Grapevine: A one-woman show

Freda Keet, who used to be a journalist for Israel Radio English, is doing a one-woman show of theater throughout the ages.

Raanana 88 248 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Raanana 88 248
(photo credit: Courtesy)
■ FORMER JERUSALEMITE, Rhodesian-born Freda Keet – who lived in the capital for 44 years, before moving two years ago to Herzliya – used to be synonymous with Israel Radio’s English language broadcasts, serving as anchorwoman, investigative journalist and war correspondent. From time to time during her broadcasting career, she went abroad to speak about Israel to both Jewish and non-Jewish groups. Her eloquence and passion won her a huge Jewish and non-Jewish international following, to the extent that she eventually gave up radio to concentrate on boosting and repairing Israel’s tarnished image in the world. This necessitated long periods overseas, and when she eventually decided to spend more time in Israel, she discovered that Jerusalem was too tame for her, so two years ago she moved to Herzliya, where there are many native English speakers within a relatively small radius who love to listen to her interpretations of current events.
Keet is also an actress, and her gift for drama comes across in her oratory. She has been giving performances, and this coming Monday, June 6, she is doing a one-woman matinee show, at 10:30 a.m., at the Yad Lebanim Auditorium on Rehov Ahuza in Ra’anana, under the auspices of the Ra’anana Municipality and ESRA, entitled From the Bard to Brando: 500 years of the world of drama and dramatic changes in the art of acting. In it she provides glimpses of theater throughout the ages, as she acts out all the various theatrical styles, from classical Greek drama to the “end of the Victorian theater,” ending with “a night at the music hall,” with the audience invited to join in all the old songs that so many Anglos living in the area know and love. As Yad Lebanim is in the heart of Ra’anana’s shopping center with its many coffee shops, it’s an ideal opportunity for people to get together for a morning show, a bite of lunch and a shopping spree, with time to spare for some other event in the evening.
■ FOR MOST government ministers, involvement in matters represented by their ministries is more of a mental than a physical exercise. Not so in the case of Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat, who last Friday participated in the Tel Aviv Sports Happening which went all the way from the Tzuk Beach in the north to the southern beach in Jaffa. The main center of activity was on the Gordon Beach, where Livnat, 60, got a lesson in kick boxing from expert coach Barak Tzur. Although she was game, Livnat preferred to use her fists rather than her feet.
■ TWO NAMES that constantly crop up in headline news in Israel are those of Gilad Schalit and Jonathan Pollard. While US President Barack Obama, in one of his speeches during the recent visit to the US by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, spoke of the need to free Schalit, neither he nor Netanyahu publicly mentioned Pollard. Supporters of the effort to secure Pollard’s release from a long overdue stay in prison had hoped that Netanyahu would bring Pollard home with him. Pollard’s wife Esther was devastated when that did not happen. The only comfort she can derive is that the Cameri Theater is making sure that Pollard’s name and his plight do not disappear from public consciousness. Pollard’s Trial, which opened to rave reviews at the Cameri on May 9, stars Rami Baruch as Pollard presenting his case to the judge in an imaginary trial in his cell. It may be remembered that Pollard was not given a fair trial and was not allowed to present his side of the story in court. The script is a monologue written by American playwright Victor Gordon. In real life, Baruch does not bear any resemblance to Pollard, but the make-up artists have done a marvelous job on him, and on stage he could pass for Pollard’s identical twin. Whether the play will do more than create and maintain awareness is hard to say, but at the very least it is proof that Jonathan Pollard has not been abandoned by his own people.
■ POPULAR TROUBADOUR David Broza has sung in many places in the world, sometimes with only his guitar as the musical accompaniment, sometimes with the back-up of another guitar or two or three, sometimes with a small band, but never before with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
On June 14 Broza and the IPO will join forces to present a benefit concert at the Mann Auditorium for the Reuth Medical Center. Conductor will be Rafi Kadishman.
■ APROPOS THE Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, speaking last week at the finals of the 13th Rubinstein piano competition, announced that when the 14th competition takes place in three years’ time, the auditorium will be completely renovated. Actor John Rubinstein, who is the son of Arthur Rubinstein, recalled that as a young boy he had come to the Mann Auditorium with his father. He was glad, he said, to be there before the renovations started, because it was just as he remembered it.
Looking around at the audience during intermission, a former fund-raiser for several Tel Aviv-based institutions commented: “You wouldn’t believe how much money is here.” It wasn’t just local money either. Several multimillionaires flew in to be present at this internationally prestigious cultural event.