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Editor reviews

Awake and Sing is the 1935 masterpiece by legendary playwright Clifford Odets, that recently won "Best Revival" of a play at the 2006 Tony Awards. The drama concerns three generations of a poor, immigrant family, crowded into a Bronx tenement and rubbing up against each other’s complicated lives, while staying determined to survive as a family as they endure the Great Depression.

This dramatization, in front of a live audience, includes legendary independent actor - and longtime John Cassavetes favorite - Ben Gazzara, Academy Award nominee, Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right), and seven-time Emmy nominee, Jane Kaczmarek, of Malcolm in the Middle fame.


Clifford Odets’ masterpiece, starring Mark Ruffalo, Jane Kaczmarek, Richard Kind, and Ben Gazzara, brings to life the struggles of a working-class family aspiring to the promise of the American Dream. Even as they endure the country’s worst economic nightmare, three generations of an immigrant family are crowded into a Bronx tenement, fiercely determined to stay afloat, no matter what the cost.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring (in alphabetical order): Emily Bergl as Hennie Berger; Ben Gazzara as Jacob; Jonathan Hadary as Myron Berger; Jane Kaczmarek as Bessie Berger;Richard Kind as Uncle Morty; Peter Kybart as Schlosser; Mark Ruffalo as Moe Axelrod; Raphael Sbarge as Sam Feinschreiber; and Peter Smith as Ralph Berger. Directed by Bartlett Sher. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, in January 2010.

(P)2011 L.A. Theatre Works

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  • Eleanor Corner
  • 05-10-11

Top talent, top play.

This play showcases the phenomenal talents of the very gifted cast. This fast-paced drama with subtle and not-so-subtle humor provides a slice of life in the tenements of the Bronx with wisdom that is timeless. I enjoyed it so much that I listened to it three times, getting something different out of it each time. Once again, another fantastic offering by LA Theater.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carl Pearson
  • 13-08-18


This was a wonderful production of a great play. It should be on more reading lists.