Theater Review: Mimuna

Bet Lessin, August 28.

Mimuna 311 (photo credit: Daniel Kaminski)
Mimuna 311
(photo credit: Daniel Kaminski)
Ori Vidislavski’s music for Mimuna haunts. It’s wonderful.
The review could end right there, but that would be neither kind nor constructive.
The problem starts with those who entrusted to an inexperienced director the stage production of a problematic play. Unfortunately Kfir Azoulay has chosen a bulldozer approach that requires the actors to portray stereotypes, and play them predictably.
The drama itself offers a soap opera plot with a deus ex machina ending. Mimuna is the traditional North African Jewish festival that celebrates the end of Passover, and during the day-long preparation for it, skeletons galore tumble from the Dahan family closet.
They include the threatened foreclosure on Maxim Dahan’s (Mati Seri) house, sexual revelations of all kinds, physical and emotional violence. The threat to expose/conceal these is Mimuna’s engine.
On Eran Atzmon’s too-monochromatic set, the cast tries hard bring Mimuna to life, but mostly it just overacts.
Seri’s traditionally patriarchal Maxim is more cartoon than character. This applies also to Dror Dahan’s Dor and Hadas Moreno’s Alma, Maxim’s rebellious, very 21st-century children. Gali Ben Giat does her best with Mor, Dor’s fiancée. Only Sara von Schwartze as Maxim’s too-long submissive wife Miriam and Liz Rabian as independent-minded eldest daughter Hofit manage to create real people.
The ghost of Maxim’s father, Emanuel Hanun, provides poetry and he’s the one singing that marvelous music.