Ron Orbach

Tragic 'Twenty-Seventh Man' brings power of the pen to bear

Tragic 'Twenty-Seventh Man' brings power of the pen to bear

Nathan Englander's short story, "The Twenty-Seventh Man," from his debut collection, "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges," is so impeccably pulled off, so beautifully composed in the spirit of the great Yiddish writers it depicts that the notion of adapting it to the stage seemed a foolhardy gamble.

Why theatricalize a work that achieves its excellence through the short story virtues of modesty, compression and understatement? Barry Edelstein's stunning production of Englander's dramatization of "The Twenty-Seventh Man" at the Old Globe answers this question with poignant intelligence and grace.

Seeing the play, which Edelstein directed at the...