"One day we won’t need so many words to be Jews,” says one of the three
high-octane actors in the very political We’re Building a Port Here
, the idea
being perhaps that we won’t need to apologize, boast, make excuses for or
otherwise explain who and what we are. Unless, of course, we manage to destroy
Yonatan Kunda, Neta and Raz Weiner use spoken word to
create a text that is an effervescent, often hilarious riff on language, just as
their costumes by Michal Kapluto are equally an exuberant riff on shtetl
Nothing escapes. From excessive name-dropping to
security-with-a-capital S, authors Anna Cohen-Yanai, Kunda and Neta Weiner
expertly flay our every fear, pretension and sacred cow. It’s a bit overlong, a
preachy moment here and there, but oh boy, is it fun.
presence of a sterling cast giving it their all, David Kigler in the title role,
Florence Bloch as his adoring secretary, Rachel Dobson as the archetypal Jewish
Mother, Dina Bley as the doctor, Yossi Toledo as brother John and Albert Cohen
totally wasted as a clownish messenger from the Next World, David Kigler: His
Life and Death, written and directed by Oded Lifschitz, is a banal and
predictable play within a play about emotional identity.
frustrated and unhappy insurance salesman, is called to the deathbed of his
younger, but always more successful brother John. Things go awry, though,
because John not only recovers but takes his brother’s girl. A rather long 75
Poisoned Hyssop (Haralat Za’atar in Hebrew) by Ala Halihal
combines traditional and allegorical Arab puppet theater with the Western
Za’atar seller Yussuf (Misreh Masri) contends his product is
one of those miracle herbs that does everything from curing stomach upsets to
Always amiable, some might say fawning, he creates
little shows to that effect for his Jewish customers with the aid of his puppet,
Sesame (Henry Andreus). But not tonight.
Sesame forces Yussuf to
acknowledge the true misery of his condition, and it kills him. The show tells
rather than shows, and Masri overdoes it a bit.
As Sesame, Andreus is as
polished as Fred Astaire (and dances a bit like him too).
Hasfari uses symbols and allusions to get something of the same point across,
new playwright Daniel Zehavi utters a scream of pure anguish, and his Dawns
suffers thereby. It shrieks that not only has Israel betrayed every single
principle that buttressed its founding, but has become a vicious and brutal
Dawns means “1,000 sunrises,” and at each sunrise another enemy
is executed at this isolated killing ground where each soldier must remain for a
1,000 days before he is relieved.
Except that this time there’s a new
medic whose humanity is still pretty intact, who unconsciously violates the
“norms,” which, as they’re revealed, move from surrealistic to a mind-numbing
Daniel Shapira produces a stunningly sensitive portrayal of a
desensitized automaton for whom a final killing is just too much, complemented
by Yinon Shazo as the condemned, Elad Rotem as the medic and Shahar Zakai as the
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