(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
Ugh! But let’s not leap to judgment. Let’s step back from an almost instinctive need to wash out our souls with soap after watching the stage version of Fatal Attraction. Let’s also posit that, although it may annoy both sexes, men and women will react very differently to this tale of toxic lust which differs only in its ending from the blockbuster 1987 film written by the same author.
When Dan Gallagher’s (Aki Avni) wife Kate (Ricki Blich) goes to the country for the weekend, he stays in the city to work. Later, taking a break, he goes for a drink with his pal, Jimmy (Uri Hochman). They go to a trendy new bar where Dan encounters sexy Alex Forrest (Osnat Fishman). When the cat’s away the mice will play. What Dan treats as a one-off becomes for Alex an obsession whose increasingly desperate manifestations, including the torching of Dan’s new car and the boiling of his kid’s pet bunny, inevitably ensure the main protagonists’ mutual destruction.
So does Moshe Kepten’s production work? Not really, although it does its best. Eran Atzmon’s impressive revolving set provides the play’s many locales, but why (given Kate’s natural warmth), is their Manhattan apartment so sterile, so lacking in personality? Oren Dar’s costumes lack staples like jeans, sneakers, T and flannel shirts, especially for the country scenes. And then there’s the acting.
Alright, both Dan and Alex are fairly repugnant, but for different reasons. Dan is a spoiled child, used to getting what he wants when he wants it, and who needs to grow up. Alex is used to rejection, so overcompensates, and with increasing pathology, in order to avoid it. Nonetheless we need for the actors to tap into their humanity, however frail or flawed.
Neither Avni nor Fishman manage to do this. Their characters remain on the surface so after a while, we turn them off.
Uri Hochman’s good-natured portrayal of newly-divorced and randy Jimmy rings true, and provides the little humor in the play.
Ricki Blich makes common sense of Kate, but there seems to be little chemistry between herself and Avni, so that they do not really relate as characters. Razia Israeli manages Kate’s mother with aplomb.
Like we said, it’s a valiant attempt, but this Fatal Attraction unhappily fails to attract.