Miri Mesika, Jerusalem Theater, March 6.

With the talents of a diva and the approachability of the girl next door, a visibly pregnant Miri Mesika blew the crowd away at the Jerusalem show of her latest tour promoting her newest album, Hadashot Tovot (Good News). She took the stage in a long black gown and very high heels, supported by a six-piece band and not nearly outshined by the many colored lights.
Mesika delighted her fans with big hits off her first two albums, like “Mami,” “Ba’a Elehem” and “Lesham,” mixing in a handful of songs off her third.
She offered a touching tribute OF Avihu Medina’s “Al Tashliheni” (the text of which is from Psalms) to her mother and aunts after seeing their dedication to her ailing grandmother. And Mesika threw in a cabaret-style version of her hit “Tipa Tipa,” inspired by a recent trip to New York.
Still, Mesika is most impressive when she taps into her Eastern roots and her lower vocal range, as she does on many of her new songs. She showed off just what she can do when she sang “Birkat Hameleh,” a Hebrew/Arabic hit from the movie Three Mothers, in which she also starred. A haunting rendition of the Egyptian classic “Inta Omri,” requested by the audience, again proved that Mesika does the Middle Eastern thing phenomenally.
Mesika’s stage presence reminded her fans that she also has theatricaltraining, and her between-song banter and self-deprecating humor hadeveryone rolling in the aisles.
After two encores and 23 songs, Mesika bowed graciously – along withher band, which includes her husband, keyboardist and producer Ori Zach– and left the stage. And the audience left with beaming smiles. Howcould it not?