Theater Review: All about eve

The production has sets and costumes by Yehudit Aharon and Mony Madnik, and a dream cast including Alon Ofir, Shiri Golan, and Amir Kriaf.

theater 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
theater 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
This stage version of All About Eve (based on the iconic 1950 film), tells the story of Eve Harrington (Yonit Tobi), who insinuates herself into the life of Broadway great Margo Crane (Rama Messinger). Behind Eve’s shy and always helpful persona lurks an ambitious wannabe who seeks the spotlight for herself, and she doesn’t much care whom she walks over to get it.
The production has to-die-for sets and costumes by Yehudit Aharon and Mony Madnik, respectively and a dream of a cast that also includes Alon Ofir as journalist Tallyho Thompson, Shiri Golan as Karen Roberts and Amir Kriaf as her playwright husband, Lloyd.
So why doesn’t it work? Because the stage can’t be the mirror of a mirror. We willingly suspend disbelief to watch actors assume their characters’ lives, but not if the lives themselves are portrayed as a lie. Director Aya Kaplan contends that in truth, we’re prisoners of the parts we play in life so that our “true selves” remain backstage, as it were. It seems that she has tried to translate this concept to the onstage action which takes place “backstage.”
But the true selves we’re supposed to be seeing are therefore absent. The result is cartoon characters, two dimensional portrayals that cannot be truthful.
These fine actors are imprisoned in cardboard. And the voices – an actor’s voice is a potent instrument that can add depth and breadth to the character if properly used. Ms. Tobi’s delivery irritates in particular because it lacks tonality and inflection, remaining the same throughout. Unfortunately, almost the same may be said for the rest of the cast, save for Mrs. Ofir and Kriaf.
Such a pity.