Cameri Theater celebrates new season

The Cameri rolls out new Israeli plays, followed by deftlychosen classics, frosted with a couple of crowd-pleasers.

CAMERI THEATER’S adaptation of David Grossman’s bestselling novel ‘A Horse Walks into a Bar.’ (photo credit: SHAY-LEE UZIEL)
CAMERI THEATER’S adaptation of David Grossman’s bestselling novel ‘A Horse Walks into a Bar.’
(photo credit: SHAY-LEE UZIEL)
There’s lots doing at the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv.
After 26 years at the Cameri’s helm, general manager Noam Semel is stepping down, to be replaced by Shmulik Yifrach, former boss at the Beersheva Theater.
“It’s been a 26-year marriage,” quipped Semel at Wednesday’s press conference, adding that he felt thrilled and privileged to have presided over the theater where “such great creative talents have worked,” in particular mentioning Hanoch Levin (d. 1999), some two dozen of whose plays the theater has premiered.
For his part, “I’m looking forward to the challenges of running Israel’s largest theater and to maintaining the ongoing dialogue with our artists,” said Yifrach.
There are some 27 new productions scheduled for the 2017/18 season of which nearly two thirds are by local playwrights, including some that are considered canonical, such as Levin, or Hillel Mittelpunkt, as well as an original musical by Shlomo Moscowitz called Just Loving You.
It’s a love story (naturally) built around the songs that became “the soundtrack of our lives” in the fateful years between the Six Day War (1967) and Yom Kippur War (1973), written and/or performed by greats such as Shalom Hanoch, Josie Katz and the late Arik Einstein.
There are three adaptations from Hebrew literature based on books by A.B. Yehoshua, Etgar Keret and David Grossman, the latter being A Horse Walks into a Bar which was to have been directed by the late Micha Loewensohn. It’s slated for late June, while the technically complex Suddenly a Knock at the Door (Keret) opens in July.
The four new Israeli plays include Freud’s Last Case by Savyon Librecht, based on the true story of a fanatical Nazi turned Freud devotee who helped the professor and his family escape Vienna, and A Grassy Tale by young playwright Shai Lahav, a story of soccer and romance.
The four Israeli classics are revivals – The Rebels by Edna Mazia, Ismailiya by Mittelpunkt, Levin’s Krum and his monumental A Child Dreams, to be directed by Cameri artistic director Omri Nitzan. Mittelpunkt is also the author of a new musical that will premiere in 2018 – Parcels from America.
The great plays touch our lives now and forever because they’re always apposite to the times we live in. So it is with Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Ionesco’s Rhinoceros or Shakespeare’s Othello, or Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, all on the roster for the new season.
Nava Semel’s Anthem to the Bible is billed as a musical cabaret. It’s one among the four productions with a Jewish theme.
And next March will see our version of A Chorus Line, one of the longest running musicals in Broadway history. Also, and maybe, in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday next year, a musical based on Leon Uris’ Exodus, to be called – of course – Exodus.