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Moses at Theater J

A tour de force for Grant Harrison.

A world premiere one-person-play written by Michelle Lowe, directed by Johanna Gruenhut, and performed by the brilliant Grant Harrison, is now at Theater J at the DCJCC.

Michelle Lowe is a multi-award-winning playwright who first came onto the scene with her Broadway production of The Smell of the Kill in 2002. Since then, she has written nearly a dozen plays and is the only playwright ever to have two plays named as finalists for the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award in one season.
According to Lowe, Moses looks to answer the question of how one can start over after everything has been erased. The story follows one man’s epic journey as he searches for forgiveness, a long-lost dream, and himself. A Theater J Vradenburg New Jewish Play Prize finalist, Moses is a world premiere about faith, love, and going it alone.

Now I am not sure how accurate, or important to enjoying it, that description of the play is. I think there is a clear question of how epic the journey is, and what the play actually says. Simply put, Moses feels guilty that when his mother died, he wasn’t there. Then he feels that guilt incredibly compounded, when his wife and kids die in a fire, and he again was not there. In both cases he had very reasonable and acceptable reasons for unfortunately not being there. One can easily understand his feelings of guilt, and the play takes 90 minutes to go through his agony and angst, and finally has him seeing a better future; maybe? 

I would appreciate this play just as much if it was simply written to give an actor like Grant Harrison the chance to show his incredible acting chops. Harrison gives a tour de force performance and is riveting for 90 minutes. There is a minimal set and some music, but it is Harrison who carries the load and does it superbly. He has grace and charm throughout. He injects the humor, which if you are not Jewish you may miss some of, and the guilt and angst, all equally well. 

I am not sure if there is more to say about this play other than if you can enjoy, and appreciate, seeing an actor at the top of his profession, you must see it. Tickets are available for Moses online, and it will be at Theater J through Christmas Eve, December 24th.