Dare we say ‘grown up’?

Successful businesswoman Efi and famous physicist Yoni (Micha Selektar) have a wonderful and deliberately childless marriage.

A SCENE from ‘Pregnancy.’  (photo credit: REDDY RUBINSTEIN)
A SCENE from ‘Pregnancy.’
(photo credit: REDDY RUBINSTEIN)
 When Efi (Maya Dagan) announces that she wants to have a baby, old flame and now fertility expert Ido (Oded Leopold) cackles mirthfully. Efi? Baby? Oh come on! Successful businesswoman Efi and famous physicist Yoni (Micha Selektar) have a wonderful and deliberately childless marriage.
In fact, at her 39th birthday party (which starts the play), Efi lets loose a pretty vicious anti-kid rant, so a kid? Yes, well, biology starts talking, Efi obtains Yoni’s unwilling assent and they get going. Except that Efi doesn’t get pregnant, and still doesn’t get pregnant, and what started as a desire for a child becomes an obsession with seemingly disastrous results.
Efi is a go-getter, successful in all she sets her hand to. It’s therefore inconceivable that she cannot accomplish the most mundane of biological processes – that of reproduction – and it’s her growing obsession that drives this intelligent, quick-witted and meaty drama. Pregnancy is the vehicle.
Director Omri Nitzan has liberally ladled his considerable talent into the production so that it, too, is intelligent, quick-witted and meaty, engaging the eyes and the mind. The cast is uniformly excellent, acting with, rather than at each other.
Maya Dagan takes Efi from a committed, confident and energetic woman to a self-demeaning, self-abdicating wraith, a shadow of her former self who never changes out of her pajamas, as she allows the character’s increasing desperation to infect her life – until.
At first Selektar’s Yoni never really leaves the safety of his professional world, then is pried from it inch by slow inch until he achieves humanity due to his genuine love for Efi, and pushed, it must be said, by Na’ama Shetrit as his passionate “I have to change the world” sister, Nati. Kinneret Limoni shines as the exuberant yet grounded Rona, Leopld’s Ido is a tuned mix of torn emotions, and Dana Meinrath’s Sarai is out of place among these high flyers but her instincts are sound and the compassion is real. Helena Yaralova cameos efficiently as Efi’s hi-tech partner, Galia.
Adam Keller’s all-white set – of oblong boxes suggesting sterility, plus an upstage table – serve as the spaces where the events occur while the table is the background for Yoav Cohen’s deft video art and graphics, so essential to move the plot along.
The play ends as it began, with a birthday party but with a different dynamic this time because the protagonists have grown. Dare we say grown up?