By Max Friedlich 10th Grade, Friends Seminary History class has taught us that the civil war was the bloodiest war in U.S. history and that it ended slavery. The Whipping Man puts a human face on this historical event and paints a much more emotional picture. The best thing about The Whipping Man is how the story unfolds: not by telling, but by showing. Caleb DeLeon, a bearded and bleeding confederate soldier, stumbles in. Simon emerges, brandishing a rifle. Quickly we realize that we are in Caleb’s house, Simon was his slave, and Robert E. Lee has just surrendered. We then meet John, Caleb’s former best friend. We learn that all three men are Jewish and that this is Passover. The story of these three men and their relationships is beautiful, tragic, and cruel all at once. Their shared history is exceedingly rich and thoroughly believable. We root for each man, each one a protagonist in his own right. The moments of silence throughout the production are some of the most striking. These precious interludes work in wonderful contrast with the moments of explosive passion and fury.
The Whipping Man is for veteran theatergoers and newcomers alike. Full of secrets, violence, some light cursing, cool technical gimmicks and plenty of drama, this is a show that you won’t want to miss. TICKETS: thru 4/10 • $25 student rush • MTC @ City Center, 131 W. 55th St. website