Theater Review: Make My Heart Flutter

Hanoch Levin's finest plays are at once merciless and compassionate.

hanoch levin 88 (photo credit:)
hanoch levin 88
(photo credit: )
Make My Heart Flutter By Hanoch Levin Directed by Udi Ben Moshe Cameri Theater January 10 Hanoch Levin's (1943-99) finest plays are at once merciless and compassionate. From the political satires of his youth to the visceral poetry of dramas such as The Child Dreams or Requiem in his last years, Levin shows us to ourselves. Make My Heart Flutter (Hartiti et Libi, in Hebrew), a comedy he never staged, is a wry meditation on the consistent illogic of love. Seasons pass, but Judge Lamka (Rami Baruch) keeps vigil beneath Lalala's (Meirav Gruber) window. His best friend Pshoniak (Gadi Yagil) tries to open his eyes to the truth about the wayward Lalala, only to be suspected of a dalliance with her. Pshoniak has his own cross to bear, the slatternly KachaKacha (Gitta Munte). In the end, illusion is the chief casualty. This is not a great play, but it is one great production. Lily Ben Nachshon's minimalist set impels the imagination. Ofra Confino's retro-70s costumes counterpoint the characters. Keren Peles's music makes an effective comment on the action. Above all, Heart is an actors' play that demands and gets virtuoso performances. As Lamka, Baruch is a brilliant comet that fills the stage. Yagil's doormat Pshoniak never loses his fragile dignity. Gruber invests Lalala with a desperate and touching optimism and Munte's forlorn KachaKacha (So-So) is the essence of lost dreams. As Lalala's bizarre collection of lovers and hangers-on, Assaf Pariente, Roby Moscovitz and Ziv Klayer add pizzazz. That none of the work is visible only shows what a good job director Udi Ben Moshe has done.