Playwright Martin Sherman (Bent) and actor Naomi Newman combine forces to tell the tale of Rose, born in an obscure shtetl near Chernobyl. The solo piece opens in Miami Beach in 2000, where 80-year-old Rose reflects on her spectacularly checkered past. Though a fictional character, she's endowed with an almost documentary reality and a life story that embraces many of the 20th century's major events. After losing her family in the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, Rose endures two years hiding from the Nazis in the sewers of Warsaw. Her subsequent travails include internment in Displaced Persons camps, being a passenger on the beleaguered ship Exodus as it attempts to reach Palestine, and finally marrying an American before becoming the manager of hotels in racially volatile Atlantic City and Miami Beach. She outlives three husbands, a daughter, and a young lover, and bears a son, who immigrates to Israel. All this is told by Rose as she sits Shiva for a young Palestinian girl, shot by her Israeli grandson in the embattled West Bank — mirroring the fate of her daughter in Warsaw years before. The piece is intimate and epic, compassionate and tough, tragic and funny. Newman plays it with magnificent eloquence, passion and restraint.

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: July 5. Continues through Aug. 24, 2008

LA Weekly