DeVito’s Daughter Is Anne Frank



My Seattle-based friend Starla Smith went to the opening the other evening of “The Diary of Anne Frank” at the Intiman Theater in that Puget Sound city. Here’s Starla’s report: “Lucy DeVito (pictured) certainly proved her acting DNA in the title role. Her famous parents, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, attended opening night, beaming pride and support for their daughter’s superb performance. Intiman opted to use the original 1955 script dramatized by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, rather than Wendy Kesselman’s controversial adaptation, which was the choice of the 1997 Broadway revival starring Natalie Portman.


“Having seen Portman’s ethereal, waif-like turn, I have to say DeVito’s shining portrayal was far more realistic. She was both engaging and believable as 13-year-old Anne. Since most people are familiar with this harrowing World War II fate of the Jewish girl from Amsterdam, actors are challenged to hold the audience’s attention. DeVito gives us the reason to do so, and she is supported by an able cast. Unfolding on a gray attic landscape, her exuberance and naturalness are a joy to behold. The poignant diary comes alive as DeVito captures Anne’s lively mischief and innate generosity, as well as her teenage frustrations, soulful longings, and enduring belief in the human spirit.



“Although DeVito possesses wonderful comic timing, she also handles Anne’s subsequent emotional maturity, budding sexuality, and reflections on humanity with sensitivity and depth. Directed by Sari Ketter, Intiman’s production avoids the sentimental pitfalls, conveying the chilling reality of the courage, desperation, and fading hope of the eight people secretly sequestered in that tiny attic. Sixty-plus years have passed since Anne penned “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart,” but those words still resonate when spoken by DeVito. Perhaps even more tragically, so does her observation, “The world may be going through a phase.”

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