Chicken soup with barley311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
What’s in a name? Plenty. Especially when Vincent (Lior Ashkenazi) suggests that he’ll call his unborn son Adolf. Adolf!? The very idea makes his brother in law and best friend Pierre (Dov Navon) apoplectic, and the evening begins to fly apart right there as skeletons tumble from closets, long repressed resentments erupt and cherished misconceptions are exploded.
The giggles, titters and guffaws as increasing mirth engulfs the audience bear witness that Le Prénom is that rare and lovely thing, a genuine and intelligent comedy. Add to that Dori Parnes’ apt translation, Moshe Kepten’s uncanny gift for striking the right directorial note for any given production, and a pitch-perfect performance by its accomplished cast.
The evening belongs to Ashkenazi as Vincent, an incorrigible prankster.
Ashkenazi’s timing, mannerisms, delivery, body language, and expressions
simply delight. But Navon is right on his heels.
His spluttering, ineffectual Pierre is Vincent’s precise foil. Yael
Leventhal, the perfect straight-woman, plays Pierre's wife/Vincent’s
sister Elizabeth, whom she hilariously invests with an air of perpetual
martyrdom. Mordi Gershon’s effeminate Claude – the family’s oldest and
best friend – is as airily evoked as a soufflé, and Michal Levi is
deftly effective as Vincent’s partner, Anna. What fun it is.