The Arty Semite

Holocaust Museum Architects Also Have Affairs

By Curt Schleier

In Oren Safdie’s “False Solution,” Anton Seligman (Sean Haberle), a successful architect, and Linda Johansson (Christy McIntosh), an intern in his office, argue the merits of Seligman’s latest design.

Carol Rosegg

The play is a single-set two hander — an older man defending his work from a young upstart. In the wrong hands, this could have ended up less of a theatrical experience than a debate.

But the talented playwright manages to lift the proceedings far above its limitations. Safdie has written two other plays about the profession, “Private Jokes and Public Places” and “The Bilbao Effect.”

That’s not surprising, since he studied architecture and was raised in an architectural milieu. His father, Moshe, designed the museum at Yad Vashem. (That work and David Libeskind’s design for the Jewish Museum Berlin are both referenced in “False Solution.”)

The play is set in the early 1990s and the plan the two actors discuss is a Holocaust museum commissioned for Poland. Linda is a first-year architectural student at Columbia who is very aware of how beautiful she is. In the play’s opening monologue she says how easy it is to control men:

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