By Martin Sherman
Zeitgeist Stage Company - Boston Center for the Arts - Boston, MA. Sept 19-Oct11th, 2014
"But the production also lifts the heart with its depiction of the love that takes root between Max and Horst, in the stoniest imaginable soil.As Horst, Reeves is a poignant portrait in vulnerability, decency, and resiliency,.."
"A standout in the cast is Brooks Reeves, who plays Horst, a gay man that Max encounters on the train to the concentration camps. When called upon in other productions, Reeves is the most frantic and high-energy actor I’ve seen on the Boston stage, to great effect. In this play, he bottles that energy inside, and can convey so much more emotion with a look then Shopov can with pacing. The effect of watching Reeves work in this production is similar to watching Robin Williams play it straight in his best roles."
"Miller's pacing of the scenes in the yard conveys the repetitive tedium that Shopov and Reeves must be feeling even as they are acting their roles, and it always seems that trouble hangs over them... As part of the story, it is a testament to the human spirit; as part of the performances, it is an incredible achievement to portray the little nuggets of happiness buried under the immense burdens they bear. Shopov and Reeves do the heavy lifting that make this play a must see"
Bent is a 1979 play which revolves around the persecution of gays in Nazi Germany, and takes place during and after the Night of the Long Knives when Hitler purged the SS of suspected homosexuals.
The title of the play refers to the slang word "bent" used in some European countries to refer to homosexuals. When the play was first performed, there was only a trickle of historical research or even awareness about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. In some regards, the play helped increase that historical research and education in the subsequent decades.