Galron’s ‘Passion’

A one-woman show at the Stage One English-Speaking Theater Festival will address female strengths and weaknesses from biblical times until today.

Hadar Galron 521 (photo credit: Courtesy Beit Avi Cha)
Hadar Galron 521
(photo credit: Courtesy Beit Avi Cha)
Considering the Stage One English-Speaking Theater Festival is not yet an established staple of the national cultural calendar, the event, which will take place at Beit Avi Chai from Sunday to Tuesday, covers a surprisingly wide range of cultural and social issues, dips into several genres and seems patently designed to rub a few funny bones, and prick a few consciences, to boot.
Hadar Galron’s “funny and daring one-woman show,” as the festival blurb has it, certainly appears to be tailored to achieve the latter. The 42-year-old British-born mother of three’s Passion Killer act will address female strengths and weaknesses from biblical times until today.
The show was written by Galron and her brother-inlaw, satirist, actor and TV presenter Aharon Feuerstein.
Besides the family connection, the two have shared part of their professional road.
“We worked together on The World According to Feuerstein, on Channel 2,” explains Galron. “It was a sort of deep, philosophical talk show and I would have a couple of satirical spots, one of which I would write during the program based on what had happened in the show, and I’d do it at the very end. It was a lot of fun.”
If variety of life experiences is the food of satire then Galron is running on a rich diet. She hails from a religious family of mixed cultural baggage, but only became aware of her cross-ethnic background when she moved to Israel with her family at the age of 13.
“In England there were only Jews and goyim, there was never any of this Sephardi-Ashkenazi stuff,” Galron recalls. “But when I went to school here the teacher and my classmates wanted to know what ethnic group I came from. I had no idea so, when I went home, I asked my father, who went pale – as pale as a Moroccan can go – and told me that I should tell the teacher that we all come from the same ethnic community, and that there are no ethnic divisions anymore.”
Galron’s teacher was suitably impressed with her new pupil’s global-village response, but she still jotted “Moroccan” down in her notebook, Galron’s mother’s Polish descent notwithstanding.
It seems that Galron has been contending with diametrical elements all her life. In addition to the ethnic divide she discovered after she made aliya, the comic-satirist comes from an observant background but, along with her similarly educated husband, she has been following her a spiritual quest outside the defined boundaries of organized religion for some years now.
By now, it had become clear that Galron has a clear view of what she wants from life, and that she is perfectly willing to go out on a limb to get it. A few years back one such escapade landed her a role in Avi Kushnir’s movie Bruria.
“I was doing a Rosh Hashana special for Avi, by the beach,” recalls Galron. “I was supposed to raise a glass of wine, and say ‘shana tova,’ but then I thought wouldn’t it be fun if I just turned around and walked into the sea fully clothed, and with my high-heeled shoes. I knew if I asked Avi if I could do that he’d say the sun’s setting and there isn’t time.”
So Galron duly strolled into the water – losing a shoe in the process – and elicited an enthused response from the director.
“He hugged me and said: ‘you’re Bruria!’ and I said ‘who’s Bruria?’ and he just said ‘you’ll see.’” Four years later, Galron landed a starring role in Kushnir’s film, opposite Baruch Brenner.
In fact, Galron almost followed a very different, and far more sober, career path.
“My dad said he would pay for my studies if I studied law, but only if I studied law. So I registered for that at Bar-Ilan University.”
Unwittingly, the IDF came to her rescue.
“Then I found out that as an ‘outstanding soldier’ the army would pay for my studies, so I told my father I was going to take a degree in theater at Tel Aviv University. He wasn’t happy about that.”
That decision spawned a fruitful professional partnership.
“I knew there was another religious girl going to study theater with me, and she’d heard about me,” says Galron. “We really stood out there. You could come to the [Tel Aviv University theater studies] Mexico Building naked and no one would notice, but if you come in a long skirt you’ll really stick out. I saw a long orange skirt and she saw a long purple skirt.”
Noya, the orange-clad student, and Galron – who was then called Nurit Hadar – immediately got together.
“We started working together almost immediately and, by the end of the first year, we started performing professionally,” says Galron.
The Noya-Nurit duo initially stuck mostly to the straight and narrow, doing shows for religious women and Bnei Akiva groups. But their paths began to diverge.
“Noya wanted to do comic stuff, and I wanted to do more satirical stuff,” Galron explains. “She wanted to accommodate everyone, but I am already on stage, I am going to say what I think.”
That has been the central thread in Galron’s life and work throughout. Passion Killer follows other envelope- pushing works by Galron, including the awardwinning play Mikve and her one-woman religious standup act Pulsa-De-Nurit, the name of which is a play on the term “Pulsa Dinura,” a kabbalistic ceremony in which rabbis invoke a heavenly curse on someone accused of committing a heinous sin. She has also continually explored the role of famous female figures in the Bible.
“I looked at the stories in which women became saviors of the Jewish people, and I wondered why women like Ruth, Esther and even Rahab the prostitute played such an important role. I came to the conclusion that it was because these [were] women who looked their own fate in the eye, and they decided against the rules, and against the rulers, and against all odds, to change their own fate. Someone who has the courage to change their own fate, which is the hardest thing to do, is already the redeemer of a whole people, even just as a role model.”
Galron has been carving her own path, on a professional and a personal level, for some years now, and Passion Killer may be as challenging as it is humorous, but no one will nod off during the show, that’s for sure.
There will be two performances of Passion Killer, on April 9 at 8:30 p.m. and April 10 at 10 p.m. For tickets and more information: 621-5900 and