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"A Majority of One"

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A Majority of One (1959), at the Jewish Repertory Theatre, is a revival of the sole stage success of the screenwriter Leonard Spigelgass. It is the far-fetched but amiable story of a widowed Brooklyn housewife who lost a son to the Japanese, and a widowed Japanese businessman who lost a daughter to the Americans. They start a shipboard friendship that effaces their bitterness and seems to promise even more. It is mildly amusing, especially in its droll parallels between Zen Buddhism and Judaism, as well as in caricaturing the prejudices the pair must overcome.

Phyllis Newman gives an at first overrestrained performance that warms to the task; Randall Duk Kim is fine as Koichi, even when he forgets to turn his l's into r's. The rest are uneven, but Richard Sabellico's staging pulls it all together.


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