New Plays: The Education of H*y*m*a*n K*a*p*l*a*n

Nostalgia is recollection in tranquillity, and it tends to tell the past the way it wasn't. The friendly Cossacks of Fiddler on the Roof are light-years away from the cavalrymen who conducted the ruthless pogroms of turn-of-the-century Russia. Nor were the flocks of immigrants, herded through Ellis Island, the ebullient innocents who people The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N. Both shows lean heavily on their Jewish orientation, but where Fiddler is a folk musical of size and substance, Kaplan is a minimusical of sweetness.

The title character, Hyman Kaplan (Tom Bosley),...

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