KatyBeth Anthony describes Portland Center Stage's production of "The Chosen".

The Chosen
by Aaron Posner
On the Main Stage
April 6 to May 2, 2010

This award-winning adaptation from the award-winning novel is the coming-of-age story of two boys growing up in two very different Jewish communities — “five blocks and a world apart” — in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the 1940s. In it, Danny, the brilliant and curious son of a Hasidic rabbi, struggles with his longing to know more of the world and his father’s unwillingness to speak to him when they are not studying the Torah. After a heated fight at a baseball game, Danny befriends Reuven, an Orthodox Jew from a nearby neighborhood who becomes a friend and a partner in investigating both their shared Jewish heritage and their wildly divergent family environments and hopes for the future. When Danny’s father prohibits him from speaking to Reuven because of a political disagreement about the nascent Israeli state, both boys learn that the bonds of religion, friendship and community are both more brittle and more binding than they could have possibly imagined.

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