Anne Frank’s diary is one of the best-known artifacts documenting daily life during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam. Anne Frank’s ability to describe every event in detail brings a deep understanding of the horrors of the time.
Anne’s own words hang in the air as this tremendous cast brings her story to life. Darrow Klein gives a standout performance, as the young Anne Frank. She embraces the exuberant prepubescent child and takes you on a journey as Anne grows into a young woman filled with hopes and dreams of a future she will never see. The audience quickly settles into the storyline and develops a fondness for Anne’s antics. Klein’s authentic portrayal and the fact that she so closely resembles, the real-life Anne support her heartfelt performance.
Under the direction of Christy Montour-Larson and with this well-written adaptation by Wendy Kesselman, the cast and crew successfully transform the Black Box into Anne’s secret annex. The audience, all but forgets this is a story from another time. Klein transforms from a young girl into a young woman before our eyes. She draws the audience in as she carefully reveals each new aspect of the character. Many light-hearted moments are discovered through individual interactions with each character. These are the moments that stick with you.
Arvada Center’s, production possesses so many great qualities. The gorgeous set, the perfect lighting, and the costumes are all designed to create a realistic representation of the time.
Montour-Larson’s, direction of this cast provides the power that propels us into a different time. Larry Cahn portrays a genuine and fatherly Otto, and Emily Paton Davies brings grace to the role of Edith. The other characters bring depth and life to the productions. Daniel Crumrine embraces the shy introverted Peter van Daan who eventually develops an affection for Anne. Annie Barbour, Lance Rassmussen, Regina Fernandez. Zachary Andrews, Abner Genece and Emma Messenger round out this talented cast. Each brings a level of depth, humor and honest emotion that serves the show well.
The Diary of Anne Frank, Arvada Center’s Black Box Repertory Theatre through May 17, 2019. 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada, 720-898-7200, arvadacenter.org.