Walter Kerr Theatre, (4/15/2004 - 4/25/2004)

First Preview: Mar 22, 2004
Opening Date: Apr 15, 2004
Closing Date: Apr 25, 2004
Total Previews: 28
Total Performances: 12

Category: Play, Drama, Original, Broadway
Setting: A bakery in Amsterdam. 1992 - 1994.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Jujamcyn Theaters (James H. Binger: Chairman; Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director)

Produced by Jujamcyn Theaters (James H. Binger: Chairman; Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director), Producers Four (Benjamin Mordecai, Robert G. Bartner, Brian Brolly, Michael A. Jenkins) and Robert G. Bartner; Produced in association with Debra Black, Lisa Vioni and Michael Watt; Associate Producer: Jerry Meyer and Patrick Catullo

World premiere production presented in February 2003 at The Long Wharf Theatre (Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Director; Michael Stotts, Managing Director); Originally developed at Cherry Lane Theatre

Written by Eliam Kraiem; Original Music by John Gromada

Directed by Garry Hynes; Assistant Director: Jacob Witlen

Scenic Design by Francis O'Connor; Costume Design by Francis O'Connor; Lighting Design by James F. Ingalls; Sound Design by John Gromada; Associate Scenic Design: Peter R. Feuchtwanger; Associate Costume Design: Scott Traugott; Assistant Costume Design: Robert J. Martin; Associate Lighting Design: Penny Beasley; Assistant Lighting Design: Anthony Stephen Terry; Associate Sound Design: Sten Severson; Make-Up Design by Angelina Avallone; Assistant Sound Design: Tony Smolenski IV

General Manager: 101 Productions, Ltd.; Company Manager: Elie Landau

Production Stage Manager: David Hyslop; Technical Supervisor: Peter Fulbright, Tech Production Services, Inc., Colleen Houlehen, John Kontogiannis and Jacob Cook; Stage Manager: Deirdre McCrane

Special Effects by Gregory Meeh; Special Effects Associate: Patrick Boyd

Marketing: Lauren Doll; Casting: Jay Binder and Jack Bowdan; Press Representative: Barlow-Hartman Public Relations; Dialect Coach: Stephen Gabis; Fight direction by Thomas Schall; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Promotions: HHC Marketing; Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Judd HirschHans
Omar Metwally
Broadway debut
Martha Plimpton
Broadway debut
Jan MaxwellSonya
Waleed F. Zuaiter
Broadway debut

Understudies: Jonathan Hova (Ashraf, Mahmoud), Martin Rayner (Hans), Natacha Roi (Nora, Sonya) and Waleed F. Zuaiter (Mahmoud)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2004 Best Featured Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Omar Metwally

Drama Desk Award

 2004 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play [nominee] 

Jan Maxwell


AP: "16 Wounded Examines Friendship"

Bread is the tie that binds in "Sixteen Wounded," Eliam Kraiem's earnest dissection of the friendship between a young Palestinian radical and an aging Jewish baker in Amsterdam in the early 1990s.

This bleak play, which opened Thursday at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre, slowly, almost glacially, examines the relationship between the two men. For much of the time, it is dramatically listless, not coming to life until the final inevitable confrontation between the protagonists.

"Sixteen Wounded" begins, though, with a bang when Mahmoud, being pursued by thugs, crashes through the window of a bakery owned by Hans (Judd Hirsch).

At first, Mahmoud, played by Omar Metwally, is hostile to the older man. Yet they soon find common interests. Soccer. Backgammon.Baking. Before long, Mahmoud, up to his ears in flour and kneading, seems to be ordering everybody about. He's also romancing Nora, Hans' shop assistant, a would-be dancer portrayed by an appealing Martha Plimpton.

Kraiem spends much of the first act detailing Mahmoud's transformation. Metwally's carefully shaded performance, ranging from angry to affable, is a definite plus, but it can't mask the production's lethargy. Director Garry Hynes focuses on the minutiae of daily life in the bakery. In short, static scenes, these small events seem interminable.

It's not until the appearance of Mahmoud's older brother (Waieed F. Zuaiter) that you get some sense of where "Sixteen Wounded" is headed. Mahmoud, banished from Gaza after bombing a bus in which Israelis were killed, is being ordered to commit another terrorist act, this time in Amsterdam.

His dilemma forces a showdown with Hans, who, by now, has grown fond of his eager apprentice. "You and I have no conflict," the older, emotionally reserved man says. "We are trying to be bakers."

But Hans has his own baggage, too. A concentration camp survivor, he is overwhelmed by guilt and for many years denied his own Jewishness. Now he is trying to repair his humanity, partly by reaching out to Mahmoud and partly by connecting with Sonya, a world-weary prostitute (Jan Maxwell) with whom he has weekly assignations.

Hirsch, star of such Broadway hits as "I'm Not Rappaport," "Talley's Folly" and "Chapter Two," gives a restrained, almost understated performance. His accent may drift but his rock-solid portrayal at least gives the evening an anchor. And Maxwell is lovely as a savvy woman who would rather have "an arrangement" with a man than get caught up in romantic flights of fancy.

Designer Francis O'Connor has carefully divided the stage, creating an enticing art nouveau shop on one side and a grim, utilitarian kitchen on the other. But it's the division between the two men that Kraiem wants to underscore, particularly in a final emotional harangue by Mahmoud that stuns Hans - and the audience as well. Too bad that potency isn't present in more of the play.


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