Playing locally

The Cameri Theater unveils enriching schedule

NETTA GERTI and Avishai Meridor star in ‘The Others.’  (photo credit: RADI RUBINSTEIN)
NETTA GERTI and Avishai Meridor star in ‘The Others.’
(photo credit: RADI RUBINSTEIN)
It used to be that there were few Israeli plays on our stages, but that day is long gone and now we have a serious roster of local playwrights whose contributions enrich local stage literature. The Cameri is no exception and has a list of 11 productions ranging from the upcoming The Others by veteran Hillel Mittelpunkt or Pregnancy by Edna Mazya, or Atonement by Rami Danon and Amnon Levi – and it’s a long time since one of theirs hit the stage too, It’s Me, a new musical by one of the younger generation, Maor Zaguri, or Don’t Quarrel and Romeo and Mom by actor/writer Gur Koren.
The Others is set in Mandatory Palestine, addressing the problem of the other; Pregnancy, inspired by Federico García Lorca’s Yerma, deals with the price to be paid for obsession; Atonement opens an abyss threatening the life and faith of a young haredi rabbi; It’s Me is a musical about an observant musical family built around songs by Eyal Golan. Don’t Quarrel is a comedy about what happens when three quarrelsome kids discover that their dad has left his house to go to a call-girl; Romeo and Mom, co-written with Gilad Kimchi, is also a comedy about what happens when a young man in a hardscrabble development town is oh-so-nearly cast as Romeo... and then Mom gets sick.
Director Irad Rubinstein, who has just won Director of the Year in the recent Israel Theater Prize awards, will do Othello for the Cameri which, if his Coriolanus (2016) and his Romeo and Juliet (2015) are any indication, will take this Shakespeare tragedy of jealousy and irrational hatred and hurl it ungently into the 21st century.
Currently in rehearsal is a double bill produced in New York last year: God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch to be directed by the prolific and multi-gifted Itai Tiran, and Indecency by Paula Vogel, a new play that charts the struggle over the former.
The original God of Vengeance is in Yiddish and came out in 1907. Orthodox Yankl and his family live pious, respectable lives. Yankl donates a Torah to his shul, and wants to marry his only daughter to a yeshiva student. He makes a respectable living from the brothel in his basement. Huh? Oh yes, and when the play came out in English in 1923, the whole cast was convicted of indecency. Indecency is all about that.
Other plays in the line-up include a stage adaptation of Etgar Keret’s iconoclastic Anihu, a love story. Well. Sort of. Yes? Absolutely. Guys and Gals by Hanoch Levin, a comedy of loneliness and unrequited love; Chekhov’s The Seagull and David Mamet’s savage Oleanna.
The basic subscription rate is NIS 627 for six shows.