DAI opening, BIKEL closing, ACCIDENT rehearsing, BORN GUILTY reading…

Crazy good times – that explains the blogging quietude – artists working, tickets moving, phones ‘a ringing; who’s got time for updates? All the same, here they come!

DAI’s a perfect fit in Studio’s Milton Theatre. As I joked to everyone who came into the gorgeous space, walking into a Studio Theater makes every one of our audience members seven years younger! Is that funny or sad? Or simply untrue? Ah, the sexiness of the secular temple. The show itself has a lot of soul, intimacy of detail, theatrical punch, and is going to do very well for us. The article in yesterday’s Backstage column came out just right. Click here to read it.

Meanwhile, SHOLOM ALEICHEM: LAUGHTER THROUGH TEARS continues to thrive during its extension week. Not the easiest show to maintain–from the weekly piano tuning to finicky projector to lost wardrobe pieces to the managing of sold-out crowds every night, there’s a lot of anxiety to deal with. But Theo and company deliver a winner everynight — and sometimes during the day as well. There’s a Friday noontime matinee tomorrow and then three final shows this weekend. The production takes a week off and then we travel the show down to the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale for 8 performances in a 1,100 seat house. And the offers to send the play around the country do keep coming in.

THE ACCIDENT has its first stumble through in rehearsals this afternoon and I can’t wait to catch up with the work. Here’s what I wrote about the show in our program yesterday. Read it here first, then forget it so you can read anew at the show when it opens in February.

The Accident is both a morality drama of universal resonance and a very particular series of snap-shots about Israeli upper-middle class existence and the costs of sustaining its pursuit of happiness. Sexual and spiritual fulfillment come at a cost (especially as one looks for it outside the family). A standard of living must be maintained (on the backs of underpaid, often foreign-born workers). And casualties often go unreported as we look away, or drive away, or edit away that which might get in the way of our loftier ambitions. The Accident was chosen to anchor this year’s festival because it reveals much about the Israeli character and trains its focus not on the more familiar tropes of “The Conflict” but on the personal travails within a set of adult relationships. It’s a play of haunting reminders and cautionary warnings. And it’s also about the need for cleansing inquiry, for reckoning, and for retreat from the frontlines of domestic warfare. Sometimes the battles in this verbal wrestling match are as corrosive as anything in Ablee, blistering and withering and theatrically refreshing. The play is an exhilarating slap in the face; a romantic, contemporary film noir for the stage, with flickers of hope and catharsis breaking through the cloud cover of crime and injustice

Finally, here’s the link to the Epic Theatre’s reading of BORN GUILTY and its sequel, THE WOLF IN PETER (or MY MEETING IN THE BEER TENT WITH JORG) which begins rehearsing tomorrow in New York and presents Sunday, January 18 at 3 and 7 pm. Couldn’t be anymore excited about the exceptional cast, which includes a bunch of people who’ve worked with us at Theater J or on earlier plays of mine in New York. I love the professionalism of the Epic gang and am excited to hear the new work aloud.

So let’s make it through this CRAZY weekend in many healthy pieces, and then celebrate with DC and the world upon return early next week!