Theater Review: 'The Contention of Don Quixote'

Evron's play demonstrates the power of the imagination to shape not just consciousness but doing, and how "you can't just let things happen."

Theater Review 88 (photo credit: )
Theater Review 88
(photo credit: )
The Contention of Don Quixote By Gilad Evron Directed by Ofira Henig Ensemble Herzliya November 18 There's no razzle-dazzle to Ofira Henig's quietly wonderful production; Evron's meaty retake of Don Quixote provides the impetus for the kind of playmaking that is a reminder of what good theater can be. Evron's play demonstrates the power of the imagination to shape not just consciousness but doing, and how "you can't just let things happen." A book about their epic adventures has made them famous, Sancho Panza (Moti Katz) tells his master, but there are those who suggest that Dulcinea del Toboso is not the only figment of his imagination. They will once again set out, decides Don Quixote (Shalom Shmuelov), this time to refute those who doubt the existence of his adored lady, because "you have to dare to see, especially where there's corruption and laziness." On their way - never moving from the straw mat that is space both illimitable and confined - they encounter our own time, embodied in a generic "duke" (Nimrod Bergman), his bored "duchess" (Anat Federschneider) and their manipulative stooge, the servile, serviceable Alfredo (Yoram Josefsberg). Shmuelov and Katz, consistently underplaying, complement each other. Their tuned performance is as close to perfection as an actor can get. Josefsberg treads very closely on their heels, while Bergman and Federschneider (making the most of roles less fleshed), are not far behind. Henig is a minimalist. Eytan Levi's spare set, Noa Widman's costumes, Felice Ross's lighting, even the sound by Harel Tabibi, marvelously contribute to that vision. What a gift this Quixote is - and it's funny too.