A SCENE from ‘Celebrities.’ .
(photo credit: YOSSI TZEVKER)
Celebrities gives a whole new meaning to an actor’s heartfelt “I’d kill to get that part,” and we are forced to sit through close to half this week-long 80-minute travesty before we get there.
Has-been actor Hezi Zohar (Shlomo Vishinski) wants a part, any part. When he learns that his best friend Haim (Yossi Kantz) has been cast as Gloucester in a production of King Lear, he agonizes.
Enter former Hezi fan and stage-struck vermin exterminator (Alchai Levitt) who offers to off Haim so Hezi can get the role. Enter also the daughter (Dana Vishinsky) who wants to cart off her dad to Yavne, a fate that Hezi is resisting.
How do I fault thee? Let me count the ways.
First, the script is rambling, repetitive and requires some serious tightening.
There’s a meaningless set by Bambi Friedman – who also did lights and costumes – that looks like a particularly bare 1950s kibbutz guest room. Hezi was on stage for 40 years. Where are the mementos, the posters, the knickknacks? There are also some purely sloppy bits that have to do with whiskey and the glasses it’s served in.
Dana Vishinski has a beautiful voice and puts over a song well, but the three songs she sings, though a comment on the situation, seem more designed to showcase her ability.
The acting is professional. The directing is not.
It’s painfully and glaringly obvious that the budget for this show was minuscule and that supervision of it was minimal. This Celebrities is thus a metaphor for the show’s underlying theme – that theater’s trashcans are often filled with old actors.