Theater Review: Between Night and Dawn

Adapted by Gur Koren Directed by Slava Maltsev Gesher Theater, April 14

Theater 370 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Theater 370
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Between Night and Dawn is a coming of age story set in 1954, a time when Israel was still young, still idealistic, still (more or less) untainted and innocent. It is, inevitably, about the gradually realized loss of innocence that makes, equally inevitably, a bitter comment on Israel today, in which innocence is a derided memory.
The youngsters are typical.
There’s the beauty Rachel (Karin Seruya), her studly boyfriend Eli (Michael Gamaliel), the industrious organizer Naomi ( Ruth Rassiuk), the cynical brain Arik (Hen Nocher), Pesach (Daniel Tchernish), he’s the surly troubled outsider with the sensitive heart, and so forth. There’s also Igal, the gung-ho, kippa-wearing camp counselor (Gur Koren).
The story follows the group on the playground, in class and at summer camp as their relationships shift, as adulthood looms.
However, apart from three good-looking young guys taking a shower in the buff onstage, nothing really happens except that the actors spend quite a bit of time moving Michael Karamenko’s ingenious set pieces around.
Nothing really happens regarding the acting either.
Because the youngsters are typical, their acting must not be. Koren’s Igal is more a parody than a character.
The others do not, perhaps cannot, make their characters come alive either.
Their responses are shallow.
They do not seem to have sought that small flame that must light an actor from within if the character is to be real. This Between Night and Dawn could use that light.