While the play's intensity never flags, the viewer's attention does.
By HELEN KAYEVoices in the Night
By Yehoshua Sobol
Directed by Aya Kaplan
Stripped to its bones, Voices in the Night reinforces the knowledge that, on the one hand, each of us treads alone through life. On the other hand, and paradoxically, we are never more strongly connected than when our touch is lightest. It is only when the son (Oded Leopold) releases his father (Eli Gorenstein) actually and emotionally that the bond linking them is forged.
Sobol's Voices is an epically bravura 75-minute clash-and-slash over the frequently problematic relationship between father and son. In this play, it is not the sacrifice of Isaac, but of Abraham, as the son seeks his aberrant father's conformity to what he thinks ought to be - rather than what is.
Against a backdrop first of night and its sounds in the orchards surrounding their home, then of the noise-filled harsh white light of a hospital room, father and son hack at each other not with foils but with verbal broadswords. This is an actor's play. Leopold and Gorenstein play it to the hilt, holding nothing back. Each burnishes the other so that both may shine, and they do. It must be said that finally, Gorenstein has a role worthy of his ability.
While the play's intensity never flags, the viewer's attention does, because magnificent as the writing is, there is simply too much of it. Some careful cuts would make Voices in the Night tauter, leaner and even more compelling than it already is.
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