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A FRANKER ANNE FRANK An unedited version of a young girl's wartime diary brings to light a more complex and realistic staging of The Diary of Anne Frank by Harry Haun "I don't know what you call it," James Lapine admits, pausing a beat. "I guess it's that horrible word revisal. There are some changes in it, but it's basically the same play." The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Sunday in the Park with George is referring to an opus which took the 1955 Pulitzer, Tony and New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Given the laundry list of trophies that the drama knocked off in its day, it's not easy to imagine a new and improved edition of The Diary of Anne Frank, but that is precisely what Lapine is directing at the Music Box Theatre. "The play had to be made stage worthy for 1997," he contends. "That is not to cast aspersions on the earlier production. It's just a different era now. The war is not as present in people's lives as it was then. Plus, there will be hordes of people coming to this day who know nothing about the Holocaust. It's a very different kind of temperature for doing the piece." But more than a desire to bring a 45-year-old play up to speed has sparked its second Broadway coming. Quite simply, its primary source changed—and that fact dictated changes right down the line like rows of toppling dominoes. When producers David Stone and Amy Nederlander-Case (who are producing with Jon B. Platt, Jujamcyn Theatres and Hal Luftig) read in 1995 that Doubleday was restoring previously excised material and publishing the definitive edition of the diary, they believed the original drama could be seen in a luminous new light, which would make it even more meaningful to modern theatre audiences. "We wanted to deepen the Jewish themes, to confront the Holocaust more directly," says Stone. "If you compare the original text to this, it's very different. The structure is similar, but I'd say a good percentage of the lines are new. People who haven't seen it in 40 years will say, 'Gosh, that's so much more moving than I remembered it,' without knowing specifically what we changed." Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, published posthumously in 1952, was an instant best seller, chronicling the triumph of the human spirit as it manifested itself in the claustrophobic attic of an Amsterdam spice factory where two Jewish families and a dour dentist spent their last two years of freedom hiding from Nazis. The cramped quarters of [[Photograph]] George Hearn as Otto Frank and Natalie Portman as daughter Anne in a scene from The Diary of Anne Frank Joan Marcus 24 WWW.PLAYBILL.COM PURE THEATRE ONLINE [[Advertisement page]] DIRECTORS & PRODUCERS ARTHUR ANDERSEN YOU KNOW WHEN YOU'VE HAD A SUCCESSFUL SHOW BY THE APPLAUSE. AT ARTHUR ANDERSEN, WE LOVE A GOOD SHOW, TOO. THAT'S WHY OUR ADVISORS ARE COMMITTED TO HELPING YOU DIRECT AND PRODUCE THE BEST BUSINESS PERFORMANCES EVERY DAY. HELPING IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS PERFORMANCE http://www.ArthurAndersen.com ©1997 Arthur Andersen. All Rights Reserved. [[/Advertisement page]]
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