The Whipping Man
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In this unlikely play, a wounded Jewish Confederate soldier returns home from the Civil War to find that his family has fled and left behind their two now-former slaves, whom they raised as Jews. Ironically, it’s Passover, so the laid-low ex-master and his ex-servants break bread—er, matzo—to celebrate Jews’ biblical-times deliverance from the ancient Egyptians.
Read our review: "After premiering off-Broadway in 2011, The Whipping Man rapidly made its playwright, Matthew Lopez, a hot ticket. (The play is currently one of the most produced in the country, with 15 stagings slated for this season.) Lopez deserves the success; the parallels he draws between the Jewish and African-American experiences are positively inspired. For instance, during the play's climactic scene, a Passover seder that gorgeously syncretizes the traditional ceremony and African-style call and response, Simon breaks several times into “Go Down, Moses”—a Negro spiritual inspired by the Israelite exodus from slavery and sung today by many Jews as part of the seder."