Brigitte Berger


The setting is the Melody House Music store in Brooklyn, NY. The time is December, 1961. Frieda Miller is a bookkeeper who works on the same upper floor near the instrument repair room where the mechanics, Cliff and Eddie work, together with Franklin, a shipping clerk. When a customer, Annaliese Rothstein, a gifted pianist, brings in her son's clarinet for repair, she instantly recognizes Frieda by her perfume as the Nazi guard who took her for her own sexual pleasure in the camp where she and her sister were deported during the war. Overcome, Rothstein runs out, sickened. When she returns in Act Two to pick up the clarinet, she confronts Frieda with the past, but Frieda flatly denies all accusations. The commotion summons Murray Pearlman, the store's owner to the scene; he hears the damning evidence and demands to know the truth. Only then does Frieda confess her true identity, Brigitte Berger. The stunning revelation that she was posing as a Jew in Brooklyn since the end of the war causes Pearlman to fire her but the others are mixed in their reactions: Franklin quits because he feels he's been wasting his time and because Pearlman will never promote him to floor salesman. Eddie is too absorbed in his own thoughts of amorous conquest to care one way or the other, while Cliff, both angry and disgusted for being duped for so long by Frieda's duplicity refuses her Christmas present, as she walks out of the store impassive, and uncaring.
Format: Full-length drama
Cast Size: 4M/3F
Character breakdown

Frieda Miller
Annaliese Rothstein


Nationality of Author:
Original Language: English
Production Rights Holder:

Stanley Taikeff