We’re soon to board morning busses to Jerusalem and go (God help us) on a few hour tour of the city before taking in a whole range of offerings at the Khan Theatre. In truth, I haven’t looked at the schedule. i do know they’ve added a discussion opportunity we’ve all felt is missing — some time to reflect on what we’ve been seeing as we make some larger critical observations and attempt to synthesize the meaning of what we’ve been seeing — both with respect to content and to style and form.
If I don’t see another Hanoch Levine play for the next, say, 20 months, that will be okay. I have a bit to say about this national project to create Israel’s very own Jewish Beckett, Albee, Shakespeare, and Sholom Aleichem all wrapped into one. Let’s the man’s legacy drift into obscurity just a little, I say. Let him become what so many of his plays clearly are; an elegant, spicy relic of a moment in time. His literature doesn’t wholly convey (to use a real estate term of art) from one generation to the next, but this repertory system does not edit out for feeling dated; it just — EverReady like — keeps on going and going and going… Okay, no more skewering sacred cows. Saying something bad about Hanoch Levine is one step beyond saying something dismissive about the vaunted Gesher Theatre, the Russian emigree troupe, whose beautiful theater in Jaffa we visited last night. They were performing, wouldn’t you just know it, a Hanoch Levine play and everyone was wearing — wait for it — red noses — audience and performers alike. If I never see another play with a circus theme, it really will be okay as well.And no, I’m not cynical or overdosed on good stuff here. I’m just tired of that which annoys and, for me, always has — a patently irritating, heightened formed of comedia that Israel embraced long ago and can’t seem to shake. And it permeates the worst of their original TV programming too. We’ll let it go. And hope for much, much better today.It rained last night. Light drizzle. The new gray morning awaits.PS. I adore the people on this trip. Last night: drinks with 2 Slovenian and 1 Serbian dramaturg. They’re all getting attachments with EITHER OR and BORN GUILTY zipped up as little gifts. From America, with love.more soon