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U.S. Premiere of Award-Winning Czech Drama of Holocaust Survival to Open Off-Broadway

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Jul 06, 2014 08:46 PM EDT

Originally produced at Prague's acclaimed leading repertory theatre Svandovo Divadlo, The Good and the True arrives at Off-Broadway's DR2 Theatre for a limited engagement beginning July 24, direct from touring the U.K. and Belgium.

Written by Daniel Hrbek, Tomas Hrbek and Lucie Kolouchova, The Good and the True is based on the true testimonies of Czech athlete Milos Dobry and actress Hana Pravda, both of whom survived incarceration in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in the 1930s, then went on to celebrated careers entertaining the public. It asks: Did these two survivors possess exceptional qualities, or did they just have good luck?

Daniel Hrbek directs Brian Daniels's English-language version, which stars Isobel Pravda, who is the real-life granddaughter of Hana Pravda, and Saul Reichlin (Sholom Aleichem: Now You're Talking!).

Prague's Svandovo Divadlo and London's New End Theatre are the producers, but the Czech Republic itself seems to have taken a big interest in the tour. The City of Prague, the Czech Republic's Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New York's Czech Centre, the Czech Mission to the United Nations in New York, Rakovsky & Partners and the World Jewish Congress have all provided support.

Svandovo Divadlo is one of Prague's oldest drama theaters. Even before the international success of The Good and the True, the company has graced theater festivals throughout Eastern Europe. In the late 1930s none other than Hana Pravda herself was a guest performer at Svandovo.

After surviving Terezin, Auschwitz and a death march at the end of the war, Pravda returned to the Svandovo, met her second husband (her first had died at Auschwitz), and emigrated first to Australia, then to London, where she acted and directed in small theaters until her death in 2008.

Milos Dobry lived a similar story of concentration camp and death march survival. After the war he returned to Prague, studied chemistry, gave lectures on the Holocaust and became such a good rugby player he was named to the national team. In 1990 he became president of the Rugby Union. He died in 2012.

The Good and the True begins its eight-week run with previews starting July 24 and an official opening August 3.

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TagsOff-Broadway, Czech Republic, Svandovo Divadlo, Hana Pravda, Milos Dobry, Prague, The Good and the True, Holocaust

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