By Lawrence Frascella
Updated March 23, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST
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The Syringa Tree

type
  • Stage

Here’s the classic story of the little play that could. The Syringa Tree, a one-woman show by a relative unknown opens inauspiciously way Off Broadway, garners the support of bona fide celebs such as Mike Nichols and Jason Alexander, and, six months later, it’s still packing them in. Pamela Gien plays 28 different people in this highly autobiographical account of her girlhood in Johannesburg. The willowy Gien is an amazing actress whose characters (mother, father, maid, etc.) flow through her in an almost choreographic manner, but what really counts is the way she channels her demons. Nightly, she exorcises the pain of growing up amid the violence of apartheid, rising to her own catharsis and taking the audience with her. It’s a feat of wide-open sharing that generates great feeling and, apparently, great word of mouth.

Episode Recaps

The Syringa Tree

type
  • Stage

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