Theatre New West and Holocaust Museum Houston Present Revival Production of “Bent”

HOUSTON, TX (Aug. 3, 2005) Mark Sherman’s internationally renowned play about the tribulations of life as a homosexual during the Holocaust will be brought back to the stage this fall in a revival production by Theatre New West and Holocaust Museum Houston.

The landmark play "Bent," which sold out all performances in Houston in 2004, will again be directed by Houston’s Joe Watts and will be presented in the Museum’s Herzstein Theater on Sept. 15, 19, 20, 27 and 28, with all performances at 7:30 p.m.

"Bent" premiered in London in 1979. The London stage play, featuring a then relatively unknown actor, Ian McKellen, received critical acclaim. It later opened on Broadway staring Richard Gere and was nominated for "Best Play." In 1986, a film version was produced featuring Mick Jagger. The play tells the story of Max, a Berlin resident whose life changes when German homosexuals are designated as "enemies of the state"” and who is forced into hiding. He and a lover eventually are caught and sent to a concentration camp. Through the relationship he develops with another gay prisoner, who proudly wears the pink triangle used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals in the camps, Max emerges from his struggle as a more caring human being finally at peace with his sexuality.

From 1933 to 1945, Nazi leaders waged a ruthless campaign against people deemed "enemies of the state." Homosexuals were arrested and interned at work camps prior to the genocide of Jews, gypsies and the handicapped, and they continued to be imprisoned even after the fall of the Third Reich and liberation of the camps.

The Houston production will again feature the talent of Steve Bullitt, who headlined the one-man play "The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me," and Brady Alland in a return role as Rudy. New to the production will be Chris Pool, in the role of Greta, the proprietor of one of the most successful nightclubs in Berlin that catered to the homosexual community.

Joining the cast this year is Matthew Carter, who after being based in Chicago for 10 years, returned to Houston for the role of Hamlet in "Hamlet" for this year’s Houston Shakespeare Festival.

Others in the cast include Taavi Mark, Katt Gilcrease and Chris Clark.

The play is being shown in conjunction with the Museum’s "Plowing Stones" exhibit of abstract expressionist Holocaust artwork by artist and poet Saul Balagura. Images from the artist’s exhibit will be incorporated into the production.

Due to its theme, "Bent" is intended for mature audiences. Admission is by donation, with a suggested donation of $20, but reservations are suggested. Reservations can be made by calling Theatre New West at 713-522-2204.

Balagura’s "Plowing Stones" exhibit continues at the Museum through Sept. 25. The exhibit is free and will be open to the public.

Holocaust Museum Houston promotes awareness and educates the public of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop of the Holocaust by fostering remembrance, understanding and education.

Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston's Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004.

For more information about Holocaust Museum Houston, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.

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