Dror Teplitzky and Merav Feldman 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy of PR)
As the audience files in, secondhand book seller Daniel Steiglitz (Dror
Teplitzky) sits immobile at his desk listening to the overture from Mozart’s The
Magic Flute on the beat-up old radio in the store. Mozart’s lively opera is
everything that Daniel’s embittered life is not. His life and soul are
inert, for which the mouldering, clientless bookstore is a metaphor. Both life
and soul are turned topsyturvy when a pretty girl (Merav Feldman) comes into the
store looking for a rare book.
Rashly, Daniel promises to find it for
her. His search, punctuated by lacerating though imaginary encounters with The
Girl, takes Daniel into his scarred past, until an unexpected encounter with
reality forces him finally to confront himself.
ironic reading of Daniel prevents the play from sliding into a mush of clichés.
As Daniel’s manipulative mother, Shifra Milstein’s performance is earthy, and
equally strong. Her ‘50s-era housedress – costume credit is not given – is in
itself a deft comment. Merav Feldman’s Girl flounders here and there, but she
mostly holds her own. Amir Yerushalmi, Rafi Kalmar and Eran Ben-Zvi carry
off their minor roles with aplomb.
The real problem with Used is
over-direction. Admirable director Denise Shama has read into the script
profundities that are simply not there.