Few working playwrights are capable of melding the personal and the political more deftly than Amy Herzog.
This skill was abundantly clear in the Jewish Repertory Theatre's recent production of her play "4,000 Miles," whose characters' experience of grief directly mirrored their political philosophies.
While that production was driven by the personal, politics takes the driver's seat in "After the Revolution," the second in JRT's season-long trilogy of Herzog plays. The show, directed by JRT co-founder Saul Elkin, opens Feb. 9 in the Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre in the Jewish Community Center (2640 North Forest Road, Getzville).
The story centers on a family of hardcore leftists coming to terms with the practical failures of Marxism at the end of the 20th century. It features a young lawyer (Bonnie Jean Taylor) struggling to square her family's history of activism, which stretches back at least to the McCarthy era, with her own sense of moral rectitude. As a release from JRT puts it, she and her family are "thrown into an intergenerational tailspin, forced to reconcile a thorny and delicate legacy."
"A central theme in the play," New York Times critic Charles Isherwood wrote, "is the way history shapes people’s lives, their politics, their personalities, and how deep misunderstandings may arise between generations who fail to take into account how the brute heel of hard experience can bear down upon the honorable individual."
The production, which runs through March 5, also features Anne Roaldi Boucher, Tom Makar, David Marciniak, Adam Rath, Christina Rausa, Bonnie Jean Taylor and Steve Vaughan. Tickets are $10 to $38. Call 688-4114 or visit jewishrepertorytheatre.com.