The Beit Hillel Theater Workshop
Of all the musicals which have enjoyed extended runs in London's West End, Willy Russell's Blood Brothers is one of the most popular and celebrated, having won numerous awards in its more than 20-year run.
So it was with great anticipation that audiences gathered at the Beit Hillel theater at Hebrew University last week to see a cast of mostly American students perform this now-classic tale of class divide.
On the whole, the young actors did not disappoint. Despite working on what was clearly a limited budget and having only two months to put together the show, it was a captivating two hours.
Of all the performers, Emily Kraus shone like an up-and-coming star in her role as Mrs. Johnstone, the central character who chooses to allow her rich employer to secretly adopt Edward, one of her twin sons. Mrs. Johnstone already has seven children when she gets pregnant with Edward and Mickey and realizes she can not afford to look after the pair of them.
The play tells the story of the two children growing up as friends, inhabiting different worlds, and not knowing they are really brothers.
Kraus lit up the stage with her stunning solo songs while Annie Roos, as her employer Jennifer Lyons, was also impressive in her acting and singing.
Another standout performance came from Sam Rose Carmack, who played the male narrator with style and intrigue, dressed in a sexy black suit and open shirt.
If there was one criticism it was that the majority of the cast were unable to truly master an English accent, let alone a Liverpudlian dialect. But despite this small let-down, the show, directed here by Michael Berl, was highly entertaining and enjoyable.
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