HELL’S KITCHEN, Manhattan — It might not seem natural that a play about the Holocaust could be uplifting, hopeful and inspiring, but that’s exactly the goal of a new off-Broadway play, “The Last Boy,” which opens in a few weeks.
“The Last Boy” is the true story of close to 100 boys, ages 13 to 15, who created a magazine called Vedem while they were being held at dorm one at Terezin Concentration Camp outside of Prague in the 1940s.
Six out of seven perished in the Holocaust, but their spirit lived on in the 800 pages of essays poems and songs they wrote.
“These boys will break and mend the audiences heart in one night,” Steve Fisher, the director of the Last Boy, told PIX11 News. “These boys rose above hatred, rose above their imprisonment and found their own liberation through the magazine.”
Sidney Taussig, 91, a New Yorker, now living in Florida, is truly the last boy still alive who survived the camp. He buried copies of the magazine on the grounds of Terezin to save their words and was able to Zoom with these young professional actors from across the country who helped write this play.
“It made him real,” Micah Meyers, 18 years old from Los Angeles, told PIX11 News. “He reminded me a lot of my Jewish grandparents so it made it a lot closer to home.”
Jackson Greenspan, 13 from Boynton Beach, Florida, found inspiration in the boys who perished.
“The boys were so outgoing even though they were locked up in a concentration camp. They were strong and fighting,” Greenspan told PIX11 News.
Finn O’Hara, 14-year-old from Hubbard, Ohio, told PIX11 News: “I went on Backstage and found the audition for a beautiful show and got lucky to be in a cast of so many talented people.”
This play with music even includes a song the boys in the concentration camp wrote and would sing every Friday night for Shabbat, showing a love for Jews and Christians.
“Every person is our brother whether Christian or a Jew,” the lyric goes.
“When I asked Sidney, ‘May I tell your story, may I write a play of your story?’ he just said ‘Let me see it in New York before I go,’” Fisher told PIX11 News.
The Last Boy opens July 10 for a two week limited run at the Theater at Saint Clements in Hell’s Kitchen. For ticket info, please go to thelastboy.info.