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TO NOV. 25
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Published last year, Jan T. Gross’s explosive little book Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Polandwhich meticulously reconstructs how the Jewish half of a Polish town was massacred by the other half during two days in 1941showed how entangled the World War II experiences of Poland and its Jews could be. Patricia H. Lin’s play One of the Few, being given its world premiere by the Center Company of the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, uses the story of a righteous gentile to sketch the same entanglement more intimately. Renata (played by Elizabeth Pierotti), a key member of the Warsaw Ghetto’s resistance, has been brought for a night’s safekeeping to the apartment of Lech, a Polish resistance counterpart. Lech’s wife, Aniela (Corey Volovar), is a fresh-off-the-farm Catholic girl who offers Renata a sheet on the floor so she won’t sit on the furniture. XXJust as she is to move on,XX Renata’s new safe house falls through; the two women (pictured) are then thrown together when Lech leaves, learning how to survive and unlearning their assumed differences and superiorities. Lin’s overly expository script too quickly deals with the details, never really allowing them to catch fire. Despite this, Pierotti’s Renata is rivetingly defiant yet trembling with self-betrayal as she learns Catholic doctrine and gestures in order to pass. And when Aniela dances with her newborn (which we know Renata will end up raising), her innocent face is a heartbreaking echo of the montage of Holocaust victims on the set backdrops behind her. At 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday to Sunday, Nov. 25, at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax. $20-$22. (703) 323-7965. (Robert Lalasz)