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Hannah Senesh is playing at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage located at 36 Battery Place. It runs ninety minutes with no intermission. The play closes on August 18, 2019.
Hannah Szenes (July 17, 1927-November 7, 1944) was a young Jewish woman who escapes from Axis-Allied Hungry in 1939 to British Mandate Palestine.
Catherine Senesh (Lexi Rabadi) sits on stage telling us about different things. She gets up and she is at a camp with a gentleman who is friendly but as he talks to her she gets scared because of the questions he is asking. One is does she know where her daughter is. Her reply is yes in Palestine. He replies are you sure and gazes down. She realizes when she looks down that it is Hannah is wavy at her from a cell.
We meet Hannah (Lexi Rabadi) from 1934 to 1944. She tells us about herself during different periods of her life. She thinks she wants to be a writer but later she finally decides she wants to go into agriculture. Hannah is accepted to an agricultural school in Palestine. Years go by. Knowing what is happening to the Jewish population due to Hitler, she decides she has to do something to save people. Hannah especially wants to get her mother out of Hungry. Her brother she knows is safe even though she hasn’t seen him in five years. Hannah enlists in the British Special Operations. They are to go into Yugoslavia and rescue British soldiers. No will know she is Jewish so she will be safe. But they do nothing. She slips into Hungry which is now occupied by Nazis, She is caught. We learn what happens to her from her mother Catherine.
This is a touching story of one young girl’s hopes and dreams cut short by the Nazis.
Lexi Rabadi is remarkable. Not only is she Hannah at different ages but play an older woman too. Her facial expressions and different movements are outstanding. Hope to see her on Broadway soon.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich