Theater Review: 'Amadeus'

Why did this Amadeus not resonate inside, like Mozart's music?

Theater Review 88 (photo credit: )
Theater Review 88
(photo credit: )
Amadeus By Peter Shaffer Directed by Omri Nitzan Cameri Theater November 26 Ruth Dar's set and costumes are gorgeous, the choreography by Limor Rose is pleasing and well performed, Omri Nitzan is arguably one of the most exciting directors we have, the actors are experienced, disciplined and talented. So why did this Amadeus not resonate inside, like Mozart's music? Therein, perhaps, lies the problem - because it's the music that's the real hero of Shaffer's play, not Salieri (Itzhak Heskia) with his despairing envy that recognizes genius yet despises the man, not Mozart (Itay Tiran) with his childish antics and runaway tongue, but the music that poured from him as easily as a lark sings. Metaphors abound. There is the grand piano that is instrument, billiard table, bed and finally coffin. There is a plate of the sweetmeats Salieri dotes on, and behind which he hides as though his very mediocrity will prevent his disclosure. There are multiple doors, like those in a fairground funhouse. It's brilliant, it's glossy, it's too busy, too labored. It lacks the subtleties that must complement the music that is played. Salieri is not evil, not a monster. He's a decent man who has been struck by a thunderbolt that leaves him reeling. Heskia, a fine actor, seemed to be struggling with the role. Tiran's Mozart was mostly too self-conscious, too aware of being a rascal when that rascality should have cascaded from him, like his music. Among the rest, Ohad Shahar's Emperor Franz Josef was beautifully restrained and unaware. Hani Furstenberg shone as Constanza. As court functionaries Yuval Zamir, Ezra Dagan and Eran Samel provided nicely varied pomposities. There was one moment that touched. When Mozart lies dying, Constanza holds him in her arms, babbling, beseeching him to hold on, to stay with her. It was wonderful and true. Oh, that the whole production could have been the same.