Front Row Center

By Michael Warren

Address Unknown

By Katherine Kressman Taylor
Directed by Bernadette Jones and Jayme Littlejohn

front row


This play, described as a staged reading, marks the opening of a new location for theater in this town. “Bravo!” has moved to Hidalgo 441 in Riberas, and the place is spacious and welcoming. Entertaining and thought-provoking material is planned for future productions.

Address Unknown is a gripping play. Originally it was a short story written as a series of letters between “Max” who is a Jewish art dealer, living in San Francisco, and “Martin,” his gentile business partner who has returned to Germany in 1932. Martin writes about the wonderful Third Reich and its “gentle leader” Hitler. He admits that there is some “Jew trouble” but says that something bigger is happening.

Max is concerned, and continues to write even though his own sister Griselle, an actress in Berlin, has gone missing. He begs Martin to look after Griselle if she shows up. On the other hand, Martin has by now joined the Nazi Party, and he asks Max to stop writing. His letters will be intercepted and Martin would lose his official position and he and his family could be in danger.

The tension ratchets up as Griselle comes to Martin’s house for sanctuary. He fails to protect her and she is arrested because she is a Jewess who has dared to criticize the regime. Max is devastated when he learns what has happened, and then he plans a subtle revenge. His letters about various art dealings and purchases appear to be written in a complicated code. Martin will come under suspicion and eventually will be arrested as a spy with Jewish contacts in the United States.

We were fortunate to have two excellent actors playing Max and Martin. Roger Larson was entirely believable as “Max” and his suffering as he learns of Griselle’s arrest and probable death is an extraordinary moment. Ken Yakiwchuk, as “Martin” has a more difficult and less sympathetic part, and he handles it well. It’s a strange acting situation, as their only contact is by mail, and the audience has to read between the lines.

In some ways I felt that the communication was too bland – the level of tension has to increase over the course of the play. It is interesting to note that the idea for the story came from a news item about American students in Germany writing home with the truth about the Nazi atrocities. Fraternity brothers began to send letters making fun of Hitler, and the visiting students wrote back, “Stop it. We’re in danger. These people don’t fool around. You could murder someone by writing letters to him.”

I have sometimes wondered how it is possible that such an evil regime could come to power in a civilized and well-educated country like Germany. But perhaps it is not so strange – scapegoating and hatred of “the other” is easily aroused. Thanks to “Bravo!” for putting on such an interesting play and best wishes for the future.


El Ojo del Lago - Home Page

michael warren




Column: Front Row Center




Michael Warren grew up in London, England and lived on Baker Street very close to where Sherlock Holmes hung out his shingle. He graduated with an Honors degree in Mathematics from King’s College, Cambridge, which no doubt helps him to balance his check book. While a student, he edited a humorous magazine entitled “ffobia” which was widely circulated amongst his friends.
Michael moved to Ajijic in 2000. Since moving to Mexico, Michael has forgotten almost all his mathematics, and has taught English to Mexican students, assisted in promoting musical events, helped to found the Open Circle group, and published his book of poems “A Particular Blue.” In short, he has found happiness. He has appeared onstage in nine plays at the Lakeside Little Theatre.  For the last ten years, he has been writing the theater reviews for El Ojo Del Lago under the byline “Front Row Center.”

Pin It
FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren   April 2022 Season 57 March 2022 Silent Sky February 2022 This Random World January
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren TributeBy Bernard SladeDirected by Roseann Wilshire   Tribute is a strange play, a mixture of comedy, sentimentality
FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren The ForeignerBy Larry ShueDirected by Larry King   The Foreigner is a hokey comedy set in a fishing resort in the
FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren The Lakeside Little Theatre – A Historical Note   Due to the timing of the plays and the submission requirements
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
  VICTORIA SCHMIDT   Column: Editor’s Page   Website:   Victoria Schmidt came to Mexico with her husband, in 2007. 
    MOONYEEN PATRICIA KING   Column: Profiling Tepehua   Website:   Settled in Mexico 13 years ago.  The
  KEN MASSON   Column: Bridge by the Lake   Website:   Ken Masson has been playing, teaching and writing about bridge
  ALEJANDRO GRATTAN-DOMINGUEZ   Column: Editor’s Page   Website:   Wrote/directed first movie about Mexican-Americans, Only
 Find us on Facebook