Throughline Theatre Staging ‘Judgement at Nuremberg’; ‘Spring Awakening’ Happening at Split Stage Co. (Thurs., 6/16/16)

Judges on trial: Oswald Rothaug, a high-ranking jurist in Nazi Germany, was one of the models for key characters in "Judgment at Nuremberg."

Oswald Rothaug, a high-ranking jurist in Nazi Germany, was one of the models for key characters in “Judgment at Nuremberg.”

1) A classic courtroom drama comes to the stage with Judgment at Nuremberg. Based on the Nazi war crimes trials held by the Allies after World War II, the play is a fictionalized re-telling of a little-known part: One court tried charges against German judges and prosecutors. These were men who, starting in the 1930s, had enforced the Nazi regime’s racial laws. Often they had sent German Jews to prison or death on the flimsiest grounds, and they helped set the tone for the mass atrocities that followed. When they were brought to trial themselves, at Nuremberg, their cases raised thorny issues—including arguments that the Allies were being hypocritical, since their countries didn’t have clean hands in the treatment of racial and ethnic groups, either. Screenwriter Abby Mann (who grew up in East Pittsburgh) wrote Judgment at Nuremberg as a 1961 movie, then adapted it for the stage. Throughline Theatre, which presents spring-to-fall seasons of plays themed around particular subjects, has chosen Judgment as its 2016 opener. Fittingly for an election year, this season’s theme is “Can You Trust the Government?” 8 p.m. Performances through Saturday. At the Grey Box Theatre, 3595 Butler St., Lawrenceville. (MV)

 

2) During the 1890s, while Sigmund Freud was investigating the psychic roots of sexuality (or was it the sexual roots of the psyche?), a German playwright named Frank Wedekind couldn’t find a company willing to produce his play. Spring Awakening was about young teenagers and sex. The subject matter included masturbation, abortion, incest, rape, and teen suicide. Wedekind had written the play to criticize repressive social attitudes, by showing the problems young folks can get into when they don’t learn to deal with sex openly and sensibly, but nobody would touch it. For more than a century, Spring Awakening was rarely produced anywhere. Then two Americans, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, had the bright idea to turn it into a rock musical. Their Spring Awakening won eight Tony Awards (including Best Musical) in 2007 and has become a global hit. The musical, like the original, is set in 1890s Germany and follows Wedekind’s plot closely, amping it up with songs like “The Bitch of Living” and “Totally Fucked.” 8 p.m. Continues through June 18. Split Stage Productions of Westmoreland Country presents the musical Spring Awakening in collaboration with Trafford’s Theatre Factory. 235 Cavitt Ave., Trafford. (MV)

3) Mario’s East Side hosts Team Trivia Night every Thursday. Win, place, or show and your team will earn Mario’s gift certificates. Play against the Miller Lite Girls, and you could even win Miller Lite trinkets and giveaways! Feed your brain some chewy trivia and your stomach some delicious Mario’s food. 8 p.m. 5442 Walnut St., Shadyside.