On March 15 it finally happened. The Habimah National Theater started its major renovation. The theater is moving, lock, stock and barrel, but the shows will go on at theaters all over Tel Aviv: at Beit Hahayal, Tzavta, Arison Hall and the Eretz Israel Museum.
Next season Habimah offers a fine mix of local, contemporary and classic theater. This includes playwright Helen Edmondson's acclaimed stage adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina; Love in Dark Times, a new play by Yehoshua Sobol on the charged meeting between the daughter of a German officer and his Jewish lover whom he saved in World War II; A.B. Yehoshua's Israeli classic, A Night in May; Euripedes' Hecuba, and to make us laugh a bit, Andrew Bergman's Social Security in which love transforms an old woman from a witch to a wonder. Now if only Habimah could start something on time, just once.
Once a year, meanwhile, Habimah honors its own. This year, Adir Miller and Ya'akov Hacohen won the Hadassah and Rafael Klatchkin Prize, worth NIS 7500 each. Miller, who plays the Director in the musical The Troupe, was named Best Actor, and Hacohen, Habimah's spokesperson since 1995, was named Best Employee. Playwright/director Ravid Davara won the Shimon Finkel Prize for her play Crumbs. Veteran Habimah actor Dov Reiser won the Aharon Meskin Best Actor Prize for his work in the same play and in Someone to Watch Over Me. He also got an ovation from the audience, as did comedian/director Mony Moshonov and actor Alex Peleg. Moshonov won a special award from the Friends of Habimah for his "remarkable and ongoing contribution to theater."
Peleg has played countless roles in his more than 40 years on the stage, most of them at Habimah where he's currently in Antigone. He received a Life Achievement Award from Theater North.