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The Schmooze

Paula Vogel’s ‘Indecent’ Scouted For Broadway

Just after Paula Vogel’s new play “Indecent” premiered Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theater in April, Vogel spoke to the Forward for a feature on the production.

“Would I like this show to be on Broadway? You bet,” she said. “I would put on a sandwich board and walk the street in front of the theater every night to see that happen.”

She might just have to make good on that promise. As the New York Times’s Michael Paulson reported on August 25th, producers Daryl Roth and Elizabeth McCann are looking to bring “Indecent” to Broadway in the coming season. Roth, known for Broadway’s “Kinky Boots,” and McCann, who co-produced “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” with Roth, would collaborate with Cody Lassen of “Spring Awakening” for the production. Whether or not it comes to fruition depends on whether the team can secure a theater. As Paulson wrote, Broadway audiences are at record highs, so there’s a glut of interest in producing on Broadway and a dearth of venues.

For Vogel, who co-created “Indecent” with director Rebecca Taichman, having “Indecent” transfer to Broadway would be meaningful for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it would thematically connect to Sholem Asch’s play “God of Vengeance,” which is the subject of “Indecent.”

“There were no Jewish writers on Broadway,” she said, referencing the notorious Broadway production of “God of Vengeance” in 1923. Now, she said, “We’re at a moment where there are Jewish writers on Broadway but there are not many women writers.” Her observation was aptly timed for the upcoming Broadway season, which currently promises no women-authored new plays.

“Indecent” received wide critical acclaim, including from the Forward. It prompted a revival of the Yiddish “God of Vengeance” by the New Yiddish Rep for a short run in June; on August 28th, the New York Times’s Joshua Barone reported the revival will have a month-long run at Manhattan’s La Mama this winter.

“It’s just a kind of amazing time for me to look at all of the younger artists, the younger musicians, all of the revival of klezmer that’s going on, the incredible revival of Yiddish theater that’s going on,” Vogel told the Forward. “Indecent” is poised to become an essential part of that revival.

Talya Zax is the Forward’s summer culture fellow. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter, @TalyaZax

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