The Citiblog

Review: White Rose: The Musical Tackles a Delicate Subject
January 25, 2024, 11:00.12 pm ET


Photo: Russ Rowland

By Brian Scott Lipton

Especially in this theatrical season – already chock full of works about antisemitism here and abroad –one can imagine producing a play based on the true tale of a group of non-Jewish 20something university students in Nazi Germany who wrote a series of pamphlets damning Hitler. But to put on a show where these characters sing? Seems a little risky, no?

That the extremely earnest new tuner “White Rose: The Musical,” now at Theatre Row, works as well as it does is a testament to a very talented cast who handle their roles with sincerity and seriousness, as well as a pleasing-enough score by newcomers Brian Belding (who also wrote the book) and Natalie Brice, and the simple yet effective direction of Will Nunziata. And, at 95 minutes, this poignant yet slender tale doesn’t wear out its welcome.

The “ringleader” of this group is Sophie Scholl (a plucky Jo Ellen Pellman) who arrives in Munich from her small German town to join older brother Hans (a stalwart Mike Cefalo) at school. For some reason, Sophie is surprised by the indifference she finds in her new home, and soon recruits Hans and two of his classmates, Christian (a very good Kennedy Kanagawa) and Will (a rather flippant Cole Thompson), to join her in her writing crusade. Continue reading...