Pinocchio lies, actor Tal Moseri makes enthusiastically clear, but he does not.
“It’s said that if an actor accepts a role, it’s because something in him
identifies with the character. I don’t lie, but what I do identify with is that
Pinocchio is the first to say that to be different is great, that he’s for the
right of everybody to be different.”
We’re talking over the phone on a
break between rehearsals for Shrek: The Musical and his day job as the host with
the most on the kids’ TV channel.
Museri plays the
who wants to be a real boy, and whose nose grows every time he tells a
it does. Right onstage,” Moseri says delightedly. “They brought the
does it from New York.”
, the prize-winning
musical version of the
2001 Dreamworks movie, closed January this year after more than 5,000
The Hebrew language version opens at the Mann
Auditorium August 9 with Dvir Bendek in the title role of the ogre with a
of gold, and Moseri as leader of all the fairy tale people who rebel
little Farquaad banishes them from Duloc.
It’s a musical, so Pinocchio
sings of course, but it’s a high countertenor, “higher than I’ve ever
Moseri laughs. “I’m working very hard, in rehearsals, with a coach, and
what, I’m surprising even myself.”
He saw the show in New York – and
loved it. “What’s so neat about Shrek
he says, “is that there are jokes that
only the kids will understand and jokes that only the grownups will get.
musical that doesn’t take itself seriously, even parodies the genre a
an opportunity to sit back, rejoice in childhood for a bit.”
didn’t audition for the role. As probably the most visible and certainly
according to a recent poll – the most popular host on the children’s
the producers came to him. That has more or less been the pattern.
AND raised in Tel Aviv, Moseri graduated from the Thelma Yellin
high school in theater and spent his three years in the army as a member
Education Corps troupe. His director there was one Shmuel Hasfari, who
as Shlomi in the production of his Shiva
that he directed for Bet
“Shmulik gave me the script about two months before my release. I
said ‘you haven’t auditioned me.’ ‘I’ve been auditioning you for three
he said.” and so Moseri went from the IDF to Bet Lessin where he won the
Theater Prize’s Most Promising Actor award in 1997 for his role in the
Six months into Shiva, the Children’s Channel grabbed him and
he’s been there ever since.
“I hadn’t thought much about TV, and
certainly not about kids,” he says, “but once I was there I fell in love
the camera, the whole studio atmosphere and the children. So I
Moseri’s first TV show, which he’s still hosting, was and is
, in which third- to
sixthgraders from schools all over the country
compete to fulfill various missions. The entire winning class gets to
– with Moseri, of course.
The most recent program Moseri participates in
started just after Pessah this year, runs live, and is called The Real
Then there have been the live shows, like the Festigal, or The
Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
, and Moseri also has his own
show that he tours around the country with, when he has time.
be much of that available in the next two months, as he shuttles between
and the studio. He’ll make time though, for his son, now two and a half,
wife Noam, and his kid brother, Ido, who’s followed him successfully
There’s also his blog on the Children’s Channel website. The
children write to him, and, he says, “I do my best to answer them
Yes. I do have somebody [who answers for me], but the kids know at once
me or somebody else writing.
They’re important to me, so I really try to
listen to them, to respond because that way I can know what’s important,
makes them happy.“Children have become my world,” he sums up, “and I’ve
to go deep into theirs. Shrek
is part of that. I want to see them in the
audience laughing, and having a good time.”