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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage Review

Getting metaphysical with ‘Madoff’ at New Rep

WATERTOWN — Even in an era of breathtaking Wall Street venality, Bernard Madoff managed to make himself a byword for financial fraud. It’s an achievement of sorts.

In “Imagining Madoff,’’ now receiving its New England premiere at New Repertory Theatre under the deft direction of Elaine Vaan Hogue, playwright Deborah Margolin takes a speculative leap into the inner life of the notorious Ponzi schemer. The result is a bracingly smart and engrossing drama of ideas — albeit one with some draggy stretches — whose intellectual and metaphysical gymnastics are a perfect match for the restless energy of Jeremiah Kissel, who plays the title role.

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