My Name is Asher Lev

‘Asher Lev’ Canvas Not Lush Enough

New production moves briskly but painter’s struggle to master his craft isn’t dramatized.

Special To The Jewish Week

How terrifying to be a child prodigy, to possess stunning artistic skills without the emotional maturity to handle them. And then how bewildering to live in a community that frowns on these gifts and forbids their expression. In Aaron Posner’s “My Name is Asher Lev,” the absorbing but overly reverential take on Chaim Potok’s 1972 novel that opened last week at the Westside Theater, a young chasidic painter launches a career that puts him squarely at odds with his family and community.

Ari Brand plays Asher Lev in a new production at the Westside Theater. Photo courtesy Westside Theater

Streamlining The Double Life Of ‘Asher Lev’

In the battle for the painter’s soul, Aaron Posner’s new production leaves out the art but not the war within.

Special to the Jewish Week

Does an artist have a responsibility to anything other than his or her art? In Chaim Potok’s novel, “My Name is Asher Lev,” a young chasidic painter in Brooklyn discovers that his artistic talent clashes irreconcilably with the dictates of his family and community.

Ari Brand as Asher Lev: Caught between art and family. Photos by Joan Marcus
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