At the beginning of Jesse Eisenberg's The Revisionist, Maria (Vanessa Redgrave) slouches in her shabby apartment in Szczecin, Poland, waiting the arrival of her distant American cousin David (Eisenberg). But once Maria wakes up, she exudes an exuberance and gentle kindness. The play, written for Redgrave, shows off her spot-on talent for locating the emotional heart of her character through voice (in this case in both Polish or English). Maria is thrilled to host David, a budding novelist who has fled New York to finish his latest book. Redgrave's face glows with curiosity as she tries to bridge the generational gap, gushing over the reticent young man, even as he deflects her attention—dashing Maria’s hopes for a weekend of family bonding. Redgrave is not just in adorable Jewish grandmother mode here; her character is haunted by a childhood in fear of the the Nazis. When David finally shows interest in hearing her life story, Maria’s recounting of her youth is incredibly heartwrenching. Redgrave's performance in The Revisionist leaves theatergoers with a fuller understanding of why she is acting royalty. Catch her at the Cherry Lane Theatre through April 21.