Theater Review: Rochale’s Getting Married

The central premise of Savyon Librecht’s newest drama is that the past can so arrest time that a person loses sight of the present.

August 23, 2010 22:15
1 minute read.
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Theater. (photo credit: Nathan Brusovany)


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Rochale’s Getting Married
By Savyon Librecht
Directed by Tzippi Pines
Bet Lessin, August 17

The central premise of Savyon Librecht’s newest drama is that the past can so arrest time that a person loses sight of the present.

That’s Shloime’s (Sasson Gabai) trouble. He can’t let go. He clings desperately to Stashek (Avraham Selektar), his best friend since Auschwitz. Two years on, he still talks to and pours tea for his dead wife. The agonies in his own mind close it to the lives of his daughters, Leah (Maya Dagan), and Rochale (Keren Tzur). Leah is divorced with a young child. Rochale, close to 40, is still single. The sisters are at odds, with each other and with their father. Then, when a radiant Rochale brings home Arale (Micha Selektar), the man of her dreams and future husband, all hell breaks loose as the past drips its poison into the present.

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Librecht’s premise is very true, but the production never quite matches it despite the actors’ best efforts to make it so. As the stubborn, agonized Shloime, splendid actor Gabai must repress his intelligence. In this he cannot succeed, no matter how much he shouts and weeps. Tzur realizes the emotionally fragile Rochale as beautifully as she presents Anda, the heroine of another play, but – and this is a mistake – gives them both the same walk. Maya Dagan’s feisty Leah becomes clichéd at times. The Selektars, father and son, are the only actors to truly inhabit their characters.

In any play, the audience must suspend disbelief, but it needs help. Rochale’s Getting Married supposedly takes place 40 years after the end of WWII and in February. Even here open windows, short sleeves and sandals are not common in February and hand-size cell-phones appeared only in the 1990s. Small details, but important overall.

That said, Kinneret Kish’s admirable multi-purpose set ensure the smooth flow of events, and Yossi Ben-Ari’s costumes are wonderfully apt. Altogether the production’s flash and splash will assuredly contribute to a smash hit status. Is that all?

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