Theater Review: The Same Sea

The Same Sea, adapted by Hanan Snir from the novella by Amos Oz, at Habima.

The Same Sea
Adapted and directed by Hanan Snir
From the novella by Amos Oz
February 17
Hanan Snir’s The Same Sea effortlessly rivets mind and eye. The actors, immersed in what they do, communicate themselves to us. This production excites. It is assured, tender, real, often funny, sorrowful, and wonderfully grown-up.
At one point the Narrator (Yigal Sadeh) says “This is a story about five people living between the shadows, including the narrator…”
It’s sort of true. Because Oz’s The Same Sea isn’t a neat linear tale and Snir’s play has the same near-jumpy quality of a storyteller making it up as he goes along, of becoming enmeshed, of characters who themselves almost hold their breaths to see what happens next, appealing to the storyteller, “What now?”
In their tight proscenium universe, on Anat Sternshus’s stark set, defined by a king-size bed at center, the characters are like so many lonely planets whose orbits now and again intersect. The sense of loss – many kinds of loss – dominates, but especially the loss of a mother. Oz addressed that loss for the first time in his A Tale of Love and Darkness and Snir gently makes the connection.
To escape the death of his mother Nadia (S. Sadeh), Rico (Yoav Donat)flees to Tibet, where he meets a maternal prostitute nun (Sadeh). Hisfather, accountant Albert Danon (Aharon Almog) retreats into himselfeven further, mourning as well the absence of his son. He is hunted bywidowed Bettine, his colleague (Sadeh), and too much beguiled by Rico’sgirlfriend Dita (Tali Rubin), on whom film-producer Dubi Dombrov (DavidKigler) half-seeks to prey.
Yigal Sadeh, Sandra Sadeh, in all her roles, and Aharon Almogdemonstrate splendor. Rubin and Donat have a few incomprehensible, butvery bouncy, minutes. Other than that, they too are fine, fine, fine asis Kigler’s sweaty Dubi.
And to ensure focus and understanding Avi Ofer provides sly, funny animation.
Rarely do 90 minutes speed by so fast. What a treat.