William Stevenson
February 13, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

Wendy Kesselman’s reworking of the 1955 play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, based on the young Jewish girl’s own tale of hiding form Nazis, is powerfully cathartic. Natalie Portman makes a vibrant Anne, and the other leads — George Hearn and Lori Wilner as her parents and Harris Yulin and Linda Lavin as the Van Daans — are equally fine, aided by James Lapine’s direction. Even though you know it’s coming, the end of The Diary of Anne Frank is devastating. A

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