Theater Review

'Winter Under the Table' By Roland Topor Translated, adapted and directed by Elinor Agam Ben-David Cameri Theater, June 29.

Cameri Theater cast 311 (photo credit: Elitzur Reuveni)
Cameri Theater cast 311
(photo credit: Elitzur Reuveni)
Winter Under the Table is the adapted-to-Israel story of Dima (Alon Dahan), an immigrant cobbler from Russia, who makes his home under Vered’s (Limor Goldstein) table. All he ever sees of her are her very shapely legs. He falls in love with the legs and the woman they belong to. Life gets both crowded and complicated when his newly arrived noisy cousin Grisha (Zvulun Moshiashvilli) joins him under the table, Vered’s slimy boss, Shmuel Catz (Nissim Zohar) grows importunate, and Zippi (Geula Nunni), her best friend, entices away her lodgers.
All ends happily of course, because Winter Under the Table is a romantic comedy. Actually it’s also a meditation on loneliness and a no-holds-barred attack on the way we relate to immigrants, disguised as romantic comedy. That a human being should live under a table “since an immigrant is regarded as sub-human, is logical,” as Topor dryly put it.
But love conquers even logic as Winter Under the Table has it, and the gifted Ben-David, with the connivance of Yehudit Aharon’s set and costumes, Ehud Hitman’s music, Uri Rubinstein’s lighting and Ran Bogin’s video, has constructed a gentle gem that makes its point without bombast.
Limor Goldstein’s Vered is lit from within as she shyly reaches out to her considerate love-struck lodger, and Dahan ensures that his lovable, rumpled Dima never loses his inherent dignity and self-worth. Geula Nunni’s brisk, oblivious Zippi makes an effective counter, Moshiashvilli’s rumbustious Grisha is wonderfully unsubtle, itself a subtlety, and as the lecherous Catz, Nissim Zohar aptly illustrates society’s hypocrisy and oppression.
You leave smiling – and thinking.