Play that debates whether Nazis made soap out of Jews returns for a short national tour


(JTA) — “The Soap Myth,” a play about the widely-held belief that the Nazis made soap using the body fat of Jewish corpses, debuted a decade ago Off-Off-Broadway. It’s coming back for a short run during a time of rising anti-Semitism across the globe.

The four-character show stars Ed Asner as Milton Salzman, a crotchety Holocaust survivor, Tovah Feldshuh (in the first four cities) as Holocaust scholar Esther Feinman and Dee Pelletier (who appeared in the 2012 National Jewish Theater production) as Holocaust denier Benda Goodsen. Liba Vaynberg plays a young Jewish journalist who befriends Milton and Ned Eisenberg, known for a recurring role on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” portrays several characters, including a Catskills comic.

There will be 12 performances all told, beginning April 15 at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa and ending May 7 at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.

During this run, the show will be performed in concert style: there is no set, and the actors sit in place and have scripts in front of them. But the format does little reduce the poignancy of the play or the rage it is likely to engender.

Milton knows that the soap rumors are fact. Feinman contends there is not sufficient proof to say so unequivocally, and that to make a mistake fuels deniers. Their debate is at the play’s center.

The full tour schedule is available here.

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