TheaterNetto Reviews

One actor on a stage for about an hour. That's monodrama, and that's TheaterNetto in a nutshell.

Theater Review 88 (photo credit: )
Theater Review 88
(photo credit: )
TheaterNetto Monodrama Festival The Arab-Hebrew Theater, Old Jaffa, April 22-24 One actor on a stage for about an hour. One actor who must get and keep the audience attentive, perhaps even enthralled. That's monodrama, and that's TheaterNetto in a nutshell. Ibsen's Women Compiled and performed by Juni Dahr Dahr, one of Norway's premier actresses, gives us six Ibsen heroines such as Hilde from The Master Builder, Hedda Gabler, Nora from Doll's House and Mrs. Alving from Ghosts, investing each with that character's particular individuality. But overall Dahr projects the totality of the women's desperation, their repressed sexuality and their progression towards self-knowledge. Her performance is so delicate, so powerful, so truthful that the audience is mesmerized. She is aided by flautist Chris Poole's evocative live accompaniment, set, lighting and costume - sophisticated in their minimalism, and above all by her genuine love for Norway's great playwright. Head in the Clouds Created and performed by Xavier Bobes A show like Bobes' employing a variety of objects from toy furniture to a toy doctor's bag to tell a story could be horribly cutesy. This is one isn't. It's a whimsical, even ironic saga of a young girl's love, sometimes unrequited, that is utterly charming and not a little touching. Bobes, a more than accomplished mime, turns his fingers into a young lady, complete with tiny red boots, or puts a wee doll into a dollhouse he's set up, then gives her nightmares with the aid of shadow theater, 0light, chalk, dollfaces, and more to tell the tale, all with a total and refreshing lack of condescension. An Old Blond Jew By Amanda Sthters, Translated and directed by Elinor Agam Ben David, Performed by Efrat Boimfeld Imagine Joseph Rosenblatt, a 77-year-old Jewish survivor of Auschwitz trapped in the body of a pretty, blond 20-year-old French girl called Sophie. That is the premise driving Sthters' play. Rosenblatt doesn't know what he's doing in Sophie's body. Sophie doesn't know why violins play in her head, why Julian abandoned her, why she has to go to a psychiatrist, or why Joseph is diagnosed as a split personality when he knows perfectly well who he is. This is difficult material because at its root is parental abandonment and rejection for which the Holocaust is here a rather extreme metaphor. It seems that neither director nor performer have truly grasped this. Boimfeld's performance is therefore a little like a child reciting a poem it doesn't understand, however beautifully the child recites. Why Me? By Orit Nahmias and Karin Segal Directed by Segal, Performed by Nahmias This is the story of a 28 year old woman who's had a radical mastectomy, falls in love with the gorgeous Assaf, a blind date her Mom has set her up with, then finds out that she has cancer in the second breast too. What is she to do? What she does Nahmias shows with humor, feeling, sensitivity and such economically effective body language that she switches between the various characters in a blink. You laugh and cry with her and for her. And she has the mostly devastatingly lovely smile to boot. Great stuff.