Anne Frank recap

Ethan Benson, as Peter van Daan, Sydney Bell as Anne Frank and Analyse Capodiferro as Margot Frank are all part of an all-star cast of the "Diary of Anne Frank.

Audiences at the DeSoto Family Theatre production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" have been treated to a harrowing, even heart-wrenching performance by a stellar cast under the able direction of Lindsey Roberts.

This weekend, "The Diary of Anne Frank" wraps up its run of the acclaimed Broadway production of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, a German Jewish teenager who perished along with 1.5 million children and a total of six million Jews, gypsies and others. The Frank family were German emigres to Holland after Hitler rose to power.

Audiences had an opportunity to watch a video about a planned memorial to children of the Holocaust at the Circle G Ranch in Horn Lake, once owned by Elvis Presley.

The maternal line of Elvis' mother Gladys was Jewish. The singer often wore a Star of David around his neck and embraced both his Christian and Jewish roots.

The video produced for the "Unknown Child Foundation" was shot by local videographer Robb Rokk.

Diane McNeil is the organizer of the "Unknown Child Foundation" at the Circle G Ranch, now under new ownership and development. The Unknown Child Memorial, which would be located there, is in the early planning stages.

"We had talked with Dan Lehman while back," McNeil said of DeSoto Family Theatre's veteran actor and board member.

Lehman plays an S.S. officer in "Diary of Anne Frank" in a blood-chilling portrayal. Lehman's character is the personification of pure evil — sadistically snarling and sinister as the harbinger of death for Anne and her family.

"He asked us to tell the story of what we were doing," McNeil said. "He was enthralled. Our relationship ever since has been building. We are really understanding each other. It's incredible."

Sydney Bell as Anne Frank is able to channel childlike enthusiasm and innocence all the while conveying the darker, profoundly unsettling realization that evil is an ever-constant undercurrent of the human condition.

In this production, Bell gives voice to the millions who died in the Holocaust.

Roberts' unsparing and unflinching glimpse into the chamber of horrors that was the Holocaust is worthy and inspiring.

It's a must-see for DeSoto Family Theatre audiences.

The Diary of Anne Frank runs today, tonight and Sunday, with performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. today, with a final show at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $15-$30. For more information contact the Landers Center Box Office at 662-470-2131 or Ticketmaster. Information on DFT is available by calling 662-280-6546 or visit

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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