The Citiblog

Review: Say Amen for Prayer for the French Republic
January 9, 2024, 10:19.50 pm ET


Photo: Jeremy Daniel

By Brian Scott Lipton

“How do I tell him, at the end of his life, that his daughter is asking the same question he heard his parents ask when he was a little boy?”

These words, while haunting on the page, positively sting on the stage of Manhattan Theater Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theater when they are uttered with heartbreaking urgency in Joshua Harmon’s three-hour drama “Prayer for the French Republic.”

In this extraordinary play -- first presented Off-Broadway by MTC in 2022 but even more uncomfortably au courant at this moment in time -- Harmon details the long history of antisemitism (in France and elsewhere) while also crafting a highly compelling drama about family dynamics. It’s the almost-ideal match of the personal and the political, especially as brought to vivid life by a superb ensemble cast under David Cromer’s razor-sharp direction. Continue reading...