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American actor and playwright, David Natale brings home a seldom-remembered story of the Holocaust in Holland with his award winning oneman show: The Westerbork Serenade. Because of anxiety over increased immigration, in 1939 the Dutch government set up a camp near the town of Westerbork to hold the stream of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. After 1940, the Nazis turned Lager Westerbork into a transitcamp which funneled more than100,000 Jews to their doom in the eastern camps.
Westerbork was not a death camp. It was crowded and food scarce, but one could survive there. Westerbork even had a hospital, schools and a shop offering goods previously looted from the Jews. The German speaking Jewish inmates ran the administration of the camp. The SS commandant's pet project was a weekly cabaret show at Westerbork. It featured top Jewish entertainers from Germany and Holland. If one was in the show, one was "exempt" from transport- temporarily. By the end of the war, however, most of the performers from Westerbork were also sent to their deaths in eastern camps, joining the eventual six million who died.
Mr. Natale seamlessly portrays more than 15 characters; including German director, Max Ehrlich, actress Camilla Spira, Commandant Gemmeker and the beloved Dutch singing duo, Johnny and Jones. Natale developed The Westerbork Serenade after much research as well as interviews with survivors. In English, he dynamically incorporates period sketches, songs and accounts to make the audience acutely feel what it is to perform for one's life.
Natale conveys with economy and depth a gripping, true life story and the people caught up in it...he is actor enough to carry it alone.
Misha Berson, Seattle Times
Natale is an extremely versatile performer... With its jaunty song and dance numbers, gleaned from the Westerbork repertoire, Natale's show is particularly unnerving.
Joe Adcock, Seattle Post - Intelligencer
The Westerbork Serenade is not only... a Holocaust story about Jews and Nazis, but a cautionary tale on the destructiveness of prejudice and racism.
Peter A. Klein, JT News, Seattle
"Great script, written by the performer. Natale has amazing prowess. Very powerful!"
"Tremendous acting and tough material very well done."
"Wij waren behoorlijk erg onder de indruk van deze fantastische voorstelling....Bedankt voor 'n indrukwekkende avond."
David Natale began acting at the Cleveland Playhouse at age ten. He has a BA in Theatre Studies from Yale and an MFA in Acting from the Old Globe in San Diego. David has been seen on Guiding Light, Law and Order and Sex and The City; as well as films: Zoolander, Company Man and People I Know. Some other historical characters Mr. Natale has recently portrayed are: John Lennon in the 2006 world premiere of Just Like Starting Over at Seattle Public Theater and Eugene V. Debs in Howard Zinn’s, Voices of a People's History of the United States. David Natale lives and works in Seattle, Washington.
New Liberal Jewish centre - Saturday November 13th: 20h00
Zuidelijke Wandelweg 41
Apollo First Theater - Friday November 19th: 20h30
Reservation call: 020 6797971, http://theater.apollofirst.nl
Ostadetheater - Sunday November 21st & 28th: 20h30
Van Ostadestraat 233d
reservations: www.ostadetheater.nl (with e-mail confirmation)
telephone: 020 6795096 (answering machine)
Pepijn Theater - Monday November 29th 20h30
Nieuwe Schoolstraat 21/23
Reservation call: (0900) 410 41 04, www.theater-pepijn.nl
For information or booking of all shows contact Xaviera
Or call Xaviera at 020 6733934
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