‘Incident at Vichy” is generally considered one of Arthur Miller’s lesser plays. It was first produced in 1964, in the temporary home, near Washington Square, of New York City’s newly created Lincoln Center Theater. Despite a stellar cast including David Wayne, Hal Holbrook and Joseph Wiseman, and direction from Harold Clurman, this much anticipated drama garnered mixed reviews, and rarely has it been revived. Fortunately, The Actors Company Theatre, an enterprising off-Broadway group, has brought it back for a limited run in a far more intimate theater. And under the taut direction of Scott Alan Evans, who is aided by a lesser-known but first-rate cast, this disturbing, unsentimental play can be re-evaluated by today’s audiences.
Upon finishing Julius Novick’s shrewdly insightful, often quite moving survey of Jewish American drama, “Beyond the Golden Door: Jewish American Drama and Jewish American Experience” — a far more substantive and tasty dish than gruel — I must confess to feeling like young Oliver Twist seeking more porridge.
Some of Curt Leviant’s earlier novels have been likened to efforts by such foreign literary giants as Borges, Kafka and Calvino. His latest work, “A Novel of Klass,” suggests the influence of more domestic sources, including the Marx Brothers and S.J. Perelman. In this risky literary smorgasbord, Leviant has managed to successfully combine a tragic Holocaust tale with a hilarious account of life among the aging Jewish intelligentsia, a satiric treatment of New York’s art world, a depiction of a bizarre marriage and a surprisingly moving portrait of an exiled artist with a stern moral vision.