone actress, and Katia
Wampusyk (Tanna Frederick), a young nurse in the army.
Those travelers without
compartments are jam-packed and uncomfortable on the train. Since there
is room for one more person to enjoy the comfort that the three of them
are fortunate enough to have, Father Alexandrov suggests to the two
ladies that they find someone who looks worthy to join them. They agree,
and as he looks out at the crowd, he spies a charming and clean-cut
looking gentleman, his name, Semyon Sapir (Mike Falkow), a successful
As the four begin conversing
and becoming acquainted, somehow the conversation brings up the Jewish
people and Katia reveals her dislike for the Jews and her very strong
anti-Semitism. Since Semyon has found himself drawn to Katia, (and she,
seemingly to him), he questions her about why she is so terribly
opinionated against the Jewish people (without revealing that he is
Time passes, sleeping
arrangements are made, but before morning, Semyon and Katia decide to
get off of the train at the resort area of Zakopane instead of going on
to Warsaw. While in Zakopane, their romance blossoms, and Semyon is torn
over his deception. Can love overcome prejudices? He will have to take
the chance since he is unable to go on without letting Katia know who he
really is. When he finally tells her, will Katia’s love for Semyon be
strong enough to forget her hatred for his people?
Tanya Frederick is glorious as
Katia, baring all of the emotions of her character. She is strong in her
prejudices, but just as powerful when it comes to showing her love. The
entire cast, that also includes Kelly Desarla (Marousia Petranko) and
Jeff Elam (Dr. Nahum Gruenbaum), give strong performances under the
direction of Gary Imhoff.
Set Designer Chris Stone
deserves credit for his wonderful sets, the train compartment that
evolves into sleepers for four and for the beautiful setting of Zakopane.
Train To Zakopane plays
Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM, Sundays at 5 PM, at the Edgemar
Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica CA. For reservations
call (310) 392-7327, or go online at www.edgemarcenter.org.
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