A paraphrase of the catchy Sister Sledge song, to be sure, but as a headline about the new play “Little Willy,” in which the eponymous diminutive William is William Patrick Hitler.
Yes, William Patrick Hitler. Used car salesman. Native of Ireland. And nephew of Adolf. But living life as WPH–or Little Willy, as some of the ladies call him–wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
In “Little Willy,” we are taken through the life of WPH as he tries desperately to carve out a place for himself in the world, in any country that will take him and his mother. Along the way, he shills for Volkswagen (pre-farfergnugen), Colgate (pre-tartar control) and pretty much any other product he comes across. And he discovers pretty quickly that no one wants a Hitler.
This play is based on the life of Hitler’s nephew, although the viewers senses that hyperbole and dramatic license reign over the play’s content. At the end, slides tell you what happened to the real WPH, including the chilling sidebar that [SPOILER ALERT, TURN BACK NOW IF YOU’RE FRIGHTENED BY ALL MY CAPITAL LETTERS] WPH’s three sons made a pact never to marry, effectively ending the Hitler line. Which evokes for me the injunction to erase the memory of Amalek. But maybe that’s just me.
Mark Kassen, who also wrote the script– gives a masterful, passionate and frenetic performance, creating a Hitler that is both pitiable and pathetic. Spare, but inventive, staging allows audiences to focus on the actor as he creates the environment using minimal props and only one other actor (Roxanna Hope, playing multiple roles).
Tickets are $15, but there’s a JEWLICIOUS DISCOUNT AVAILABLE on tickets before April 16th. (Discount Code LW10). Tickets are available through TicketCentral or 212-279-4200, and the play runs at The Ohio Theatre, 66 Wooster Street between Spring and Broome, until April 30.
And would someone please post after me so the last post before Passover doesn’t have the word Hitler in it? Thanks.
(Cross-posted to My Urban Kvetch)