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‘A Good Day at Auschwitz’ by Stephen Tobolowsky premieres
as state-of-the-art audio recording from L.A. Theatre Works
LOS ANGELES (May 10, 2021) — L.A. Theatre Works presents the world premiere of a new play based on an extraordinary true story. Produced as a state-of-the-art audio theater recording, “A Good Day at Auschwitz” by noted actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day, Deadwood, Silicon Valley, The Goldbergs) stars Alan Mandell, a veteran of stage and film for over 75 years, as Abe, a man the playwright met at his synagogue. Tobolowsky stars alongside Mandell, playing himself.
In 2007, Tobolowsky started going to services at Adat Ari El in Valley Villiage, CA to say Kaddish for his mother after she passed away: There, he met Abe Sarna.
“Abe was a fellow of great humor and heart who not only survived three years at Auschwitz — certainly the worst place on earth — but fell in love there,” Tobolowsky explains. “Abe’s life speaks to the resilience of the human spirit, renewal and hope, even when there seems to be none.”
Best known as an actor, Tobolowsky is also a storyteller. He has written two books of true stories for Simon and Schuster: “My Adventures with God,” from which the material for A Good Day at Auschwitz is drawn, and “The Dangerous Animals Club.” In addition, he has made two storytelling movies: Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party, which premiered at the HBO Comedy fest in Aspen and SXSW, and The Primary Instinct, a concert film. His podcast, “The Tobolowsky Files” features 99 episodes that have played on NPR and PRI stations.
Alan Mandell is a noted classical actor, foremost scholar and interpreter of the absurdist plays who has had a distinguished 75-year acting and voice-over career. He appeared on Broadway in The Country Wife and The Merchant of Venice and Off-Broadway in Restoration, The Beard of Avon and Impossible Marriage, as well as regionally in Endgame (Kirk Douglas Theatre) and in Ovation Award-winning roles as Estragon in Waiting for Godot (Mark Taper Forum) and Spooner in No Man’s Land (Odyssey Theatre). Film credits include The Marrying Man, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Illegally Yours, Shortbus and A Serious Man.
Abe Sarna was born in a small town in Poland in April, 1923, the youngest of nine children. When Germany occupied Poland, Abe and his family were separated and Abe was sent to the Warsaw Ghetto. In 1942, Abe was imprisoned in Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Through his tenacity, Abe was lucky enough to survive the atrocities, and, with his three surviving brothers, moved to the United States after a short stay in Italy. He married Neomi in 1963 and their son Mark was born in 1964. They moved to Los Angeles in 1977 where Abe and Neomi lived until Neomi passed away in 2006. Abe passed away in 2010, leaving behind his son Mark, daughter-in-law Deborah, and grandsons Michael and Daniel.
The L.A. Theatre Works recording of “A Good Day at Auschwitz” is scheduled to release on June 2 and can be reserved in advance at latw.org/digital-season. The cost of the digital download is $20 and includes access to a Zoom interview with Tobolowsky hosted by L.A. Theatre Works producing director Susan Albert Loewenberg.
The world’s leading producer of audio theater, L.A. Theatre Works stands apart in its approach to making great theater widely accessible and affordable, bringing plays into homes and classrooms of millions of theater lovers, teachers and students each year. LATW’s syndicated radio theater series broadcasts weekly on public radio stations across the U.S. and daily in China on the Radio Beijing Network. The L.A. Theatre Works catalog of over 500 recorded plays is the largest archive of its kind in the world. According to AudioFile magazine, “L.A. Theatre Works sets the gold standard for fine audio theater recordings.” The Philadelphia Inquirer calls L.A. Theatre Works “a national theatrical treasure.”
According to AudioFile magazine, “L.A. Theatre Works sets the gold standard for fine audio theater recordings.” The Philadelphia Inquirer calls L.A. Theatre Works “a national theatrical treasure.”
Subscribe to L.A. Theatre Works’ entire 9-play, 2020-21 Digital Season for $150, and receive additional bonus features throughout the season, including a special video conversation with L.A. Theatre Works founding members Edward Asner, Richard Dreyfuss, Hector Elizondo, Stacy Keach, Marsha Mason and JoBeth Williams.
For more information and to reserve a copy of “A Good Day at Auschwitz,” go to latw.org/digital-season.