Theater Review: Blood Brothers

"Blood Brothers" is the stuff of Greek tragedy, a story whose bleak ending is foretold by its beginning.

By HELEN KAYE
December 18, 2011 21:35
1 minute read.
Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers 311. (photo credit: Courtesy of Daniel Kaminski)

 
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It’s fitting that Hollywood goddess Marilyn Monroe is invoked throughout, for Blood Brothers is the stuff of Greek tragedy, a story whose bleak ending is foretold by its beginning.

Poverty forces Mrs. Johnstone (Maya Dagan) to relinquish one of her newborn twin boys to the wealthy but childless Mrs. Lyons (Hila Zitoun).

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Mickey Johnstone (Nadav Nates) and Eddy Lyons (Ido Rosenberg), ignorant of their relationship, meet in childhood, swearing eternal friendship. Time and circumstance betray them both.

The twins die as they were born, on the same day.

This Blood Brothers is technically superb. Eran Atzmon’s set moves effortlessly from urban grit to pastoral tranquility, from interior to exterior. Uri Morag’s lighting contributes more visual weight and Moni Medanik’s costumes complement both.

And therein lies the nub of the problem.

Technical excellence is all there is.

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Soul is lacking. Instead of just telling the story, instead of letting its latent power emerge, instead of trusting the audience to “get it,” Gilad Kimchi chose to exchange depth for surface, passion for gloss.

Without an inherent toughness and dignity to drive them, these characters will not work. Maya Dagan charms as Mrs. Johnstone, but charm is not enough. It’s only toward the end, when Mickey feels he has lost everything, that Nadav Nates inhabits the character.

Ido Rosenberg manages better as Eddy, and Hila Zitoun has grabbed Mrs. Lyons most of the time.

Fortunately there’s also the hair-raising, spine-chilling, goose bump-inducing Doron Tavory as the Narrator. His every appearance gives this Blood Brothers the heft and integrity it requires.

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