My EncoreMichigan.com review of ‘Wiesenthal’ at the Berman Center

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Tom Dugan wrote and stars in “Wiesenthal,” which played at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts.

A pivotal moment in the 1993 film “Schindler’s List” happens near its end, when Oskar Schindler (played by Liam Neeson), who saved 1,200 Jews during the holocaust, collapses with regret and says, “I could have done more.”

A similar (though more emotionally muted) scene happens in the final minutes ofWiesenthal, now being staged at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts. Simon Wiesenthal, a holocaust survivor who famously hunted down and identified 1,100 Nazi criminals, sifts through the pile of medals and commendations and awards that he’s received, noting that because 1,100 only equated to about five percent of the Nazis that should face punishment, he considers himself only a five percent hero.

Wiesenthal – written and starring Tom Dugan, who performed the show Off-Broadway before taking it on tour – is a 90 minute, intermission-less one-man show that allows Simon to tell his own story. With the audience standing in as the last tourist group to visit Wiesenthal’s base of operations, Vienna’s Jewish Documentation Center, before the famous Nazi hunter retires at day’s end (and the space is converted into a museum) in 2003, he offers clear-eyed, unflinching accounts of his mother being captured; his wife attempting an escape to Warsaw, and their unlikely reunion; Simon bouncing around between concentration camps; the cost of keeping his family in Austria after the war; and hunting down Nazis both famous and unknown. We even get to see the latter in action, as he makes and receives phone calls about a Nazi hiding in Syria. READ THE REST HERE

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