It was a thrill to see one of Jeff Cohen’s most historical mysteries, "The Soap Myth," performed powerfully in front of an online and live audience at the Black Box Theatre in New York. At first glance, this set looks like a vacant house, yet the dialogue will take you nearly 70 years after War World II to explore the claim that the Nazis made soap out of Jewish bodies.

The plain set, designed by scenic designer Heather Wolensky, was created to be simple and less distracting from the story that is being told through the characters. The backdrop is an orange, bronze-looking color. Even the chairs and props used partially throughout the performance showed how less is more.

Inside the simple set, a superb cast of actors plays. At the play’s start, the Digital Theatre tells us that the story "The Soap Myth" paints a picture on the stage of a scene that takes place during the time of War World II. 70 years later Annie Blumberg (Andi Potamkin), who is a young reporter, finds herself caught between numerous versions of the same story. There is the risk of losing all of the witnesses once Milton Saltzman (Greg Mullavey) passes away, in the hopes of finding out if the Nazi's made soap out of the corpses of the Jews during the Holocaust. Milton decides to record his story so that others might learn from the truth and in the end, this does some good by bringing a peaceful closure to the soap myth case.

Notable and believable characters

The actors that are worth noting who stood out in their multiple roles include Donald Corren as Comic, Daniel Silver, Smirnov, Mazur, and Neely. Likewise, Dee Pelletier as Esther Feinman and Brenda Goodsen. The actors were both versatile, and they developed believable characters.

Director Arnold Mittelman has put together an excellent show with fluid scene changes, a lucid focus, and a subtlety that makes it both gut-wrenching and powerful. Nevertheless, Arnold successfully communicated a vision with fewer things to bring out more in the story. No actor pulls focus when they shouldn’t, especially with a simple set and even the monologues were brilliant for emotionally involving the audience.

In addition, the lighting design of Jay Scott and the costume design of David Withrow were consistent throughout the show. I would describe the lighting as homely, with the beam of a spotlight that played its own distinct part in fixing the audience's attention on a spine-chilling monologue in the show. The costumes are natural to each character — professional, businesslike, authentic, and muted tones — and this helps divert one's attention to where it needs to be. Not to mention, the composer of Leon Levitch enhanced the show with artistic flair.

The show is worth a ride to New York City

After the play had finished, each character had the potential to move the audience into feeling cinematic aspiration through the character strengths and virtues that were on display by each character.

These included wisdom, knowledge, curiosity, creativity, love of learning, courage, bravery, perseverance, honesty, justice, humanity, love, kindness, social intelligence, leadership, fairness, temperance, forgiveness, transcendence, gratitude, and hope.

I encourage you to go and see this production. At any time of year, this show is worth a ride to New York City or going online to watch the Digital Theatre’s rendition from the comfort of your own home. If you want to take a trip down memory lane and see how a Jewish survivor survives the memories of the Holocaust for a long time, then log on to the internet and support the National Jewish theater along with this four-person cast!

The show 'The Soap Myth' runs throughout the week - at any given time - for the cost of $4.99 to rent or $9.99 to buy in digital format.

If you would like more details for seeing this show, please visit the site of the Digital Theater.

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