A story in this morning’s Times about a play that explores the relationship between Bernie Madoff and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel comes with a bizarre second-act twist: Wiesel sounds like kind of a jerk.
The 81-year-old author, Holocaust survivor and Madoff victim was so opposed to the play, Imagining Madoff, that he delayed its production by two months so its Obie-winning author Deborah Margolin could do a rewrite. The play will now debut in Hudson N.Y., rather than Washington D.C.
Ms. Margolin said she had initially hoped that Mr. Wiesel would find the play compelling and thoughtful. But after she sent him a copy, Mr. Wiesel replied with a letter in April, saying he found the play to be “obscene” and “defamatory,” and in which he threatened to enlist his lawyers to stop its production. According to Ms. Margolin and her lawyer, Mr. Wiesel and his foundation’s representatives never specified what they considered obscene or defamatory.
Ms. Margolin is described as looking “exhausted from the battle,” the “battle” consisting of an effort not to offend someone she geniuinely admires. She has replaced “Wiesel” with the character of Solomon Galkin, described in the script as “80 years old, Holocaust survivor, poet, translator, treasurer of his synagogue.”