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Curtain Rises: ‘Indecent’ postponed at Civic

Civic Theatre of Allentown’s final show of its 2021-’22 season, the Lehigh Valley premiere of the award-winning play “Indecent,” has been postponed until August at the Nineteenth Street Theatre, 527 N. 19th St., Allentown.

Paula Vogel’s groundbreaking play was inspired by the true story of the controversial Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance” in 1923.

“Indecent” traces the show’s initial success, through its tour in Europe, to its abrupt demise on Broadway, including the arrest of the entire production’s cast and crew on grounds of obscenity.

Asch, a Polish Jew playwright, wrote “God of Vengeance” in 1907. His play, set in a brothel, was performed in Yiddish and German.

The play wasn’t deemed controversial until it was performed in English on Broadway in 1923. American audiences were scandalized by the depiction of an amorous relationship between two women.

“This important play tells the behind-the-scenes story of the courageous artists who risked their careers and lives to perform a work deemed indecent. It is a testament to the transformative power of art that is timelier than ever before,” says the play’s director William Sanders, Civic’s artistic director.

“Indecent” was produced on Broadway in 2017 and was nominated for three Tony Awards, winning two including best direction.

The cast includes Pat Birnbaum, Abigail Creighton, Will Windsor Erwin, Kate Pistone, Anthony Rizzuto, Jason Roth and Mark Stutz.

Performances were to have been: 7:30 p.m. June 17, 18, 23, 25 and 2 p.m. June 19, 26.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and the wearing of face masks are required for admittance.

Information: www.civictheatre.com, 610-432-8943

“Jeffrey” at NCC:

“Jeffrey,” which is about the AIDS epidemic, is June 15-26 as the second production of Northampton Community College Summer Theatre.

The play, written in 1993 by Paul Rudnick, follows Jeffrey, a gay man living in New York City who falls in love after swearing off relationships during the height of the AIDS epidemic.

Worried about the spread of AIDS, Jeffrey decides to become celibate. Then Jeffrey falls in love with Steve, who is HIV-positive. He seeks advice from his married friends, Sterling and Darius, and several other friends.

The play was previously presented at Northampton Community College in 2013. The play’s director Bill Mutimer looks forward to revisiting the story.

“I am really excited for ‘Jeffrey,’ which we are doing as part of our PRIDE Month celebration.

“It’s a warm, funny show about how does one find a relationship during a pandemic. I think the story has more impact today.

“It touches everyone in a different way. It’s about being who you are and finding companionship in these times,” Mutimer says.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. June 15-18, 22-25; and 2 p.m. June 19, 26, Norman Roberts Lab Theatre, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem.

The wearing of face masks is optional.

Tickets: www.ncctix.org; 484-484-3412

“Curtain Rises” is a column about the theater, stage shows, the actors in them and the directors and artists who make them happen. To request coverage, email: Paul Willistein, Focus editor, pwillistein@tnonline.com

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The cast of “Indecent” rehearses at Civic Theatre of Allentown.