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'Bent' at Mark Taper lets defiant love shine amid the Holocaust

'Bent' at Mark Taper lets defiant love shine amid the Holocaust

The Mark Taper Forum is dark and still during a tense scene in a preview performance of "Bent," Martin Sherman's 1979 play about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. In a Berlin aparment in the early 1930s, an arrest is underway. Suddenly, uniformed Nazis burst into the theater, coming down the aisles shining flashlights into the audience. Some audience members wince and shrink in their seats; others grab the arms of their partners. But a funny thing happens as the play unfolds. In a barren rock quarry of Dachau, rimmed with electriried wire fencing and under the hateful watch of guards, love blossoms. The friendship and romance that grows between two male prisoners, as...

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