Rose-colored memories

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 9, 2014

Gesualdi provides an animated and self-confident Anne, necessary qualities for such a chatterbox. “I’m going to be remarkable — I’m going to Paris,” she predicts, unaware that she is only half-right. Though much of Anne’s animosity toward her mother can be chalked up to her age, her stated reasons are shallow when they could have given her a layer of insightfulness. Instead, she complains that when she’s upset her mother asks if she’s constipated.

Although performed well, the other characters are types rather than well-rounded personalities — good-natured, imperious, flirtatious, self-centered, etc. (see above).

On the advice of its publisher, the best-selling publication of The Diary of a Young Girl was edited with the consent of Otto Frank to remove some of Anne’s observations about her emerging sexuality and harsh words about her mother. The 1997 revision of the original play by Wendy Kesselman came to New York, with Natalie Portman playing Anne. That version tried to lessen the melodrama of the first production and added such touches as overt references to Zionism and ruminations about a crush on another schoolgirl. I wish we could be seeing the attempt at a grittier, more honest version. Anne, we can assume, would have approved of greater accuracy.

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