A tightly constructed, interwoven story of four Jewish women, Devorah, an ex-Yiddish torch singer and a refugee from the Polish pogroms, and her three granddaughters: Brenda, a stand-up comic; Abby, a passionately committed union organizer; and Tess, a teacher of Greek mythology, and, ultimately, bearer of the legacy of her grandmother's stories. The play opens as the three women meet at their grandmother's home to celebrate her fourth marriage. As the play progresses, the grandmother becomes increasingly haunted by distant memories - of passion, betrayal, and the tragic fate of her prophetic sister-in-law, Rivka. Abby becomes embroiled in a struggle to bring to light the atrocities against political activists in Guatemala. Brenda, driven by a tough ambition which is rarely informed by ethics, finally gets her big break. Between these two cousins, both of whom she loves, Tess walks an uneasy path, hovering between desire to do the right thing and the pull of pleasures closer at hand. Her need to choose between them is complicated by a passionate affair she begins with Luke, a sexy, working-class man she picks up on a rainy night. Married, uneducated, unconscious of his roots, Luke has hidden depths of feeling, and, ultimately, an expectedly powerful love of truth. Invoking Euripides' Trojan Woman as a mirror for lives disrupted by desire and catastrophe, the play begins in a comic vein, and gathers tragic force, as Devorah's history seeps into the lives of her granddaughters.
Set in Brooklyn in the 1980s, the play concerns itself with personal and political dilemmas as they are lived by four strong-willed Jewish women. "THE YIDDISH TROJAN WOMEN has craft, it has passion and it asks real questions about how we live: what we believe in, what we yearn for, what we'd kill or die for; what principles we want to live by…The play's power is that it makes us live through every one of these choices intensely and intimately…" —NY Times." Carole Braverman's excellent and happily complex play, THE YIDDISH TROJAN WOMEN…has passion, it has wit, and it deals with both people and issues…The play has a life of its own so that it grows rather than unfolds." —NY Post. "Braverman is a moral dramatists who earns the right to every judgment she makes through piercing ironies, eloquent command of differing speech idioms and detailed character examination…" —London Independent.